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United Reformed Church including vestry wing

A Grade II Listed Building in Pontycymer, Bridgend

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6108 / 51°36'38"N

Longitude: -3.5827 / 3°34'57"W

OS Eastings: 290501

OS Northings: 191408

OS Grid: SS905914

Mapcode National: GBR HD.9MK9

Mapcode Global: VH5GY.VS90

Entry Name: United Reformed Church including vestry wing

Listing Date: 30 July 1997

Last Amended: 30 July 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18628

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated on a corner site just E of and above the main valley thoroughfare Oxford Street, the side elevation being on Meadow Street which was the original valley thoroughfare.

County: Bridgend

Community: Garw Valley (Cwm Garw)

Community: Garw Valley

Locality: Pontycymer

Built-Up Area: Pontycymer

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Blaengawr

History

Originally the English Congregational Church, the Cause founded 1893 by members of the nearby Tabernacl Welsh Congregational Church. First church on site was a zinc chapel and present church designed by P J Thomas and built by P. Gaylard, both of Bridgend, 1904-6. Affiliated to United Reformed Church in 1972.

Exterior

In late Gothic style. Built of coursed rock-faced sandstone with generous and prominent ashlar dressings, yellow brick dressings to side left; Welsh slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles and apex cross. The main chapel is a two storeyed single cell building with a small porch on the gable end facade. This frontage has a large first storey window of 4 lights with cusped tracery, hoodmoulds with foliage stops and moulded patterned bases. Flanking this are two staircase bays created by pairs of buttresses with deep paired ashlar offsets and pinnacles, the outer higher and decorated with crockets, and enclosing single light pointed arched staircase windows with cusped heads, hoodmoulds and coloured multipane glazing on each floor. Ground floor has stone steps to gabled porch which has moulded pointed arched doorway with heavy foliage stops, attached piers and large diagonal buttresses and is flanked by two cusped headed lights with steeply gabled surrounds topped by large attached finials. Dedication stones under windows now illegible. In front is a small forecourt bounded by iron railings and a small wall right.

Side elevation fronting Meadow Street has a 6 windows range of paired lights to each storey, each with pointed and cusped head within a square headed 2 storey moulded surround with shallow hood mould and angled sill. Prominent string course at plinth level with ventilator grilles above. Attached is a rendered gabled vestry cross wing with large triple arched light window, shallow pilasters and separate entrance door; this joins a further wing with separate entrance from left side of main frontage.

Interior

A raked rear gallery has bowed decorative painted cast iron front supported by 2 slender cast iron columns with foliage capitals. Six bay roof with boarded ceiling arched in 5 panels, each truss supported by corbels. Slightly raked ground floor has 3 blocks of numbered pews. Organ with painted pipes by Peter Conacher of Huddersfield front left. Wooden pulpit, small font and communion table, with plain panelled reredos in memory of John Thomas Rhys 1867-1938 founder and first pastor; communion rail moved 1970s but still extant. Above reredos is a mosaic on the theme Blessed are the Pure in Heart set within stone canopywork and a decorative moulded stone surround with high crocketed finials. Figurative stained glass in 4 light window with cusped tracery above reredos; decorative glass to gallery window; plain coloured rectangular quarries to side windows which incorporate single opening lights; patterned coloured glass to vestibule. To rear a suite of rooms comprising minister''s room, meeting room and vestry, with original doors, surrounds and boarded dados.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a chapel of eye-catching Gothic design retaining its original furnishings and with important frontages on 2 streets, and for group value with other buildings in Meadow Street: Tabernacl Chapel, Ffaldau Workmen''s Institute and Billiard Hall and the former Coop Bakery.

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