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Zion English Presbyterian Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.8573 / 51°51'26"N

Longitude: -4.3104 / 4°18'37"W

OS Eastings: 240990

OS Northings: 220162

OS Grid: SN409201

Mapcode National: GBR DG.T1H6

Mapcode Global: VH3LH.7LM0

Entry Name: Zion English Presbyterian Chapel

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9498

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated facing down street towards Lammas Street.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin)

Community: Carmarthen

Built-Up Area: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Calvinistic Methodist chapel of 1849-50 by Robert G. Thomas of Newport, built for the English-speaking members of the Water Street (Heol Dwr) chapel. Begun 27/7/1849, opened 1/8/1850, at a cost of £846/17/9 1/2d (£846.88). The schoolroom behind was begun in 1851 but apparently not finished until 1862 and was altered for £250 in 1870. The chapel was modernised and organ gallery added in 1875, organ installed 1882 and subsequently moved 1889 to organ-chamber behind pulpit. First organ by Richardson & Son has gone, replaced in 2000 by one by Hele & Co of 1895 bought from St Matthew's Church, Fulham, London.
R.G. Thomas was a noted architect both in Newport and later as chief architect of South Australia. He was in Carmarthen, newly returned from S. Australia, as assistant architect at Trinity College.


Chapel, stuccoed front elevation with high plinth, paired outer pilasters carrying full entablature with blocking course and minimal central pediment feature with small inset semi-circular window. Raised letters in frieze: Zion Chapel 1850. First floor centre window of 3 arched lights, the centre one slightly taller and wider, with pilasters and unmoulded arches, the centre pilasters wider. Moulded sill course with small brackets under each pilaster. On ground floor, central doorway with moulded architrave flanked by thin panelled piers above plinth and under scrolled consoles supporting moulded cornice. Double doors each of one long arched panel. To each side of door an arched window in thin raised surround. Windows have narrow marginal panes and inner band of narrow panes.
Two-storey side elevations of 3 bays with pebbledash cladding. Arched windows above and square-headed windows below, with similar glazing bars. Single storey schoolroom to rear.


Plain plastered interior with later C19 end gallery no longer accessible, over lobby entry. Coved cornice with dentils to ceiling in panels around a main panel. Painted grained pews with doors, in 3 blocks, 2 sections of outer blocks each side face inward. Pulpit and set fawr area all altered c2000 when organ was installed. Organ in Gothic case, in arched recess with bead-mould, framing inner arch itself with head lowered by crescent shaped insert on corbels.
End gallery has attractive front with 2 rectangular panels under each long pierced narrow cast-iron panel, and each pair of these divided by a panelled pilaster. Four bays overall, with centre clock between pilasters. Deep moulded cornice below with modillions, and consoles under pilasters. Panels have applied late C19 urn and scroll embossed decoration, and cast-iron is to a scroll pattern. Entrance lobby has double doors left and right under overlights with inset hexagonal lantern (similar feature at Heol Awst chapel).

Reasons for Listing

Included as a handsome mid C19 Italianate chapel by a noted Welsh architect.

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