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Latitude: 51.6824 / 51°40'56"N
Longitude: -4.1637 / 4°9'49"W
OS Eastings: 250510
OS Northings: 200394
OS Grid: SN505003
Mapcode National: GBR GS.V1SG
Mapcode Global: VH3MB.SZ55
Entry Name: Tabernacle Chapel including forecourt Railings
Listing Date: 12 March 1992
Last Amended: 12 March 1992
Source ID: 11900
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated at corner of Town Hall Square, overlooking Town Hall gardens.
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
1872-3 Independent Chapel by John Humphreys of Morriston in brown snecked rubble stone with extensive Bath stone dressings. Slate roof.
Entrance facade with monumental Corinthian 3-bay arcade to centre, under pediment, and narrow one-window wings. Varied round-arched detail typical of Humphreys' work. Centre has moulded ashlar cornice and pediment with plate-traceried roundel and Gothic lettered plaque 'Tabernacle 1873'. Arcade below has moulded arches on massive attached columns, ashlar patterned roundels in spandrels and recessed facade with extensive horizontal ashlar banding. Centre arched doorway with column shafts and recessed cusping to head. Panelled door. Each side bay has pair of narrow lights with shouldered lintels, flush bands at sills and heads. Then at intermediate level all 3 bays have 2 pairs of narrow arched lights each, with sill band and further band at arch level. Main windows, under arches are paired, arched with ashlar frames, rubble stone panels beneath sills to lower ashlar main sill. 'Florentine' window tracery of 2 arched lights and roundel above to each window and marginal glazing bars.
Narrow flanking bays each side of centrepiece have ground floor arched door with recessed cusped head and long arched window above, with Florentine tracery and marginal glazing bars. Flush banding at sill and arch levels, also between levels. Top parapet with pierced shouldered-lintelled openings and end pedestal carrying neo-Grec anthemion blocks. Bays are returned by one bay each side, paired arched windows above and triple arched lights below.
Side elevations of 5 windows, in giant arcade with ashlar capitals. Two-storey arrangement of arch windows above and paired narrow arched windows below. Rear is gabled with 2-storey 2-window projection.
Forecourt has iron railings on coped rubble wall, extending to west in front of Sunday School building. Spearhead rails with twisted uprights. Two pairs of iron gates with dog-bars between blue lias ashlar gatepiers.
Fine unaltered interior under wide elliptical-arched panelled ceiling, corniced with corbel blocks to ribs. Four sided gallery with curved angles on 4 x 3 cast-iron columns, coved cornice under gallery front with walnut veneer panels and decorative pierced cast-iron above. Gallery front drops behind pulpit. Half-elliptical 'set fawr' with pierced cast iron rail and pulpit with stairs each side, twisted balusters and Gothic round-arched panelled front. Gallery behind pulpit was possibly inserted with organ in 1901. Organ recess has big Corinthian pilasters each side and on inner faces, and elliptical panelled arch. Some circa 1900 patterned glass each side of organ. Organ by W G Vowles, Bristol. In 4 angles of interior are open-well stairs to galleries.
A fine example of John Humphreys' distinctive style in chapel building, and probably the most elaborate chapel in Llanelli. The cost was supposed to be ú4,100.
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