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Latitude: 51.8051 / 51°48'18"N
Longitude: -3.9234 / 3°55'24"W
OS Eastings: 267484
OS Northings: 213574
OS Grid: SN674135
Mapcode National: GBR DZ.XFGQ
Mapcode Global: VH4JB.YW7M
Entry Name: Capel Bethania
Listing Date: 9 January 1998
Last Amended: 9 January 1998
Source ID: 19221
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated some 50m S of A474 on the E side of Brynlloi Road, enclosed by a coped stone boundary wall with iron railings and gates.
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Calvinistic Methodist chapel of 1906-7, designed by D Williams of Swansea, reported as costing £3,100.
Majestic gable-end facade faces N; eclectic compendium of Baroque, Beaux-Arts and Palladian themes. Roughly dressed stone blocks in courses and stucco, slate roof with tile ridge and brackets at eaves. Main front symmetrical with pairs of channelled pilasters at either end. Vast elliptical arch rises from cornice, with chapel name emblazoned at crown, and torch finial at gable apex. Pilasters have capitals with volutes and simple floral decoration. Line of pediment broken by big round arched central fanlight, flanking separate smaller windows either side, forming giant triple window composition. Centre window has ornate cambered transom with flamboyant projecting scroll decoration, separating lower 6-pane window from fanlight. Windows either side are 4-pane with cambered heads, and have smaller scrolls with shell decoration at head. Small lateral windows between pilasters at each side: stucco oculus with keyblocks above, rectangular light with stucco architrave and pediment below. Big stucco canopy over entrance doorway has pediment broken by fanlight supported on huge console brackets with acanthus leaf and festoon decoration. 6-panel grained double doors, with small decorative pediment applied as ornamental moulding to frieze rail. Pair of stucco cartouches on wall either side of canopy with date A.D.1906. Chamfered plinth with inset donor and foundation stones. E and W sides rendered, 2-storey. 5 window elevations; 6-panes with central mullion, cambered heads. To the rear SW schoolroom/vestry with cement rendered porch dated 1941.
Double doors into broad vestibule with corniced ceiling and encaustic tile floor. Stairs to gallery at either end and doors left and right to main chapel; six-panel (3 tall panels above 3 smaller) grained, with simple chamfered mouldings. Large auditorium with fine painted decoration. Ceiling deeply coved with honeysuckle frieze. Centre ceiling divided into 8 boarded pitch pine panels with 3 inset ventilators with pierced fleur-de-lys ornament. Three-sided gallery on 7 cast iron columns with stylised composite capitals. Above, moulded cornice decorated with wheatsheaf and foliated ornament. Gallery has curved angles, and a wooden front with pilasters separating ornamental cast iron panels decorated with delicate interlacing foliage. Clock in centre gallery opposite pulpit. Grained pews with close boarded backs in centre double block and side blocks. Raked gallery pews. High pulpit platform with curved steps each side. Deacons' seat in front has curved ends, and close-boarded panels at base with turned balusters in upper panels and moulded top rail. Organ behind pulpit, marked with makers name, 'Peter Conacher & Co. Huddersfield', set into monumental flat-headed, shouldered recess flanked by side pilasters with floral capitals.
Listed as an unusually elaborate design which illustrates the final flowering of chapel architecture in Wales. Historically important as illustrating the richness of chapel architecture associated with prosperity in local coal mining and tinplate industries before 1914.
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