Malpas has seen a religious presence on this site since the early 12th century, through the foundation of a Cluniac monastic cell, linked to Montacute Abbey in Somerset, and was part of the Benedictine Monastic Order founded at Cluny in the Burgundy region of France.
The original Church of St. Mary was situated partly under where the present church stands, but was much smaller.
The current Church building was constructed in 1850 in the Neo-Norman style to a design by John Prichard, architect to the Diocese of Llandaff, using (or copying) many of the features of the older building. It is one of only a relatively small number built in Wales in the neo-Norman style before the Ecclesiological Movement concentrated on Gothic as the correct style for church building. It is now a Grade II listed building.
At the time of building, Malpas was a country farming area, and several industrialists built country houses in the area. The building features round-arched stained glass windows, depicting familiar Biblical scenes from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These windows and several plaques testify to the lives and deaths of members of two families, the Cordes and Prothero’s, whose benevolence and generosity bequeathed this fine Victorian building. The design gives St Mary’s its compact, cosy, welcoming and serene ambience and consists of a nave with pews, a chancel with organ and choir stalls and a small vestry. Surrounding the Church on three sides is a large cemetery and two Gardens of Remembrance.
A Church Hall was built in the early 1950’s by Church members on a site some 100 yards away and on a lower ground level to the Church.
In the 1930’s, the character of Malpas began to change when two estates were built. This development gained pace after the 2nd World War when a large council estate was built and the remaining farm land was sold in the 60’s for private housing development. From a few hundred inhabitants when the Church was built, the population of Malpas has now risen to 10,000.