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Bethany English Baptist Church, Ford Road, Pwll Gwaun, Pontypridd

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Awdurdod Unedol (Lleol)Rhondda Cynon Taff
Hen SirGlamorgan
Math O SafleCAPEL
Bethany Baptist Chapel was founded in 1900 as an English-speaking daughter of the Welsh-speaking Capel Rhondda. The present chapel was built in 1906 by architect Arthur O Evans of Pontypridd.

The chapel is built in the Simple Classical style of coursed, rock-faced stone with lighter freestone dressings and a slate roof. The central doorway has a gabled and rusticated surround and flanking panelled pilasters. The gable is inscribed 1906. The round-headed doorway has replaced double doors and an overlight with coloured glass. Small flanking windows also have coloured glass. A continuous string course is carried up over the doorway surround. Above is a Venetian window, below the sill of which is an inscription band. Outer stair towers are lower than the main chapel and are brought forward with ashlar quoins and plain parapets. On the left side wall, the stair tower has similar windows to the front, and there is a round-headed window with a brick surround to the roughcast basement. The remainder of the left side wall is set back slightly and has renewed render, painted cream, and 5 windows, all renewed in segmental-headed openings, of which the upper level are shorter. The basement, below an offset, has similar windows and a doorway at the left end. The right side is similar but has only 2 basement windows, beyond which, towards the rear, is a 2-window projection under a pent roof and retaining sash windows and having a lean-to in front with a doorway. The rear of the chapel has a narrow central lean-to housing the organ.

The vestibule has a decorative tile floor, and open-well stairs, accessing the gallery, with fretwork balusters and square newels. A glazed panel opposite the main doorway has Art-Nouveau influenced glass, and is flanked by half-lit panelled doors to the main chapel with similar glass.

The main chapel has a ramped floor. The 3-sided gallery is carried on cast iron columns with foliage capitals, and the bressumer is enriched by plaster festoons of fruit and flowers. The cast iron gallery front has open scrolled panels above a frieze of blind, pointed quatrefoils. The 5-bay roof has segmental arched braces on moulded corbels, collar beams and diagonal boarding behind. Behind the pulpit is an arched recess (originally housing an organ) with panelled pilasters, and a coffered, round arch with a keystone and is surmounted by a pediment with billets. The polygonal pulpit has open fretwork panels, and is flanked by ironwork balustrades and steps with arcaded balusters and square newels. The baptistery is behind the pulpit. Plain pews have moulded ends. The deacons' seat has an open fretwork back. The school room in the basement is reached by stairs on the left-hand side of the vestibule, and has cast iron columns supporting boxed steel beams.

Bethany is now Grade 2 Listed for the architectural interest of its interior.

RCAHMW, May 2012