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Penmaenmawr Wesleyan Methodist Church, Bangor Road, Penmaenmawr

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Map ReferenceSH77NW
Grid ReferenceSH7168876305
Unitary (Local) AuthorityConwy
Old CountyCaernarfonshire
Type Of SiteCHAPEL
Period19th Century

The English cause is said to have formed in the 1880's as part of the Bangor and Caernarfon Circuit, and was taken into the circuit in 1889. 

In 1888 the first chapel was built, being an iron chapel. The construction of this was reported in the Methodist Times on Thursday 12th July 1888 as: 
“ENGLISH METHODISM AT PENMAENMAWR. Penmaenmawr, Mr. Gladstone's favourite seaside resort, deservedly maintains a pre-eminence among Welsh watering-places. The need of an English Wesleyan chapel has for a long time been felt by the increasing number of Methodist visitors who seek the benefit of its salubrious sea and mountain air. We are glad to be able to announce that this want is about to be supplied—Rev. John Evans, superintendent of the Bangor Welsh Circuit, having, with characteristic enterprise, undertaken the erection of a commodious iron chapel, the opening services of which will shortly be announced in our advertising columns. This new place of worship will be included in the Bangor Welsh Circuit, and we trust that Mr. Evans's laudable effort to provide for the wants of English visitors, and, at the same time, to draw the Welsh and English societies to a closer union with one another, will not be allowed to suffer from want of adequate support. Contributions in aid of the building fund, addressed to the rev, gentleman at Trondeg. Bangor, or to the Rev. Thos. Hughes, Epworth Villa, Llanfairfechan, will be gratefully acknowledged. Mr. Hughes, who has been entrusted with the more immediate oversight of this new society, will gladly reply to any inquiries respecting apartments addressed to him by those of our readers who intend spending their summer holidays at Penmaenmawr or Llanfairfechan.” (

Unfortunately, this chapel was destroyed in a storm of January 1890, reported as "A CHAPEL BLOWN DOWN AT PENMAENMAWR. During the prevalence of a south-westerly gale on Wednesday afternoon the English Wesleyan Chapel at Penmaenmawr was blown down and completely destroyed. The edifice was built of timber and corrugated zinc, and was erected some eighteen months ago. Considerable excitement prevailed."  (Leicester Chronicle 11 Jan 1890 

It is unclear where this building stood. Permission for a new, more permanent chapel, was given at the Liverpool District Meeting of the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion in September 1890.

A foundation stone for a new, permanent, chapel was laid on 10th December 1890 and the new chapel opened on Wednesday 22nd July 1891. According to the North Wales Weekly News, "this is a continuation of the movement initiated five years ago by the Rev. F Payne, for the accommodation of English visitors to the Welsh coast…”

The ceremony for the laying of the foundation stones was covered by the Methodist Times of the 18th December 1890: 
ENGLISH METHODISM IN NORTH WALES. NEW CHAPEL AND SCHOOL AT PEENMAENMAWR. Wednesday, December 10, was a red-letter day at Penmaenmawr, a popular watering place on the Caernarvonshire coast, because of the ceremony of laying of a memorial stone of a permanent chapel for the accommodation of English visitors. The new buildings will occupy a picturesque site purchased on easy terms of the trustees of the Darbishire family, who have generously contributed £100 towards the building fund. Mr. J. Wills, of Derby, is the architect. Accommodation is provided for nearly 300 worshippers. The walls will be of local stone, from Messrs. Darbishire's Penmaenmawr quarries, the dressings being of Talacre stone, and the inside fittings of pitch-pine. The hilly character of the site enables the schools to be placed below the chapel without interference with the ground. And both will have an entrance direct from the level. The cost, including site, will be £2,600. 

The engagements of the day commenced by a service held in the temporary iron structure, Rev. F. 'Payne presiding, supported by a large number of English and Welsh ministers, and the following laymen, among others :—Mr. Lewis Hartley, Mr. T. G. Osborn, MA, Mr. R. Tharsfield Smith, &. Rev. Dr. Richardson gave an address, and was followed by Rev. Dr. T. B. Stephenson, who, in a very effective manner, put the case of the Wesleyan Church before the large gathering. They had (he said) come to Pentmaenmawr asking no man's leave, but as a great Church desiring to do their own work in their own way, and taking a fair share in meeting the religious needs of an ever increasing population. He commended the largeness of the scheme, adding that in his experience small undertakings were, in the long run, most expensive. They must think of the future, and prepare for it. Mr. E. Hutchinson, J.P., treasurer, Mr. J. Beckett, J P., and other gentlemen also spoke. 

A procession was then formed, which marched to the new site singing "Onward, Christian soldiers." This march was not the least interesting feature of the day's proceedings. 

Rev. Jas. Hutchinson, Superintendent of the Circuit, directed the proceedings on the site, assisted by Mr. Cossons, the Secretary. The stones were laid in the following order :—Mrs. E. Hutchinson (Liverpool), £ 2 5; Mrs. J. Beckett (Belvedere). £25 (Miss Neck officiated for Mrs. Beckett, in her unavoidable absence); Mrs. R. Thursfield Smith (Whitchurch), £ 2 5; Mrs. W. Craze (Liverpool) £25 ((or whom the Rev. John judge officiated); Mn. E. Hughes (Carearvou), Lao; Miss H. Wynne Jones (Carnarvon), £25 Mrs. Jar. Hutchinson (Carnarvon). £25 for self and friends; Mrs. J. Y. Strachan (Rhyl), £10 10s; and Mrs. E. Owen (Pemaenmawr), £5. The crowd then marched to the Oxford Hall (where tea was provided), lustily singing, "All hail the Power of Jesu's name !" During tea Mr. Cossons announced the following additional items, paid or promised in connection with the day's proceeding …. Mr. E. Hutchinson generously offered to double whatever sum might be raised during the evening. 

Mr. Joseph Beckett presided over the public meeting…. The evening's enjoyment was greatly enhanced by the charming rendering of solos by Miss Cowell and Miss Jennie Griffiths, of Carnarvon. The collection, including five guineas each from the Chairman, Mr. J. 0. Jones (Colwyn Bay). Mr. E. Roberts (Lins), and smaller sums promised on slips, amounted to £38, to be doubled by Mr. E. Hutchinson, making a grand total of £350 for the day. On the result being announced the congregation spontaneously broke out in a shout of praise in the words of the Doxology, again and again repeated.
The chapel is of an L-shaped plan and is built of stone from the Penmaenmawr Quarries, with dressings of Talacre stone. It is designed to the designs of John Wills, architect from Derby and built by Evan Evans and John Williams of Penmaenmawr and Bangor respectively. Constructed in the Gothic style, the faced to the road is dominated by a large triple-lancet window with stone tracery, and a two-storey tower with corner pinnacle set in the elbow.  The pitch-pine interior has seating for 300. Below the chapel was a school room (now used as a hall). The entire cost £2,600.

In 1965 there was a major scheme of refurbishment and alteration to the interior, with the church reopening 9th April 1966. In 1991 the Methodist congregation merged with the United Reform Church in Penmaenmawr, to form the current St Pauls and United Reform Chuch. Another scheme of refurbishment was carried out for the Millennium

RCAHMW October 2023