- Nprn: 7157
- Cadw Ref: 22/B/209(3)
- Cadw Record No: 10375
- Summary: The Calvinist Methodist cause in Aberystwyth had begun in 1770, the first chapel on the Mill Street site built in 1775. This first building was a small, long walled chapel, facing onto Mill Street with a doorway at either end. It was rebuilt in 1819, again as a long-wall chapel but on a larger scale, and again in 1832 due to a revival which boosted the congregation numbers yet again to 1200. This third chapel was of the new, fashionable gable entry style, with a full pediment and a series of round headed windows with interlacing tracery which marked a move away from the more domestic styles of the early chapels into a more confidant desire to be noticed as a place of worship. The two windows set between the outer doorways are a common feature in chapels of this date, indicating that the pulpit was set against the front wall, the two windows set either side designed to light the preacher from behind, casting his face in shadow while lighting the congregation for him.
By the 1870s, Tabernacle was again reaching capacity despite having started a daughter chapel, Seilo, in 1863, a building which was also more ornate and impressive than Tabernacle. In 1879 Richard Owen, the eminent chapel architect hailing from Liverpool, designed a new building in what he called a free Lombardo/Italian style, taking the opportunity to completely re-orientate the chapel due to the fact that of late the character of Mill Street has been damaged... and that of Powell Street rather improved and utilize the sloping nature of the site to create a schoolroom, classroom, library and all other necessary places within the lower end accessed from Mill Street.
The new Powell Street façade was built in local blue stone with Cefn/Ruabon dressings, the defining elements being the triplet window in the centre bay, with lower tier of etched glass panes topped by a tier of circular tracery lights.
It had been decried that internally there should be seating for 1200... in the interior galleries shall be fitted on three sides... all the the fittings will be of pitch pine, wrought clear and varnished, and the pulpit and deacons pew will be ornameted the ground floor pews arranged to face the pulpit now against the rear wall of the building and a sweeping three sided gallery was installed. In 1905 the organ by Harrison and Harrison of Durham was installed, a particularly fine example which was removed on the closing of the chapel in 2002.
RCAHMW, November 2009
- Description: 1. Cause begun c.1770; first chapel built 1785. Rebuilt 1819, 1831/2, & again 1879-80 in Classical style (Lombardo-Italian), gable entry type, to the design of Richard Owen of Liverpool. Status (1998): in chapel use. Destroyed by fire 2008.
2. The present chapel has a narrow-wall façade to Powell Street, in "a free Lombardo-Italian" style (Richard Owen, Aberystwyth Observer, op. cit.), faced with local blue stone in snecked courses with Cefn/ Ruabon freestone dressings. A 4-bay, 3-storey elevation to Mill Street. Central entry from Powell Street connects with flanking antechambers and with separate gallery vestibules in the lower flanking wings. Interior: end pulpit with organ pipes behind it, galleries round 3 sides and open-bench seats.
CD/Ecclesiastical/SN58SE from O.M. Jenkins.
3. Disused since Nov. 2002. Gutted by fire on night of 4/5 July 2008. R.F. Suggett/RCAHMW/July 2008.
4. Demolished on 11th July 2008, with the site completely cleared during the following week. Accompanying war memorial (NPRN 32641) moved prior to demolition and re-housed in Ceredigion Museum. Process of demolition recorded by RCAHMW photographers. T. Driver/RCAHMW/26th Sept 2008.
The Calvinistic Methodist cause at Aberystwyth developed from Capel Gosen, Rhydyfelin. The present Tabernacl is the 4th chapel associated with the cause since the construction of the 1st meeting house in 1784-5. This was built on a plot of ground between Mill Street, William Street and Grays Inn Road, leased by Mr Powell of Nanteos to Trustees who included David Rowlands of Llangeitho and his son. It was known as "Capel y Groes", possibly on account of its cruciform shape: it had a long-wall façade with 4 round-headed gallery window openings over round-headed end doorways. Both this and the 2nd and 3rd chapels had a chapel house and stable nearby. The 2nd chapel was built in 1819 when the 1st became too small and the 3rd was built in 1831. This presented a 2-storey, 4-bay and pedimented façade to Mill Street, not unlike the present Capel Mawr CM chapel, remodelled in 1865 at Llan-non. The windows were round-headed with intersecting tracery. The chapel was galleried, and capable of holding 1,200 persons (Moelwyn J. Williams, p.34). With new needs, for "a chapel with a schoolroom, a class room, a library and all other necessary places" it was decided to build the present 4th chapel (Aberystwyth Observer, Saturday,19 July, 1879); partly because "Of late years the character of Mill Street has been damaged by the construction of some works and other causes and ...... Powell Street has rather improved" (Richard Owen, quoted in "Aberystwyth Observer"), it was decided to take advantage of the split-level site, and have access to the new chapel from Powell Street, and access to the new basement schoolroom from Mill Street, allowing a 12' heaadroom for the schoolroom. The architect was Richard Owen of Liverpool, who addressed the congregation in Welsh at the foundation stone ceremony on 18 July, 1879. The foundation stone was laid by the MP, David Davies of Llandinam, who gave 200 to the cause, while the architect described the new chapel, then in course of construction, the old chapel simultaneously "fast disappearing from ..... View" (Aberystwyth Observer, op. cit.). The Clerk of Works was Mr W. Davies, and the Contractor, Mr James Williams, both of Aberystwyth. The new chapel was opened on 3 & 4 August, 1880.
Electric light fittings were installed in 1903, with a special service on 15 November. The present organ was a product of Messrs Harrison & Harrison, Durham, and the opening recital was held on 31 May, 1905. The War Memorial at the front of the chapel was the work of Professor Mario Rutelli of Rome and Sicily, and was unveiled on 6 July, 1921. The Jubilee Celebrations were held on 30 October, 1930. White-lettered bronze memorial plaques to former Ministers - The Reverend Thomas Levi and The Reverend J.D. Evans - were unveiled on 27 March, 1949, and a similar memorial to The Reverend R. J. Rees was unveiled on 28 June, 1964.
From 1784 to 1919, about 55 associations or quarterly synods of the Calvinistic Methodist Connexion were held at Aberystwyth and, from 1812-1843, the Association visited the Church at Tabernacl every year (NLW, Dept. of Mss., Doc. 18186). Aberystwyth Methodism was also associated with the drawing up of The Confession of Faith in 1823.
Present chapel with narrow-wall façade to Powell Street, in "a free Lombardo-Italian" style (Richard Owen, Aberystwyth Observer, op. cit.), faced with local blue stone in snecked courses with Cefn/ Ruabon freestone dressings. 4-bay, 3-storey elevation to Mill Street, reminiscent of the 3rd chapel there. Centre entry from Powell Street connects with flanking antechambers, and with separate gallery vestibules in the lower flanking wings. End pulpit with organ pipes behind it. Galleries round 3 sides. Open-bench seats, the side, ground-floor seats largely facing into the centre. Basement schoolroom, classroom and vestry.
The front elevation in Powell Street: comprises a 3-bay centre with pediment, raised above flanking end wings of 2 bays with hipped slate roofs. Front wall faced with blocks of local blue (now dark), roughly-squared stone in snecked courses; Cefn/ Ruabon quoins and dressings; plinth; modillion and cill band at gallery level, and carved foliage impost bands in gallery storey to centre and wing windows; eaves band and balustraded parapet.
Lower 2-storey end wings each with outer staircase window and inner doorway at ground floor, and paired and round-headed window to gallery storey. Flat-headed ground-floor window opening of ashlar, with quoined architrave, with stopped and chamfered ashlar jambs and pedimental lintel; raked cills of darker ashlar on brackets: contain brown-painted and 2-light window frame, with 4 glass panes, still partly etched, below a transom, and with a single, etched-glass pane above. 2 steps up to the ashlar-framed doorway, leading to gallery vestibule: pilasters with carved caps e.g. anthemion, palmette, fern, entablature with dentil cornice and pedimental blocking course over. Each doorway contains a pair of brown-painted late-C19 doors, each of 6 moulded, vertical, panels, with tallest centre panels; overlight of translucent glass. Round-headed paired gallery window with moulded heads with panel keyblocks, banded centre pilaster with foliage caps and quoined and stop-chamfer outer jamb. The window openings contain 2-tier glazing: a 6-pane lower tier of etched glass, with diagonal top corners and margin panes; circular and plate-traceried upper tier inset with ashlar cross, its panes also of etched glass. Above gallery window, there is a balustraded ashlar parapet with corner pedestal with urn finial, set before a hipped slate "turret" roof with red tile cresting.
The 3-bay centre portion of the front elevation has an ashlar porch, and flanking single-light window openings also of ashlar, the last with quoined architrave and stop-chamfer jambs, pedimental lintel, raking cill and transom window, on NE. with etched upper pane. Ashlar plaques: plaque over l.h. window inscribed "Adeiladwyd/1879" and, over r.h. window, inscribed "Erected/ 1879". Porch set above 2 steps: ashlar columns, their caps carved with contrasting foliage motifs, some Gothic, some classical, as are also caps to responds; entablature with dentil cornice and balustraded parapet, the cornice in line with modillion band at gallery level. Porch floor of encaustic tiles, the larger centre portion of red, black and gold encaustic tiles, laid lozenge-wise inside a black tile border; to each side of porch floor, a concrete slab and wooden handrail.
Centre gallery triplet window, its window heads of uniform height, but the windows much taller than the paired gallery windows in the flanking wings (see above). In this centre triplet, the lower tier of glazing is of 8 panes, largely etched, above panelled aprons; the circular upper tier of glazing is inset with punched circlets and spandrels; framework of quoined architraves and stopped and chamfered jambs, moulded heads and panelled keyblocks, carved impost strings; the common inner pilasters with fluted upper shafts and carved caps, rising from reeded centre panels, in line with reeded panels flanking the window opening.The centre portion is framed at ground floor by long and short ashlar quoins and at 1st floor by ashlar pilasters with carved foliage caps, beneath a triangular pediment with "Tabernacl" inscribed in raised letters on ashlar plaque in tympanum.
Side elevations: 3-storey, 4-bay cement-rendered side elevations with iron ties; articulated by moulded cill strings at ground floor and gallery and by gallery impost string, all within framework of projecting giant pilaster strips merging into smooth eaves band over a cornice with modillions in each bay. Paired and single window openings alternate, the basement and ground-floor openings flat-headed and the gallery windows round-headed. The single window openings at the Powell Street end continue the articulation of the end bays of the Powell Street elevation at ground and gallery floors (see above), but with single-light windows at both storeys; the balustraded ashlar parapet terminates at each side in a pedestal with urn finial. At basement storey, the other side elevation windows are of 4 lights, each lower light of 8 panes and each upper light of 2; the paired window at the Mill Street end with blocked outer window with moulded architrave and key block; the paired window in the 3rd bay is similar but in reverse; ashlar-framed doorway in end bay at Powell Street end. Four-light "ground-floor" windows, each lower light of 6 panes and each upper light of 2. The gallery windows are similar but have fanlights at the top enclosed by moulded heads with plain keyblocks, above the impost bands.
Mill Street elevation: 3 storeys, 4 bays, and faced with render, lined as if of ashlar, the ground floor green painted; raised pediment above the centre and slate roof with pierced red crest tiles and lead flashing over the end "wings". At street level are outer window bays flanking centre doorways, leading to basement schoolrooms. 1 step up to each round-headed doorway which has a moulded head with keyblock and is set on carved brackets; green-painted flush doors and frames; fanlights with external grilles. Flat-headed outer window openings at ground floor have green-painted moulded architraves and cills, inset with renewed and brown-stained wood-framed windows of 4-lights, the 2 lower lights of 8 panes and the 2 upper lights of 2. Moulded cill string and cill band to chapel at ground floor and gallery. The 4 flat-headed window openings to the chapel at "ground floor" have moulded frames, the 2 blocked centre openings with cill band/string and with more ornately moulded heads and keyblocks. The window frames in the outer 2-light windows have been renewed, and the 4 lights to each window comprise 2 lower lights of 6 panes and 2 upper lights of 2. The gallery storey has a blocked triplet in the centre, below the pediment; in raised letters on the entablature: "Tabernacle 1785". The blocked triplet has pilasters with banded shafts, caps and bases, and moulded heads with keyblocks, linked by moulded impost string to the semi-circular headed windows in the end bays which are similar to the "ground floor" windows, but with fanlights over.
Mill Street forecourt, gates and railings: the shallow forecourt strip before the doorway is laid with diamond-block paviours of Ruabon-type; concrete to each side. 2 slate steps with dark-blue brick risers in the 2 gateways before the chapel doorways, the gateways flanking a centre bay of railings, with both railings and gates of similar design to those enclosing the NE. garden along Mill Street; panelled end standards-cum-gate piers with urn finials. The black-painted gates are each of 6 uprights with finials between larger end finials, and are flanked in turn by outer gate piers of ashlar, octagonal, with tapering finials above square chamfered bases. The gate piers are flanked by outer walls and railings, the railings returning in a curve on NE. to the front walls of the chapel, and on SW. returning to a garden wall.
Gardens, walls and railings: an outline: forecourt in Powell Street formerly with front railings and gates; the small garden now to each side is enclosed by walls and railings. Wedge-shaped garden on NE., linking Powell and Mill Streets, and linked to forecourt strip, wall and railings in Mill Street (see above).
Gardens, walls and railings: details: the Powell Street forecourt is laid with blue-grey diamond-block paviours of Ruabon type, extending outwards to an ashlar kerb, merging at the NE. end into 2 steps. Until 1922 the Powell Street forecourt was enclosed at the front by walls, railings and gates. An alteration was made so that these were removed , and that walls and railings returned as now to NE. and SW. end "wings" of the chapel, with one forecourt gate re-used? In each return; the railings thus presently enclose a small garden at NE. and SW. ends of the forecourt. The walls beneath the railings are faced with dark, rock-faced stone, with ashlar coping; the railings have uprights rising alternately to bottom and top rails, with tripartite finials; band of punched quatrefoils beneath the top rail; rectangular standards with similar, but larger finials; gates of similar design, but minus the quatrefoil band.
SW. War Memorial garden with 4 bays of railings and gate in return to chapel, and with 3 bays of railings facing on to Powell Street; panelled iron corner pier, formerly a gate pier, with urn finial. NE. garden with 2 bays of railings and gates in return to chapel and with 2 bays on to Powell Street; panelled iron corner pier as above. Also, each garden in Powell Street with octagonal end pier with tapering finial, all of ashlar on square bases, on NE. flanking a C19 iron gate of similar design to the forecourt railings but with curved braces; tapering octagonal gate pier beyond, of render over brick.
Within the SW. garden is the 1st World War Memorial, to the design of Mario Rutelli of Rome and Sicily, "One of the most brilliant sculptors of the day" (Welsh Gazette, 30 June 1921). It comprises a bronze, winged and tunic-clad figure with a wreath in its hair, standing on a bronze sphere, with its weight on the ball of its left foot and with its right leg extended diagonally backward, bent at the knee, and bearing a bundle of palms in its arms - "in the act of alighting on the earth to impart the news of victory and peace to all ....the palms symbols of the victories won by the sacrifice of the young men whose names are inscribed beneath" (Welsh Gazette, 7 July, 1921). The bronze sphere is thus inscribed with the names of the 14 men from the Church who died, in turn beneath the inscription: "Er cof am/ wroniaid/ Eglwys y Tabernacl/ Aberystwyth/ Y Rhyfel Mawr 1914-18". The bronze sphere is set above a white pedestal of Sicilian granite, in turn on a dark stone base, the pedestal bearing a bronze plaque inscribed: "fu henwau'n perarogli sydd" & "goleuni y bywyd" and with a bronze replica of the official seal of the Calvinistic Methodist connexion (the dove descending on an open bible). On the NW. face, a tablet bearing the name of those from the church fallen in the 1939-45 war (for a full account: Welsh Gazette, 7 July, 1921 (NLW)).
NE. wedge-shaped garden linking Mill & Powell Streets: the area alongside the NE. side elevation of the chapel is enclosed by a stone wall with slate capping and by iron railings with tri-partite finials, the last with circular uprights and 3-tier, foliage and tri-partite finials, similar to but not identical to those along Powell Street; standards with larger finials. The wedge-shaped garden on NE. of the wall has a gravel path leading down from the Powell Street gate which encloses it on the NW.; it is enclosed on NE. by a house and adjoining stone garden wall and on SE. along Mill Street by a 0.97 ms. High wall of rock-faced stone in snecked courses with slate coping and iron railings which have circular uprights with tri-partite finials and sqaure, chamfered standards with larger, similar finials. The Mill Street railings extend to the projecting pilaster on the side wall of the chapel, but the wall itself continues in front of the Mill Street elevation (please see above).
Powell Street vestibules: the centre entrance in Powell Street, and the flanking gallery entrances, lead into vestibules with linking ante-chambers, the last containing the doorways into the ground floor of the chapel.
Vestibule & ante-chamber floor covering: of patterned encaustic tiles, comprising borders [gold stars in red lozenges on a black ground] which enclose a repeating pattern [of gold crosses on black, set lozengewise on red, and framed by further red lozenges with "gold" quatrefoils at their angles with inset fleurons].
Vestibule wall covering: beige-painted plaster above a matchboarded dado.
Centre vestibule: the external doorway from Powell Street is framed by canted walling; red plaster ceiling with white plaster rose and white moulded cornice; a coloured and stained-glass window backing on to the chapel. A glazed screen separates the centre vestibule from each flanking ante-chamber, each glazed screen comprising a two-thirds glazed centre door and side lights: etched translucent glass panes in stopped and chamfered frames, above matchboarded panels set in moulded frames; overlights of similar glass.
The flanking antechambers each have a wall bench beneath the single-light external window, facing the pairs of doors opening on to the ground floor of the chapel. The ante-chambers are each linked to their flanking gallery stair vestibules by a 4-panel stopped and chamfered door.
In the gallery stair vestibules, the staircases have a matchboarded dado, lower flights of 6 steps with an inner balustrade of turned wood balusters; 1 step on turn and an upper flight of 15 steps with matchboarded sides and 2 wooden handrails. There is a single gallery door [pine and of 6 stop-chamfer panels in 2 tiers, and with porcelain & brass handles] at the bottom of each upper flight of steps. From the SW. vestibule, a wooden staircase leads down to the basement: top flight of 4 steps, 2 steps on a turn, and then a folding green baize door at the top of 14 steps with inner balustrade of turned wood balusters.
Floor and wall coverings at ground floor: floor covering of grey-patterned carpet strips on brown linoleum in chapel aisles; wooden-boarded flooring beneath chapel seats. Matchboarded dado in part. The side walls are painted beige and lined as if for ashlar; painted-plaster soffit to gallery. The pulpit wall is of unpainted render. Organ pipes now above the pulpit, the pipes a ?replacement for the lofty, pedimented and double-pilastered aedicule visible here until 1904-5. In the side walls, flat-headed window openings with slightly sloping timber cills, stop-chamfer jambs, white painted as are the reveals; renewed wood-framed windows.
Floor and wall coverings in gallery: lino strips on wooden-boarded aisle floors. The side walls and SE. end wall have a matchboarded dado. The side walls are cream painted with grey impost band and cornice. The front windows to Powell Street are set higher, especially the centre windows. Moulded window heads with foliage-ornamented keyblocks.
Ceiling: plaster ceiling cornice, panelled and with cut brackets; not present in centre bays at Powell Street end. The ceiling is divided into 35 sunk panels - of 5 panels width and 7 panels length - by plaster-cased ceiling beams terminating in plaster foliage brackets below the ceiling cornice. The sunk panels in the ceiling are as described by the architect in 1889, mostly ornamented with white diagonal ribs on a vermillion ground, with foliage motifs at the intersection of the ribs. The 2nd, 4th and 6th panels in the centre and along NE. and SW. sides, contain larger circular panels that frame ornamental plaster roses, the centre circular panels more ornate. 20th-century pendant electric light fittings: metal chains and white opaque glass light holders, replacing former electroliers.
Gallery: gallery round sides and Powell Street end, the gallery front curved at the intersections. Gallery supported by 9 grey-painted and fluted iron columns with foliage caps, in turn supporting a stopped and chamfered gallery beam, the beam faced with varnished pitch pine and zig-zag string. A large iron bracket projects from each gallery column and supports a flat, cantilevered and panelled soffit beneath the gallery front. The gallery front is of varnished wood, picked out in gilding, and is faced with wide panels with gilded edging with inset white-painted and turned balusters; these panels are divided into bays by low projecting pedestals which are in turn inset with ironwork panels. Circular clock face.
Seating: open bench seats with shaped and chamfered bench ends and a top bead, the stop-chamfer panelled backs with a similar top bead; umbrella pans and brass umbrella holders attached to the bench ends, which are numbered in gilded and black shadow lettering, with a separate numbering sequence to ground floor and gallery. Metal card holders on the book boards downstairs for former pew holders' names.
Ground-floor seating: the centre block of paired seats faces forward towards the pulpit, the rear seats slightly raked upwards; continuous seat divider in centre of 2 horizontal panels depth. Mostly with 6 chamfer-panel seat backs, though the rear 4 seats are progressively narrower; the front seats are also narrower and flank the organ. On NE. side, the centre block is numbered 35 at rear and 49 at front; on its SW. side, numbered 52 at front and 66 at rear.
With the exception of the rear 4 seats which are progressively wider and angled towards the rear corners and back of the chapel, from where they face on to the pulpit, the side seats face into the centre of the chapel and are raked up steeply against the external lateral walls: grouped in paired and single blocks, largely of 5 seats depth. Each side from the Sedd Fawr end: 1): a block of single seats, narrower at the front on NE. side so as to accommodate the Minister's staircase, and numbered 1 (front) to 5 on NE. side, and 96 (rear) to 100 on SW. side of chapel; 2): a block of paired seats, the SE. seats in the block with 5-panel seat backs and the NW. seats with 4. Numbered on NE. side of chapel: 6(rear)-10 on SE. side of block and 11 (front) to 15 on NW. The corresponding block on SW. side of chapel is numbered 91 (front) to 95 (rear) on SE. side of block and 86 (rear) to 90 on NW.; 3): block of paired seats. The SE. seats with 4-panel seat backs and the NW. seats with 5-panel seat backs. On NE. side of chapel, numbered 16 (rear) to 20 on SE. side of block and 21 (front) to 25 on NW.. On SW. side of chapel, numbered 81 (front) to 85 on SE. side of block and 76 (rear) to 80 on NW.; 4): block of paired seats occupying the rear corners, with the seats in each part of the pair set askew to each other. The SE. part of the block is of 5 seats depth and faces into the centre of the chapel; it is numbered on the NE. side of the chapel: 26 (rear) to 30 and, on SW. side of chapel: 71 (front) to 75. The rear seats in this block are angled so as to face partly on to the pulpit and are numbered: 31 (front) to 34 on NE. side of chapel and 67 (rear) to 70 (front) on SW. side.
Gallery seating: a long wall bench on NE. and SW.. Otherwise, the open bench seats have vertical-panel backs, higher than those downstairs, with umbrella holders and pans on the bench ends. From Sedd Fawr end, on NE. and SW. sides, the seating comprises: 1) a block of single seats, of 5 seats depth, the rear seat with sloping matchboarded back: numbered 1 (fr.) to 5 on NE., and 82 (fr.) to 86 on SW.; 2) block of paired seats, of 4 seats depth. On NE. side, the SE. seats with 5-panel seat backs and numbered 6 (rear) to 9, the NW. seats with 4-panel seat backs and numbered 10 (fr.) to 13. The seats in the corresponding block on SW. side of chapel are numbered 78 (rear) to 81 on SE. side of block, and 74 (fr.) to 77 on NW. side; 3) block of paired seats, slightly curved round the end and side gallery intersection. On NE. side of chapel, the SE. seats with 4-panel seat backs and numbered 14 (fr.) to 17 (rear), and the NW. seats set on a slight curve, and numbered 18 (rear) to 21 (fr.). In the corresponding block on the opposite side of the chapel, the SE. seats are numbered 70 (rear) to 73, and the W. seats numbered 66 (fr.) to 69 (rear); 4) block of paired seats set on a curve round the end and side gallery intersections, with the seats fanning out in width towards the rear. In the NE. block, the SE. seats are numbered 22 (fr.) to 25 (rear) and the W. seats numbered 32 (rear) to 35 (front). In the corresponding block opposite, the SE. seats are numbered 62 (rear) to 65 (front) and the E. seats 52 (fr.) to 55 (rear); 5) each side of the chapel is a block of single seats of varying width, sited both behind 4) above, and beside and partly behind the gallery staircases. On NE. side, the narrow front seat is numbered 31, seats 28-30 behind with 6-panel seat backs and, to rear again, seats 26 and 27 extend behind the staircase. The corresponding SW. block has a narrow front seat numbered 56 with no. 61 at the back. The rear seats in both blocks have lower seat backs. 6) a centre block of paired seats facing the pulpit, the front part of the block with seats fanning out in width towards the rear and numbered on NE.: 36 (fr.) to 39 and on SW. 48 (rear) to 51 (fr.). The rear part of this block of seats also has paired seats, numbered 40 to 43 (rear) on NE. side of the block and, on SW. side, 47 (fr.) to 44 (rear); the front seats have skewed bench ends.
Sedd Fawr: 2 steps up each side to rectangular Sedd Fawr of varnished pine and hardwoods, its external sides faced with moulded panels beneath turned wood balusters; wood newels of slightly varied design. The organ console is set in the middle of the front side. Grey-carpeted floor, as chapel aisles. Sedd Fawr benches are supported on wooden brackets and have buttoned and flat red velvet cusion strips, and open balustraded backs. In front of the pulpit, 4 chairs with upholstered pink velvet seats; a large middle armchair similarly upholstered but also with arcaded back and with miniature baluster supports to arms.
Pulpit rostrum and pulpit: approached from each side by a curving flight of 6 grey-carpeted steps. Rectangular pulpit rostrum with oriel projection with canted sides as pulpit. The front of the rostrum is faced with matchboarding below a large and bracketed mid cornice, and with wide, shallow panels above the mid cornice, each inset with 7 small ebonised paterae, and above the panels, a blind aracde of stumpy columns, beneath a crowning dentil cornice. Above the mid cornice, the canted pulpit projection is faced with blind arcading with varied Gothic caps on three-quarter columns, framing round-arched fretwork panels, partly ebonised.
Wood bench seat behind pulpit, set against lower tiers of panelling at centre of organ case, the lower tiers plain and set beneath square upper panels with planted quatrefoil mouldings, in turn beneath a coved and boarded canopy, with the 3 centre bays of organ pipes above the last.
Organ: 3-manual organ labelled "Harrison & Harrison/ Durham & London". The organ pipes are housed in a varnished timber case that frames the pulpit platform and part of the pulpit stairs and is set against the SE. end wall. 7-bay arrangement of organ pipes: a wide centre bay of 15 pipes arranged in pedimented form with flanking wooden pinnacles; flanking bays of 9 pipes, the pipes set on a downward and then on an upward sweep to curved bays of 7 tall pipes and, finally, at each end, a bay of 5 pipes, cantilevered sideways.
Wall memorials: on each side of the ground-floor auditorium are mid-to-later C20 bronze tablets, bearing white-lettered inscriptions. On SW. side of the chapel are the memorial tablets to The Reverend Thomas Levi, Minister from 1876-1901 and to The Reverend Richard J. Rees, Minister from 1903-22. On NE. side of the chapel are the memorial tablets to The Reverend James D. Evans, Minister from 1923-36, and to The Reverend J.E. Meredith, Minister from 1937-69.
Basement: the basement is entered directly from the exterior at the Mill Street entrance, where the lobby has a floor of red, black and gold lozenge tiles; a 4-panel door with high overlight connects with an almost full-length corridor, extending to the kitchen, and sparating the large SW. schoolroom from the vestry and the classroom on the NE.. Corridor floor of lino on wood boards; matchboarded dado and cream-painted walls, lined as for ashlar. 3 doorways on NE. side of corridor, each with a 4 stopped and chamfer-panel door and a high 2-pane overlight.
The NE. classroom has a matchboarded dado beneath pale-green painted walling, lined as if for ashlar. Yellow-painted ceiling, raked up on NE. (below raked seating on NE. side of chapel), also stopped and chamfered ceiling beams/ girders. 2 late-C19 fireplace surrounds also on NE., with plain pilastered surround and mantleshelf on brackets and semi-circular grate. Dais at NW. end: mid-later C19 hardwood chair as in large schoolroom. Late-C19 harmonium by Mason & Hamlin (style 512, no. 180049). Pictures on walls include photographs of late-C19 and early-C20 groups of deacons etc., also, photo of Evan Evans, Elder from 1901-33.
NE. vestry has later-C20 green carpet; matchboarded dado, cream-painted walls lined as if for ashlar; diagonal NE. corner fireplace, now with electric fire but probably formerly with fireplace. C19 to early C20 table with curved corners to table top and turned legs; late-C19 chairs, similar to those in Sedd Fawr in chapel. Eight C20 wood-framed and upholstered armchairs with long wooden arms. Photographs of former Ministers and chapel officials on walls. Lobby between vestry and main corridor connects also with narrow staircase to chapel via brown baize door, the staircase with matchboarded wood dado and beige-painted walls.
The large SW. schoolroom has wood boarded floor, partly carpeted. The walls are cream-painted with a picture rail, above a matchboarded dado. Stopped and chamfer ceiling girders supported by circular iron columns, the ceiling raked up on SW. (below the raked SW. chapel seating above). The 3 flat-headed window openings on SW. have chamfered jambs, renewed window frames and glass. In SE. corner, an early-C20 wood-panelled enclosure to organ-blowing chamber: 3 tiers of panelling, partly glazed in SW. side; 4-panel door in NW. side; top tier of panels punched with quatrefoils. Dais at NW end of schoolroom: pine table with earlier hardwood lectern over; 2 mid-later C19 hardwood chairs with green-plush seats and 2 later-C19 pine chairs with arcaded backs and red-plush seats. Wall benches in NE corner and along NE. side. Also, iron-framed bench seats-cum-desks, the 3 on NE. with the legs marked "Weaste", and the 3 on SW. marked "Pearson & Brown". Otherwise later-C20 tables and chairs. Late-C19 to early-C20 cupboard by Mill Street entrance. Earlier cupboard-cum-chest-of-drawers in memory of John Jenkins, b. 1841. C20 bronze plaque inscribed in white lettering: "Mewn Cymdeithasfa/ yn y fangre hon/ y darllenwyd ac yn/ unfryd y derbyniwyd/ Cyffes Fydd Eglwys y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd,/ Mawrth 13 & 14, 1823". Wall clock. Pictures include memorial to William Williams, Pantycelyn. Later-C20 upright Hohner piano; earlier-C20 upright piano (Hathe) behind it.
The kitchen, at NW. end of the basement corridor, has a floor of red, gold and black encaustic tiles laid lozenge-wise; 3 wall cupboards, partly of late C19 to early 20, in addition to C20 kitchen fittings; a screen with 4-panel door separates the kitchen from the stairs up to the SW. gallery vestibule (see above, under Powell Street entrance).
OMJ., 1-5/98; visited 13/1/1998 in company of DJR and IW, and by kind permission of the Minister
Sources include: items in Calvinistic Methodist Archives in NLW; newspaper cuttings in Aberystwyth Public Library; local newspaper accounts (please see text above); Moelwyn I. Williams, Y Tabernacl Aberystwyth: hanes yr achos 1785-1985 (Aberystwyth: M.I.Williams, 1986).
- Built: 1785 Source:1851 Census
- Built: 1785 Source:Cadw
- Built: 1785 Source:Horsfall-Turner
- Built: 1858 Source:Anthony Jones
- Built: 1785 Source:RCAHMW
- Cause: 1742 Source:Horsfall-Turner
- Society Formed: 1774 Source:Evan James
- Cause: c.1770 Source:Evan James
- Closed: 2002 Source:Capel
- Date Of Chapel: 1879 Source:
- Demolished: 2008 Source:
- Registered For Worship: 18/11/1880 Source:Cadw
- Ogan Installed: 1905 Source:Capel
- War Memorial: 1922-1923 Source:Cadw
- Rebuilt: 1879 Source:Horsfall-Turner
- Rebuilt: 1832 Source:Horsfall-Turner
- Rebuilt: 1819 Source:Horsfall-Turner
- Rebuilt: 1819 Source:Cadw
- Enlarged: 1831 Source:Cadw
- Rebuilt: 1878-1879 Source:Cadw
- Rebuilt: 1832 Source:RCAHMW
- Rebuilt: 1819 Source:RCAHMW
- Rebuilt: 1880 Source:RCAHMW
- Rebuilt: 1879 Source:Anthony Jones
- Sold: 2005 Source:
- Architect: 1858 John Lumley, Aberystwyth
- Sculptor: 1922-1923 Mario Rutelli,
- Architect: 1879 Richard Owens, Liverpool
- £ 6000: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- 450: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- 840: 1851 ()
- 400: 1851 ()
- 1050: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- Chapel: 25/08/1996 (Site visit)
- Demolished: 2008 ()
- Monument Type: CHAPEL
- Form: Building
- Storey: Two Storey and Basement
- Style: Classical
- Gallery: On three sides
- Plan: Gable Entry
- Pulpit Position: Rear wall
- Window Glazing: Tracery
- Windows: Tall Round-Headed
Key Details of this Chapel
Key Dates of this Chapel
Key People in this Chapel History
Costs during this Chapels History
Capacities during this Chapels History
Changes of Status its History
Key Characteristics of this Chapel
Images from Coflein
- Grid Reference: SN58348144
- Address: MILL STREET, POWELL STREET, ABERYSTWYTHABERYSTWYTH