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Latitude: 51.8126 / 51°48'45"N
Longitude: -3.914 / 3°54'50"W
OS Eastings: 268151
OS Northings: 214400
OS Grid: SN681144
Mapcode National: GBR DZ.WXG4
Mapcode Global: VH4JC.3PNS
Entry Name: Old Bethel Chapel
Listing Date: 3 September 1991
Last Amended: 9 January 1998
Source ID: 11168
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Located on a remote upland plateau on the N side of the Amman Valley approximately 1 km from the A474. Reached along short lane off mountain road at the lower end of a walled and gated burial ground.
Community: Cwmamman (Cwmaman)
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Built as an Independent Chapel and historically important in the spread of Nonconformism in the area, associated with the Methodist Minister Peter Williams. Although dated 1773, the present building was largely rebuilt in 1825.
Whitewashed rubble stone with slate roof. Facade on long wall, S facing. Simple, balanced front with pair of pointed-arched windows in centre with doorways left and right and smaller pointed-arched windows to gallery stairs at either end. Windows have wooden glazing bars, Y-tracery heads with small panes below (centre lights 18-panes and gallery stairs 9-panes) and stone voussoirs, painted stone sills and external shutters. Doorways have flat-arched stone voussoirs, plank doors. Small plaque on upper wall, incised in vernacular style, reads: 'This Bethel was built 1773'. Gable ends plain. Back wall has centre projecting stone stack with stepped offsets.
Fine C18 interior of great simplicity. Pulpit between entry doors on long side and raked gallery on three sides opposite. Stone flagged floor. Flat whitewashed ceiling of six bays, with soffits of tie beams visible. Gallery carried on cast-iron columns and later supports which replace original timber piers (one of which survives); stairs at either end, simple wooden balustrade, stick balusters and clock inset in panel opposite pulpit. Centre double block, and two side blocks of box-style pews to ground floor, some with fielded panels and simply curved bench ends. Gallery has plain raked box seats with open backs, and a top rail with inset candleholders. Hexagonal pulpit drum and stem, rising from wooden base shaft, with big seat in box pew to left and deacons' benches in front. Fireplace opposite pulpit on long wall has raised iron fire-basket set in flush whitewashed brick surround.
Listed and graded II* as an exceptionally well-preserved early C19 Welsh chapel. A very rare example in the region that retains its contemporary furnishings, and has one of the last early C19 interiors to survive unaltered in SW Wales.
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