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Latitude: 51.8271 / 51°49'37"N
Longitude: -4.7719 / 4°46'18"W
OS Eastings: 209081
OS Northings: 217912
OS Grid: SN090179
Mapcode National: GBR CV.W10F
Mapcode Global: VH2NZ.7BMN
Entry Name: Bethesda Congregational Chapel
Listing Date: 11 August 1997
Last Amended: 11 August 1997
Source ID: 18797
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: 100 m W of the Bethesda crossroads in the village of Bethesda, on the B4313, standing in a large graveyard; stone gatepiers, simple iron gates.
Community: Llawhaden (Llanhuadain)
Traditional County: Pembrokeshire
Bethesda is a chapel of late C18 origin, rebuilt in 1848 and restored in 1871. Meetings had at first been held in Pen Llwyn farm, the home of Dafydd Morris. The original chapel was built in 1797, under the Rev. S Lloyd, to serve a congregation which had already been in existence for about a century locally. Land from Pen Llwyn was donated for the site of the chapel. Early in the C19, however, the deeds were mislaid and the new owner of Pen Llwyn threatened to demolish the building and plough the site; this was narrowly averted by the rediscovery of the deeds.
Saved from this threat, the congregation had the confidence to rebuild in 1848. Their work cost £200, raised by Mr and Mrs S Thomas. At this time the graveyard was added and the first burial took place in 1849. A major restoration was undertaken in 1871 at the time of the Rev. D Griffiths, when £375 was spent.
The chapel stands back from the road, with a straight and slightly rising path from the gates to the door. The front gable and the left elevation are rendered, but the right elevation and the rear elevation are in plain stone. The roof is slated with a plain bargeboard and a finial to the front.
The front elevation has central double doors with flanking tall round-headed windows. There is a name tablet over the door with the dates of construction, rebuilding and restoration. At the apex of the front gable there is a round ventilator with surrounding moulding. Decorative rusticated quoins are worked in the render and there are decorative surrounds to the door and the windows. The windows have thick glazing bars. Large fanlight to the door with one central glazing bar. The side and rear elevations have two windows similar to those at the front, but with mullion and transom and margin glazing.
The interior is compactly planned with three main blocks of pews. The pulpit is a fine tall example, with six steps each side. There are shaped handrails with decorative newels and finials front and rear. Tall thin turned balusters. At the rear of the pulpit is an arched feature with gilded details.
The gallery is three-sided and stands on decorative cast-iron columns. Its front is panelled. There are single stairs to the rear.
Listed as an early C19 Chapel, retaining its original character through later restoration work; a well intergrated design with good joinery.
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