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Latitude: 51.8734 / 51°52'24"N
Longitude: -3.9937 / 3°59'37"W
OS Eastings: 262847
OS Northings: 221302
OS Grid: SN628213
Mapcode National: GBR DW.S21Z
Mapcode Global: VH4J3.Q5KP
Entry Name: Capel Tabernacl
Listing Date: 24 November 1998
Last Amended: 24 November 1998
Source ID: 20905
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated in Ffairfach on E side of A 483, some 200m S of crossroads, in graveyard with iron railings and stone piers to road.
Community: Cyngor Bro Dyffryn Cennen
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Independent chapel built in 1860 to the design of the Rev. Thomas Thomas of Landore ('Thomas Glandwr'). The first chapel was built in 1817 for a congregation established by William Jones at Tregib Mill, though a congregation had met for some years from about 1803 in an old stable on the Carmarthen road, Llandeilo, before disbanding. The chapel was rebuilt in 1840, a British School built nearby in 1854 and the chapel rebuilt again in 1860 for £1,236/7/3d.(£1,236.37) D. Williams of Llanfynydd was the builder and the new chapel measured 19.5m by 12.8m and opened 15-16 October 1861, the architect among the preachers. Organ, pulpit and end gallery added in 1889. An old postcard shows that some detail has gone, notably festoons between the giant pilasters.
Chapel, unpainted stucco with slate roof. Taller three-bay front block to road in classical style with giant pilasters, entablature, cornice, central small pediment and outer blocking course. Similar detail to one-bay side-wall returns. Pilasters are raised on pedestals to height of outer window sill-course and have simply-detailed moulded bases and caps, outer pilasters embrace angles to pair with side-wall pilaster. Entablature breaks forward over centre with 'TABERNACL' over 'CAPEL YR ANNIBYNWYR' in raised letters. Date 1860 in sunk panel below entablature, and centre bay has Palladian triple window with sillcourse, moulded cornices and moulded centre arch with keystone. Beneath are panelled painted-grained double doors in moulded arch with triple keystone and pilaster jambs. Outer bays are narrower with long, arched windows and large panes. Thin pilasters against main piers and moulded arch with keystone provide framing, and all walling below arches is slightly forward of that above, to align with centre bay wall plane. All keystones have eroded masks. Side-wall first bays are similar but without thin pilasters, instead an impost moulding. Side walls then have 4 bays with similar windows but plain close eaves and windows in shallow arched recesses with plain piers between. End wall has added lean-to organ recess. Louvred arched vent in gable above.
Galleried interior with coved ceiling. Ceiling has fine plaster rose set in later boarding with moulded ribs and pierced wood panels. Panelled original gallery on three sides. Gallery front has long panels with arch-panelled pilasters between. Cornice and curved angles. Nine iron columns with lotus capitals, 2 aisles, pine pews with doors and similar great seat. Lobby at entrance end with big arch window, coloured glass margins and half glazed double doors into outer lobby. Pulpit and organ gallery are part of the alterations of 1889 and have matching arcaded timber fronts with column shafts. Pulpit front breaks forward from platform, fluted angle piers and dentil cornice. Organ gallery is swept down from level of earlier gallery. Arched organ recess, organ with makers plaque, E. H. C. Salter and Sons, of Neath. On the walls marble memorials to successive ministers from Rev. William Williams (d1846).
Included as a prominent chapel with a classical facade and fine interior, by one of the leading Welsh chapel designers.
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