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English Congregational Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8568 / 51°51'24"N

Longitude: -4.3129 / 4°18'46"W

OS Eastings: 240816

OS Northings: 220109

OS Grid: SN408201

Mapcode National: GBR DG.T6VC

Mapcode Global: VH3LH.6L9F

Entry Name: English Congregational Church

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9481

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated set back from road in forecourt between Nos 37 and 38.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthen

History

Congregational chapel, 1861-2, by Poulton & Woodman of Reading, specialists in Gothic chapel design, and similar to their chapel in Brecon. Built on the site of the Red Cow inn and malthouse. Foundation stone laid by H.O.Wills of Bristol 3/7/1861, opened 21/5/1862, Douglas & Sons of Llanelli, builders. The cost was some £2,300. Organ 1876. Plans by George Morgan 1892 for repairs to the spire and re-arranging the organ front, pulpit moved 1900, schoolroom extended 1903 by G. Morgan & Son. Plans of 1922 by J.H.Morgan for alterations to the gallery for new organ presumably not executed, as organ remains behind pulpit.

Exterior

Congregational chapel, Gothic style, rock-faced rubble stone with ashlar dressings and steep slate roof with coped gable and crested ridge tiles. Gabled front has curved-sided triangle vent in apex above tall pointed traceried window of 4 cusped lights with 3 foiled circles over. Bi-colour voussoirs. Gable descends low to left over pointed doorway with raised gabled coping and finial over, the coping oddly raked steeply upward to right to join side of inner buttress. Door has double doors, notched cusping to head and bi-colour voussoirs. Small quatrefoil above. Slender stepped buttress between left and centre bays with numerous set-offs, gablet under square finial with cross gables. Left angle has similar finial rising from gable kneeler. Side buttress, matching those down left side wall. Right side has extravagantly details slender tower up to mid height of gable carrying octagonal of ashlar fleche with gabled open lower stage and sharp ashlar spire above with weathervane. Tower has angle buttresses at both front angles with set-offs and a gable, the bases flanking doorway with cusped head and bi-colour voussoirs under segmental-pointed arch with hood. Similar detail to left side, in angle to main front. Ashlar band above of 2 chamfer courses before 2 very acutely pointed traceried lights. Above this and just under fleche the tower is broached to octagonal with cross-gabled caps on diagonal angles.
Six-bay side walls with pointed single-light windows between buttresses and chamfered stone eaves. Openings nearest façade end are small trefoils set high. Remaining openings are tall pointed lancets. Rear gable has tapered ashlar finial, blind trefoil in apex and metal-clad apsed roof of organ-chamber masked by single storey schoolroom across rear, with coped gables, 4-window rear with buttresses between 2-light windows with segmental-arched heads to lights.

Interior

Broad interior with 4-sided 6-bay panelled roof on deep arch-braced trusses rising from decorative corbels. Large gallery to entrance end with diagonal boarding in triangles to front, carried on beam and joists, the beam carried on small end corbels and single squared timber upright with braces. Clock by H. J. Williams of Carmarthen. Raked gallery seating. Box pews in pine with vertical slats to pew backs. Polygonal Gothic pulpit moved to left side, off original base. Trefoil panels with Gothic leaf scroll to spandrels. Apsed organ recess with large pipe-organ by W. Charles of Bristol. Panels supporting pipes, angled to ends with taller centre section, all within timber frames having pierced quatrefoils to top bars and spandrels beneath to centre. The pointed arched recess has plaster vaulting and coloured glass to apex. Scroll around arch with raised letters, all in painted stucco: ''Enter Into His Gates With Thanksgiving And Into His Courts With Praise''. Coloured glass to front window. Stained glass window to left side centre, a 1914-18 War Memorial (Come Unto Me). Turret has high boarded ceiling and narrow timber stair to gallery.
Schoolroom has pointed 4-panel doors and small timber stage.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a remarkably confident example of Gothic chapel architecture.

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