The Gower Legacy of Miss Olive Talbot by Gary Gregor On 19th January 1898 a new church, large enough to accommodate six hundred worshippers, was opened in Maesteg as a memorial to Miss Olive Talbot of Margam. The Western Mail's report on the opening stated that: she had a great share in carrying out many important church restorations in the Diocese of Llandaff, but the extensive parish of Llangynwyd was the object of her chief care. It was here that her first work, that of building the new Church of St Mary's at Garth was undertaken. She next restored the Parish Church, then in a ruinous condition, at a cost of about £ 4,000. A large new church at Abergwynfi, in the same parish, soon followed, together with the enlargement of Cymmer Church, and the repair of several other churches in this extensive parish Miss Olive Talbot then undertook the restoration and enlargement of Bettws Parish Church. The restoration of Llangeinor Parish Church, together with the restorations of Llandyfodwg and Llanhilid Parish Churches, were her next undertakings Her last work was the restoration of Nicholaston Church in Gower, which, unhappily, was not completed until after her death. This church is well known as being one of the most beautiful churches of its size in the country. These benefactions make a total expenditure of about £ 30,000.' Olive Talbot never saw the completion of any of these churches, for she spent the last twenty years of her life as an invalid living at 3 Cavendish Square, London. Miss Olivia (also known as Olive) Talbot was the third daughter and fourth and youngest child of C.R.M. Talbot of Penrice and Margam. Born in 1842 at 40 Belgrave Square, London, she was only four when her mother died during a holiday in Malta. Like her friend Amy Dillwyn, Olive Talbot never married. Spinal complaints prevented her from attending her father's funeral in 1890 at Margam Abbey, following which she used much of her inheritance to benefit churches in Glamorgan. The building of one at least of these may have been somewhat premature, for the anticipated larger community never materialised in Abergwynfi, where the large St Gabriel's church stood derelict for several decades.2 Olive Talbot died in 1894, just before her fifty-second birthday. A staunch Anglo-Catholic, she also founded St Michael's Theological College, Llandaff (built 1905-07). In Gower her