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Capel Llwynrhydowen Welsh Unitarian Chapel; Llwynrhydowen (New), Pontsian Road, Rhydowen

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Map ReferenceSN44NW
Grid ReferenceSN4415045850
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
Type Of SiteCHAPEL
PeriodPost Medieval
After the "troad allan" at Yr Hen Gapel Llwynrhydowen Unitarian Chapel, the church rented a small piece of land known as "Eisin-grug" from Mr Evan Jones, Melin Rhydowen. November 5th 1872, a fund was started to buy land for a new chapel and half an acre of Geilliaur land was purchased for £450. Until ready, services were held in a wooden building on "Eisin-grug". The foundation stone of the "Capel Coffadwrthiaethol" was laid on June 28th 1878, by Mrs Jones, Gellifaharen, and the chapel was opened in 1879. Gwilym Marles composed the following lines on the occasion of his visit to the new chapel a few days after the opening:


Unwaith mi gefais weled
Y demel brydferth hon;
Ac edrych ar ei harddwch
Llawenydd yw i'm bron;
Ond pan yr wyf yn cofio
Yr hen adeilad lwys,
Daw dagrau i fy llygaid,
A chwyd occenaid ddwys.

The new chapel was built in 1878 in the Classical style of the gable entry type, to the design of Watkin Davies of Llandysul. Built of rectangular blocks of rock-faced stone in regular courses, it has a 3-bay gable facade with raised quoins, window dressing, band and cornice in contrasting ashlar stone and a projecting plinth. The wider central bay is recessed within a giant semi-circular arch, with 3 steps leading to the centrally placed door set within a projecting stone porch decorated with a moulded cornice and obelisk finial. The porch pilasters have the inscriptions; "Dechreuad yr achos yn y/ Llwyn: 1726. Y Capel 1af: 1733/ Yr 2il 1791: Y 3ydd 1834. Adnewyddywyd: 1862. Y troad allan Hyd. 29, 1876." and "Dodwyd y maen hwn yn ei le / gan Mrs Jones, Gelli-Faharen/ Mehefin 21ain, 1878./ Wm. Thomas, M.A., Gweinidog./ "Deus nobis otia fecit". Over the porch is triplet of windows with etched and coloured glass, above which is a plaque "Capel/ Llwynrhydowen/ 1879" and a louvred semi-circular vent. The side bays have taller round-headed windows with clear glass.

The vestibule, with a coloured tile floor, has two doors, set with coloured glass panels, to the chapel interior and stairs to the gallery. The main interior has dado panelling with plaster walls scribed as ashlar and open bench pews laid out in three main blocks facing the pulpit on the rear wall. A further 3 rows of seats side facing the pulpit in the SE corner with and organ occupying the opposing NE corner. The sedd Fawr is curved and formed by a series of branching iron standards supporting the mahogany handrail. from this leads steps to either side of the centrally placed pulpit, which is canted and decorated with two tiers of decorated panelling. To the rear is a plaster pulpit arch with an ornately moulded head. The gallery is supported in cast iron columns with leaf caps and has a projecting gallery front of timber panels and a cornice with pear-drop motifs. Opposite the pulpit is a clock inscribed " Rhodd/ Pwyllgor Eisteddfod/ y Llwyn/ D Jones Llandyssul".

there are a number of memorials to the interior including former ministers of Llwynrhydowen: 1897 to The Reverend David Davies of Castell Hywel (d. 1827), to Siencyn Sion and Dafydd Llwyd, to The Reverend William Thomas (Gwilym Marles, d. 1879), to The Reverend Aubrey J. Martin (d. 1990) and to The Reverend Evan Oliver Jenkins (d. 1951). There is also a World War I Memorial.

In 1905 (Royal Commission on the Church of England and other Religious Bodies in Wales and Monmouthshire) there were 600 sittings in the chapel which was valued at £2200.

The Vestry was rebuilt in the early 20th century and has pebbledash rendering and a slate roof. The chapel is currently is use.

RCAHMW, March 2014