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English Baptist Church

A Grade II* Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8568 / 51°51'24"N

Longitude: -4.3092 / 4°18'33"W

OS Eastings: 241067

OS Northings: 220098

OS Grid: SN410200

Mapcode National: GBR DG.T7R3

Mapcode Global: VH3LH.8L7G

Entry Name: English Baptist Church

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9741

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated set back from the street in paved forecourt, between Nos 7 and 8.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthen

History

Baptist chapel of 1869-70, on the site of the Black Horse inn. The first major work of George Morgan, leading C19 architect of Carmarthen, who was a deacon of the chapel. He acted both as contractor and architect. The chapel cost £1,800 and was opened on 21/6/1870. The Rev. Evan Thomas was the first minister here from 1872. Organ installed in 1887 in case designed by Morgan, but the organ gallery had been there from the first. It has been associated with some important figures, in particular Dr Gwilym Davies, pioneer of social service in Wales and leading figure in the founding of UNESCO.

Exterior

Chapel with fine Bath stone temple front, 5-bays with 4-column full Corinthian detached portico to centre 3 bays, the columns paired each side of broader opening and raised on fine terrace up flight of 7 broad stone steps with ashlar wall each side. Columns are large (some 8.2m high), on moulded bases with finely carved capitals, deep entablature over with dentil course in fine modillion cornice and pediment. Blank tympanum. Narrow side bays have similar full entablature. Hipped slate roof Pilaster responds to outer columns framing chapel centre of 2 storeys. Rusticated ground floor with band at impost level to arched door with moulded head and scroll keystone. Double 2-panel doors and plain fanlight. Moulded band between floors. First floor 3 well-spaced arched windows, larger to centre, in arched recesses with moulded heads and impost band. Windows have earlier C20 leaded glazing, moulded imposts and panels below flush sills. Outer bays each have rubble stone basements with single opening, ashlar framed with keystone. Ashlar above, rusticated base as on centre with plinth and band, under narrow arched window at intermediate level, with moulded architrave swept out at base. Blind roundel above. Horned sash windows to basement.
Four-bay snecked rubble side elevations with long narrow ashlar-framed arched windows, bracket sills, impost band and eaves band. Coped end gable with apex vent. Lower organ-chamber with stepped 3-light window and yellow-brick lean-to.

Interior

Rectangular interior with raked gallery across front wall. Behind platform is tall and broad round arch with painted foliage and fluted pilasters; similar arch beyond, with lettering, opens onto organ chamber; between is the chamber for the choir with roundel windows to sides. The main body of the chapel has panelled dado and original furnishings including great seat with simple balustrade and baptistery. Complex timber roof springing from coved cornice and volute brackets; divided into 4-bays with tie beams and lightly pitched and ribbed boarded ceiling; the central sections of each bay are flanked by arched braced longitudinal members and have central octagonal panels. Gallery has pierced cast-iron band to front and is carried on fluted cast-iron columns. Organ in ornate case designed by Morgan. Lobby to front and basement hall below with 2 rows of cast-iron columns.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as one of the most architecturally-ambitious classical chapels in Wales.

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