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BETHEL INDEPENDENT CHAPEL, PEN-CLAWDD, LLANRHIDIAN UCHAF; LLANRHIDIAN HIGHER

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 9629

Cyfeirnod Map SS59NW

Cyfeirnod Grid SS54139564

Awdurdod Lleol Abertawe 

Hen Sir Morgannwg

Cymuned Llanrhidian Higher

Math o Safle CAPEL

Cyfnod Ôl-Ganoloesol

Disgrifiad o´r Safle Bethel Independant Chapel was first built on this site in 1816, facing the road. Its first minister was the Rev Rees Jones, appointed by Lady Barham, and a manse was added to the west of the site called Barham House, of which a rear wing survives. In 1929 there was a split between the Calvinistic Methodists in Gower and the Independents and Bethel became Independent with part of the congregation subsequently leaving to join the Calvinistic Methodist Tabernacl at Penclawdd. Alterations or rebuildings are recorded in 1848, 1870 and 1884, and then in 1901 a Sunday School was added to the south of the chapel.

In 1910 the old Bethel chapel was demolished and the present chapel constructed, facing north, with its side to the road. The architect was Sir William Beddoe Rees of Cardiff, and the builders were Messrs Radford and Grieves of Coventry. It is a close copy of Bethania Baptist Chapel, Maesteg, designed by the same architect in 1908. Externally the parapet balustrade each side of the pediment on the façade block has been lost, together with the original windows of the side elevations. Internally the set fawr has been slightly enlarged.

The chapel is built in a commanding position on a raised terrace, reached by a sweeping path and stairs. There is a fine pedimented Beaux-Arts façade in ashlar masonry facing north, with short returns to the east and west sides, while the sides and rear of the chapel are more utilitarian, built in red brick and render. The front elevation is divided into three bays by pilasters, the upper half of the central bay being again divided into three by Ionic columns which support an entableture carrying the name of the chapel, over which is a pediment containing a large Diocletian window. The great pilasters are rusticated and each carries a shallow strip pilaster centrally rising to a neo-classical capital.

The Diocletian window in the pediment has a moulded surround and large keystone, and is glazed with small panes. Below this the middle bay has a very large, central, flat-headed window flanked by smaller sash windows with surrounding architraves and capped by narrow friezes and cornices. In each of the outer bays, and in the return elevations to east and west, there are similar sash windows with similar surrounding architraves but with giant keystones, rising to dentilled arches. The central entrance has double, semi-glazed doors centally flanked by circular windows with bold surrounds incorporating four keys and there are similar doorways in the outer two bays. The circular windows have bold surrounds each with four keys.

The side elevations are divided by red-brick piers into bays, each containing two storeys of windows with stone sills and red-brick jambs and arches. There are various annexes including organ space, a rear porch and a small side vestry with its gable to the street. The Sunday School building (1901) stands across a small internal yard to the south.

RCAHMW, April 2008

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