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Chapel at St David's Hospital

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.8576 / 51°51'27"N

Longitude: -4.3336 / 4°20'0"W

OS Eastings: 239393

OS Northings: 220237

OS Grid: SN393202

Mapcode National: GBR DF.T1QT

Mapcode Global: VH3LG.TKWV

Entry Name: Chapel at St David's Hospital

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9457

Building Class: Health and Welfare

Location: Almost opposite main entrance to hospital main building.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin)

Community: Carmarthen

Built-Up Area: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Chapel to former Joint Counties Asylum, built 1883-9 to designs by E.V. Collier, opened for worship 31 December 1888. The construction of this very large chapel was remarkable for not having cost the united counties anything, as money came from the profits from private patients, and labour was given free by the asylum staff and inmates. Only the supervising mason and carpenter were paid, there was no outside contractor. All the stone was quarried and transported by patients from Green Castle quarries.


Chapel to asylum, rock-faced squared stone in large blocks, mostly grey with red bands, and painted Bath stone dressings, steep slate roofs with coped gables. Decorated Gothic style, large scale with clerestoried nave and chancel with big octagonal spired fleche on ridge between. Lean-to aisles, large gabled transepts, lean-tos each side of chancel, and W porch. Large fleche has leaded octagonal base, louvred timber stage and sharp leaded overhanging spire with copper tiny gablets, and iron cross finial. E window of 4 lights with cinquefoil head. Clerestorey triple lancets with centre light taller, one to chancel, 3 to nave. Nave aisles have 4-light lancets with buttresses between, and chancel aisles each have one similar 3-light to side and pointed 3-light window with cusped lights to E end. Chancel sides have one long ogee-cusped lancet to E of aisles. Clasping angle buttresses. Transepts have 3-light pointed window with cinquefoil head, entrance door below, stepped buttresses each side. Nave W has pointed cusped 3-light aisle end windows and main large round window with cusped diagonal-cross tracery, over lean-to porch with gable over centre moulded pointed doorway, triple lancet each side, clasping buttresses, and paired lancets to side walls.


Open, arch-braced roof. Remarkable polychrome walls in brown glazed brick with bold banding and diapers in black and white (colours renewed in paint). Nave has painted ashlar arcades of 3 bays with octagonal piers and moulded capitals, taller arches to transepts. Arch-braced collar trusses on corbels. W window has some polished greenish stone impost and keyblocks. Transepts have pointed N and S arches to aisles and chancel aisles. Semi-octagonal responds to pointed chancel arch. Reredos of relief floral panels in tile, with polished Green Castle stone shelf, and chequered wall tiling each side. Tiled floors, more ornate in chancel, which has polished Green Castle stone steps. Open chapel to N of chancel, organ chamber to S, organ by Vowles 1888. Vestries to each side of W porch. E window has small stained glass roundel of dove, W window of Lamb of God, otherwise leaded glass to windows.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a remarkably forceful Victorian church design, with fully polychrome interior, and as an integral part of the former asylum complex.

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