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Sardis Independent Chapel and attached schoolroom

A Grade II Listed Building in Ystradgynlais, Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7795 / 51°46'46"N

Longitude: -3.7597 / 3°45'34"W

OS Eastings: 278701

OS Northings: 210442

OS Grid: SN787104

Mapcode National: GBR Y6.Z02P

Mapcode Global: VH5G2.SJ8Q

Entry Name: Sardis Independent Chapel and attached schoolroom

Listing Date: 21 March 2000

Last Amended: 4 December 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23032

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated near the centre of Ystradgynlais on the N side of the Afon Tawe just NE of the junction of Commercial Street and Heol Giedd.

County: Powys

Town: Swansea

Community: Ystradgynlais

Community: Ystradgynlais

Built-Up Area: Ystradgynlais

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

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Ystradgynlais

History

Independent chapel of 1860-1 designed by the Rev Thomas Thomas. First chapel built in 1840-1 for £800. Contractor for new chapel was Thomas Morgans, Cwmgiedd, the cost £1600. The square shape of the chapel is unusual in Thomas' works and may reflect the shape of the earlier chapel, but Bethel Chapel, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire, of 1862 by Thomas, has similarities. Schoolroom adjoining of 1926.

Exterior

Chapel, whitewashed stucco with hipped slate roof. Near-square plan with facade on shorter front. Three-bay front with big paired pilasters framing outer bays, the pairs divided by an incised slot and with single moulded caps and bases. Single pilasters on matching one-bay left side-wall return. Cornices over outer bays and returned on left side, broad frieze under eaves but no top moulding. Narrow centre bay has the lower course of cornice but not frieze, instead a gable rises through eaves with plaque and keyed roundel. Eaved gable with corbel brackets. Side bays have high plinth with moulded cornice and rock-faced stone base, broken forward under the pilasters. Long arched outer windows with moulded short impost band, arches and keystones. Thin incised line defines window jambs. Centre has ground floor arched doorway with panelled double doors, panelled pilasters inlaid in tile, moulded arch and triple key. Short impost band each side at level of pilaster bases. First floor Palladian window with pilasters, cornice, moulded arch and keystone. Brackets under sill, cornice level with imposts of outer windows. Centre window has 8 large panes, side lights have 3 narrow panes.
Four-bay sides with long 2-light arched windows, moulded arches, impost band and sill band. First bay of left side has pilasters flanking, right side is plain. Rear has 2 arched windows.
Almost detached schoolroom to left, connected by short link towards rear also stuccoed. Door with window over and window each side, all arched. Three arched windows to left side wall.

Interior

Three-sided galleries with curved angles. Painted grained front in fine contrasted tones with cornice under long horizontal panels with inset panels and arch-panelled pilasters dividing. Paired brackets under each pilaster. Nine cast-iron columns. Painted grained box pews with roll-mould to tops in 3 blocks, outer ones facing inward and raked. All with panel backs in contrasted browns. Galleries have similar painted grained raked pews. Organ by Peter Conacher & Co of Huddersfield. Ceiling with deep coved border and boarded centre, diagonally ribbed to big plaster rose of floral centre and 4 moulded rims.
Set fawr has balustraded rail with curved angles and newels with Jacobean-style finials. Rails join to foot of curving baluster stairs each side of pulpit, similar newels. Pulpit front is similarly balustraded, to complex curved form, short serpentine curve each side, newel, and broad curved front with solid centre panel and book rest. Some stencil decoration in band below, and panelled base. Big plaster arch behind with panelled piers, console brackets and moulded arch with keystone. Gabled stucco hoodmould over. Long window each side has mid C20 patterned coloured glass. Lobby has similar glass of after 1950, canted sides with double doors.
Vestry/schoolroom has boarded ceiling with plaster border and pierced timber corner vents. Partitioned stage one end and 2 small classrooms divided by entrance lobby the other with full height glazed screen over.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a well-designed and well-preserved chapel by one of the leading Welsh chapel architects, and with notable painted-grained interior woodwork, and unusual curved pulpit.

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