St Peter’s Church replaced the old “Iron Church” in the Village Square, which had served as a Chapel of Ease for St Andrew’s since 1881 but could only accommodate 180 worshippers.  Dinas Powys was growing and there was  a need for a fitting local presence in the village.  

Mainly in response to this local demand, £10,000 was raised in the Parish.  St Peter’s Church  was built, at a cost of £9000, on land (The Lettons) donated by the Rev A C Lee.  Incidentally, the name Letton has its origin in the old English word for a “herb or kitchen garden”.

The Foundation Stone was laid on St Peter’s Day, 29 June 1929, by Mrs Mary Alexander and the church was consecrated on 15 October 1930 by the 83 year old Lord Bishop of Llandaff.  The first rector was Canon Edward Davies, MA (1917 - 1943).

The Church was built by Britton & Sons, a Dinas Powys builder.  It is recorded that the architect, J Coates Carter, was anxious to ensure that the new church should blend in with and not destroy the beauty of the little valley (the Lettons) between the Castle mound and Castlewood in which it would stand.  Accordingly, Pennant stone and white lias, ready dressed and weathered was reclaimed from the recently demolished Cyfarthfa Iron and Steel Works.   This stone blended well with local limestone, from St Andrew’s quarry, used for facing and local stone for piers and arches.

Because of this clever use of weathered stone the Church looks much older than it is.  Its simple structure closely follows the Welsh tradition and has gained much in character since its consecration in 1930.

In 1990, St Peter’s celebrated its Diamond Jubilee and, in 2005, its 75th Anniversary with a series of events which included a Flower Festival and, on St Peter’s Day, Holy Eucharist celebrated by the Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff, the Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan - a former curate of this Parish.

St Peter’s Church was built of Pennant stone and white lias purchased from Cyfarthfa Iron and Steel Works.  The walls are 2’ 6” thick.  Internally, use has been made of local limestone from the quarry at St Andrew’s for facing and for piers and arches.  The roof timbers are of Columbian pine left in their natural colour.  The furniture is in oak.  The architect, J Coates Carter, suggested that the drapes and carpets should be in blue to bring out the natural colour in the stone.

The money raised by donation provided for the building of the nave, chancel, baptistry and south aisle, with accommodation for 320 worshippers.  The architects’ additional plans for a north aisle and tower have never been completed.

Interior of St Peter's Church

The West Window, St Peter’s Church, is the work of Frank Roper  MBE  (1914 - 2000) who studied at Keighley and the Royal College of Art in London where he was a much-valued student of Henry Moore.  After war service he came to Cardiff in charge of sculpture and later as Vice Principal at The School (later College) of Art.

His work may be seen in many Welsh (especially Cardiff) Churches and at Llandaff and Wells Cathedrals as well as other churches throughout the country.  He and his wife, Nora, who had much to do with the colour and symbolism of his work, lived for many years in Penarth and are buried at Lavernock Point.

Outside view of west window Main gates External view of St Peter's Church Main view of exterior of St Peter's Church Main entrance gates Water colour of West window by Frank Roper Lady chapel Interior of church from West door New Childrens' Area Font and stained glass window

The Font

The white stone font came from Sparsholt Church near Winchester. The window behind is filled with stained glass in memory of H N Rees, headmaster of the National School from 1933- 1958.

Stained glass window for H N Rees

St Peter’s Church, Dinas Powys

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St Peter, Dinas Powys

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The Benefice of St Andrew Major with Michaelston-le-Pit

St Michael and All Angels, St Andrew, St Peter

The Rectory, Letton’s Way, Dinas Powys, CF64 4BY

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