Feasibility Study: Ffynnon Capel Mair and its ancient Well at Margam

The historical ruin of Ffynnon Capel Mair, a small 14th century church, built by the monks of Margam Abbey, on the Graig Fawr hillside, behind Margam Park, is an area is of great historical importance but yet little known to locals and not visited by the majority of tourists that come to the park.  

The future of this little church and a recently discovered ancient Well on the same site, is in danger of being destroyed by vandals precisely because it is rarely visited and the Friends of Margam Park are constantly having to clear away rubbish and charred wood, the debris from fires, which not only puts the structures at risk but also the surrounding forest and wildlife.

Local schools and colleges would be actively encouraged to take part in terms of local history, nature projects.  With the aim of, eventually, providing schools with curriculum material around the importance of the site locally.  By educating young people we will bring about new specialists in the field of history, archaeology and nature.  This might also encourage further volunteers to take the reins at Margam and will give the Friends of Margam Park further opportunities to promote volunteering.

Currently the area is also missing out on footfall from tourism and specific interest groups.  The Well, once excavated, would encourage those visitors on religious pilgrimage to visit something that hasn’t been active since the 12th century and a positive Feasibility Study would also enable the Friends of Margam Park to be able to seek further funding opportunities in order to develop of the site and ensure its future sustainability is secured.

The Friends of Margam Park are hoping the study will identify how the site can be developed by exploring conservation through an educationally centred proposal around its heritage and cultural importance.  If the development of an innovative 'grass roots' community-led bilingual, archaeological and educational project, framed around The Well and Ffynnon Capel Mair, were to be achieved, then the site would be visible and busy, the outcome of which would be a deterrent for vandals as well increased general knowledge around the historical importance of the site.


Project details

Funding amount:
EAFRD (WG RC_RDP Wales) contribution
Funding source:
LEADER Local Development Fund
Neath Port Talbot


Tony Barrett
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