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Latitude: 51.7696 / 51°46'10"N
Longitude: -4.3672 / 4°22'2"W
OS Eastings: 236756
OS Northings: 210527
OS Grid: SN367105
Mapcode National: GBR DC.ZRCQ
Mapcode Global: VH3LV.8S2B
Entry Name: Salem Baptist Chapel
Listing Date: 2 September 1999
Last Amended: 28 November 2003
Source ID: 22272
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated in Ferryside on the E side of Carmarthen Road some 250m NE of the railway station.
Community: St. Ishmael (Llanismel)
Community: St. Ishmael
Built-Up Area: Ferryside
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Baptist chapel of 1877-8 by George Morgan of Carmarthen, built for £1,500. It is one of Morgan's series of important Romanesque designs of the later 1870s and a slightly varied version of his Priory Independent Chapel, Carmarthen, of 1875-6, which cost £2,200. Matthias & Jenkins of Ferryside were the builders.
A chapel of rock-faced coursed rubble stone with Bath stone dressings and slate roof. It has a Romanesque style winged facade with centre coped gable flanked by steep hipped roofs over the stairs, with iron cresting. The main gable is advanced with ashlar quoins and plinth, a big Romanesque stepped arched triplet in each floor: in the ground floor the door is flanked by single lights, in the first floor it is larger and has a centre window flanked by single lights. Both floors have bi-colour voussoirs and thick column shafts with carved capitals. The ground floor has punched roundel patterns in the ashlar tympanum over panelled doors and plain lights each side, the outer jambs continued to the ground. The first floor has a centre 2-light window under 3 roundels, all unmoulded ashlar and flanking single lights with roundels. A moulded impost cornice to each side is aligned with the corbelled eaves cornice of the stair towers. The gable apex has 9-bay stepped arcading with stilted heads on 10 diminishing columns. Side bays have similar quoins and plinth, and long single windows with flush rusticated jambs and bi-colour voussoirs to the arches. Ashlar recessed single light windows each have a roundel above.
The 2-storey, 4-bay sides have 2-light windows in flush ashlar surrounds, paired arched heads above, paired cambered heads below. All have bi-colour voussoirs. Coped rear gable.
The interior is galleried on 3 sides, the gallery on 3x1x3 cast iron columns by Bright & Garrard of Carmarthen, with large scrolled foliate caps. The gallery is curved at the angles and projects from a cornice over columns on carved brackets with panelling to the underside. The frontal has a moulded cornice under long panels of vertical boarding under strips of pierced cast iron to a pattern of crosses in quatrefoils (also found at Ebeneser Chapel, Crwbin of 1892, by Morgan). Plain pilaster strips are between the long panels, moulded top rail. Centre clock. Pine pews have boarded backs in 3 blocks. The gallery pews are simpler, with boarded backs. Coloured patterned glass is in the main window behind the gallery. The lobby below has a 3-light window with double doors in canted sides. A 3-sided set fawr has open Gothic arcading. A low platform has steps up each side and similar Gothic arcading with scrolled iron inserts. Chamfered square newels with pyramid finials. Panelling behind in the centre bay comprises a big plaster arched feature with hood. Within the arch is a stepped triple arcade, the centre broader with roundel, the sides narrow with stilted heads, 4 column shafts, and another roundel between centre arch and main over-arch.
The roof has 4-bay arched-brace collar trusses, on corbels, ceiled slope and at collar level. A plaster lozenge is in each bay.
Listed for its architectural interest as one of the series of important Romanesque designs by George Morgan, which constitute a distinctly original group in Welsh chapel architecture.
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