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Latitude: 51.7745 / 51°46'28"N
Longitude: -3.7837 / 3°47'1"W
OS Eastings: 277029
OS Northings: 209932
OS Grid: SN770099
Mapcode National: GBR Y5.ZD3C
Mapcode Global: VH5G2.CNKJ
Entry Name: Bethel Independent Chapel
Listing Date: 29 March 2000
Last Amended: 20 December 2002
Source ID: 23086
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated just off the A4068 some 600m N of its roundabout junction with the A4067.
Locality: Cwm-twrch Isaf
Built-Up Area: Ystradgynlais
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Independent chapel of 1925 replacing chapel of 1861-2 apparently designed by Thomas Griffiths of Ystalyfera, who designed Wern Chapel there in 1864.
Chapel with free classical gable front in painted imitation stone, coursed brown stone in small squared blocks to walling visible at sides and in gable. Slate roof with large Baroque timber cupola, square with chamfered angles, louvred arched openings, pilasters on angles, and deep cornice, broken forward on diagonals. Stepped leaded bellcast spirelet, square-plan with ball-and-cross finial. Main facade has open-pedimented big centrepiece with flat Greek mutules to pediment, over broad painted stone or stucco outer pilasters. Painted walling between with doorcase corniced under tripartite window with column shafts and broad elliptical blind lunette above, breaking into pediment. Lunette has stucco radiating bars and arch. Window has small-paned narrow side-lights and stained glass to centre. Plaque in gable above. Doorcase below is simple with moulded door surround, recessed panel inscribed ''''''''''''''''Bethel'''''''''''''''' and cornice over. Double doors with leaded overlight. Each side of centrepiece is narrow stone section with stucco block under short return of gable coping, and pair of stucco bands above and below a small rectangular ground floor light. Two-storey, 4-window rendered sides with plinth, arched surrounds to ground floor small-paned cross-windows and 3 stucco roundels between. Upper casement pairs in raised surrounds. Rear lower gabled range with door and 2 windows, then C19 rubble stone single storey range with 3 cambered-headed windows and stone voussoirs.
Interior of 1925. Three-sided gallery on 6 marbled iron columns, with canted ends, and pitch-pine panelled front, the panels alternately long and square. Cornice below, moulded rail above. Pews in pitch-pine, 3 blocks with vertically boarded backs and shaped bench ends. Set fawr has canted angles and panelled back. Pulpit of 1925 has steps each side of platform with square newels and big canted front. This has contrasted colours and grains to woodwork, a big roundel to front flanked by neo-classical reeded drops from small roundels. Moulded cornice below and moulded top rail. Behind pulpit is tall plain cambered-headed recess with high pitch-pine panelling. Lobby has 3-light leaded window and 2 doors. Plaster ceiling of 4 bays, 3-sided with painted timber arch-braced collar trusses on corbels, ceiled above collars, with plain plaster roundel vents.
Included as an unusual free classical chapel design of 1925 with striking facade and well-detailed cupola.
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