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Capel Seion

A Grade II Listed Building in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7975 / 51°47'51"N

Longitude: -4.1509 / 4°9'3"W

OS Eastings: 251772

OS Northings: 213177

OS Grid: SN517131

Mapcode National: GBR DN.XYX2

Mapcode Global: VH4JF.02FT

Entry Name: Capel Seion

Listing Date: 5 February 1999

Last Amended: 5 February 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21298

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: On a hilltop site, 1km west of Drefach, in the hamlet named after the chapel. Large stone-walled graveyard; detached vestry to east of chapel.

County: Carmarthenshire

Town: Llanelli

Community: Gorslas

Locality: Capel Seion

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Cwm-Mawr Station

History

Seion independent chapel was built in 1878, replacing a clom and thatch dissenting chapel of 1712, which had been enlarged in 1814. The site had originally been leased from Phillip Lloyd of Heol-ddu, but by 1839 the church appears to have possessed a freehold.

Capel Seion was built on the precise site of its predecessor, temporarily enveloping it; it is said to have cost, including annexes, over £1300. It was re-roofed in 1952-3 after storm damage. The windows of the front elevation and the glazing of the screen between the anteroom and the main interior were also renewed in 1953. The organ was installed in about 1960.

Additional land was acquired to the east side of the chapel in 1906 and a separate vestry built there in the following year.

Seion has additional importance as the independent church here was responsible for the foundation of several other chapels locally.

Exterior

A chapel of restrained design, the front neatly detailed with a slight Classical influence, but in overall form generally typical of the late-C19 village chapels of the district. The detailing is reminiscent of the neighbouring Capel Tabernacl, Cefneithin (1870). The front is in randomly-coursed rock-faced local sandstone; chiselled arisses at quoins. The dressings are in render or limestone and are emphasised in white paint. The chapel sides and rear are rendered, apart from the exposed quoins. Slate roof with tile ridge, cast iron rainwater goods. The stump of a front finial survives.

The front design suggests a pediment, with a thin double-corbelled cornice. The central features of the elevation are framed in a slightly recessed arch-headed giant panel breaking the cornice. The giant panel is thinly outlined with a painted stone reveal. The central features are twin doors, an inscription stone (recording the dates of the earlier chapel), decorative tripartite upper window emphasised in a limestone frame and standing on an extended sill, and at top a decorative louvre-ventilator in a limestone frame displaying the words 'Capel Seion Built 1878'. The louvres are in a quatrefoil frame. Tall flanking windows. At the foot there is a strongly marked plinth offset course. All the windows have stone sills and a simple round-headed tracery of three lights with decorative coloured leaded glass. The doors and the flanking windows have thin rendered reveals. Double two-panel pine doors with strong mouldings; segmental top rails. Fanlights over the top-rails with a circular insert feature. The windows of the side elevations are of timber, full height, with plain mullions and transoms and plain obscured glass.

Interior

Anteroom with terrazzo floor; semi-glazed doors to chapel with three lower panels. Twin stairs to gallery, with plain handrails and top doors of four panels. The window overlooking the interior and the upper panels of the doors are decoratively glazed, as part of a reglazing scheme of 1953. This included the tall flanking windows of the front elevation, partly lighting the anteroom and partly the gallery, and the tripartite window lighting the gallery.

The interior of the chapel has a fine gallery supported on seven cast-iron columns with floral caps, the shafts painted to resemble marble. The gallery front is slighly cantilevered out over the support beam. Broad panels beneath a cast-iron grille with trefoil perforations and moulded top rail. The gallery front is slightly curved at the corners. Central clock. Three rows of seating at the gallery sides, five at the rear, all curved at the corners. The organ pipes are divided between two cases of modern design erected at the gallery extremities. Downstairs there are four ranges of plain pine pews with a staggered centre division and two passages. Carved pew ends. Side pews angled or turned inwards to face the pulpit. Low boarded dado. The sedd fawr is raised 75mm and has a framed and boarded back with curved corners.

The pulpit has a panelled front with angled sides containing fretwork inserts. Heavily moulded top rail. The plinth panels are plain, topped by a chain decoration. Twin winding stairs with square newels and turned balusters. The newels have sunk faces and dark-stained top-knobs. Swept handrails. A striking large architectural back-frame to the preacher's position in Regency style, in plaster, consisting of two large and two small fluted pilasters, the latter carrying a reeded architrave; semi-elliptical fan under a framed, enriched and keyed arch springing from the larger outer pilasters, all in low-relief without a central recess.

Flat ceiling divided by main ribs into lozenges; large circular central feature; boarded margins with fretwork-covered grilles at corners.

Reasons for Listing

A large village chapel of good restrained design with fine interior joinery.

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