- Nprn: 7229
- Cadw Ref: FA
- Cadw Record No: 18943
- Summary: Soar-y-Mynydd Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel is one of the best Welsh examples of an extremely isolated chapel of pre-1840 date built to serve a widely scattered congregation. The chapel was built in 1822 on land granted by John Jones of Nantlwyd. In 1944 there were 44 members; after the mid-twentieth century sale of farmland to the Forestry Commisson, membership levels fell to 10 in the 1960s. After moves to close the chapel, in 1973 Soar was re-opened. In 1905 (Royal Commission on the Church of England and other Religious Bodies in Wales and Monmouthshire) there were 140 sittings in the chapel which was valued at £1000.
The whitewashed stone built chapel is rectangular, single storied and ungalleried. It adjoins a two-storey chapel house and schoolroom. The front of chapel has two tall semi-circular-headed wood-framed windows with Y-tracery. It is entered via paired double two-panel doors. The rear elevation has two tall arched windows with cambered heads. The chapel has a simple interior, with a plaster ceiling with coved cornice and crude rose. The box pews are slightly raked and form four main blocks. The pulpit is probably later nineteenth century with turned balusters to the steps which rise on either side, newels with finials, arched panel to pulpit front and consoles under the book-rest. The painted scroll behind reads: 'Duw cariad yw'.
Sources: CADW listed buildings database; T.J. Hughes, Wales's Best One Hundred Churches, 2006.
RCAHMW, 12 November 2007.
- Description: Cause begun 1747 & chapel built 1828 in vernacular style, long-wall entry type, to the design of Rev. Ebenezer Richard of Tregaron(?). Late C19th alterations & school added pre-1947. See Site Files [Ecclesiastical] for photos. Status (1998): in chapel use.
The Calvinistic Methodist cause was first established in this isolated rural area in the C18; The Reverend Howel Harris preached in farmhouses, firstly Rhiwalog, from 1740 and was followed by The Reverend William Williams Pantycelyn. The first and present chapel was built in 1822 (given as 1828 in the Religious Census of 1851) for The Reverend Ebenezer Richards and Chapel Trustees on land granted by John Jones of Nantlwyd. Sittings as given in the Religious Census of 1851: free 30, other 126. Further refurbishments of ca. 1900? E.g. pulpit and some window tracery? Figures as given in Horsfall-Turner (1903): attendance, 96; S.S., 40. Members took it in turn to meet preachers in Llanddewi Brefi or Tregaron and to give them hospitality on their farms. In 1944 there were 44 members; after the mid-C20 sale of farmland to the Forestry Commisson, membership levels fell to 10 in the 1960s. After moves to close the chapel, in 1973 Soar was re-opened.
Summary: stone-built lateral-façade chapel with end entries and intermediate internal pulpit, backing on to façade; rectangular, 1-storey and ungalleried; chapel in 1 range with 2-storey chapel house-cum-schoolroom, the schoolroom over the ground-floor outhouse at SE. end.
Exterior: white-washed mortar-bedded stone rubble walls, roughly coursed; large end quoins and large quoin in front between chapel and chapel house. The formerly slate-hung gables are now of plain plaster.
Chapel exterior: front of chapel with 2 tall semi-circular-headed and 2-light wood-framed windows with projecting cills, the windows each of 10 rectangular panes under 2 top lancet panes with centre red glass "spandrel"; stone voussoirs and keystone. At each end, a flat-arched and voussoir-headed doorway, containing a pair of mid-C19 2-panel doors, with moulded panels above and flush below. Rear wall of chapel with plinth above drain; 2 cambered-headed window openings with stone voussoirs, plain reveals and projecting cills; each window with central vertical strip of 3 panes, surrounded by margin panes, of coloured glass at top and bottom.
Chapel house exterior with 2 stone stacks. Voussoired and slightly cambered ground-floor openings at front; late-C20 chapel house door in centre; wooden-boarded door to l.h. outhouse with a 12-pane sash window to former schoolroom above it; a 12-pane sash window above and below to r.h.; brown frames, white glazing bars. Formerly, external stairs to schoolroom in end gable. Rear elevation with 6-pane centre staircase window flanked by two 1st-floor sash windows of 12 panes with l.h., ground floor, 9-pane sash window with horns.
Interior: Chapel interior: lofty single-storey, ungalleried space - rectangular - with cream-painted plaster walls above box-pew linings. Painted-ribbon inscription behind pulpit: "Duw cariad yw". Window openings with splayed reveals above flat, brown-painted timber cills. Coved (green) and moulded (white) ceiling cornice; pale blue painted ceiling; circular moulded ceiling rose enclosing central octagon and 16 "petals" (raised orange alternating with sunk green). Raked wood-boarded floor. Painted and grained and panelled C19 box pews of pine with sunk and vertical-panel backs and dark-brown varnished handrails; black-painted numbering on doors. Paired centre block of pews of 5 pews depth (nos. 7 to 11 and 12 to 16). Single side blocks of pews set askew - nos. 2 to 6 and 17 to 21; rear corner pews. Narrow single pews (1 & 22), with obtuse-angled seats, at front alongside doors. Pair of pews, but with curved corners, to each side of pulpit, 1 pew on S. removed. Pulpit set within Sedd Fawr enclosure which is built in turn against front of centre block of pews and has a wood bench seat. 2 flights of 3 wood steps to carpeted pulpit platform, pulpit stair and platform balustrades with turned balusters and square newels with small paterae, flat caps and turned finials. Pulpit platform with canted front projection; central pulpit with semi-circular arched panel enclosed by carved brackets under sloping lectern; small cupboard at base. Formerly oil lamps?: a turned wood lamp holder each side of pulpit and 3 taller lamp holders in centre and side pews. Former harmonia in chapel house.
Chapel house interior: red and black quarry tiles on ground floor, wooden boards to upper floor. Plaster walls; distemper paint decorative scheme of probably earlier C20 date (cf., e.g., with earlier C20 scheme formerly in C.M. Capel Bethel, Aberarth (NPRN: 7294)); hall and landing with high brown-oxide painted dado, dado band of washed charcoal, Windsor green above; Windsor green walls elsewhere, on first floor above brown oxide painted skirting. Earlier-C19 king-post roof. Thin rectangular ceiling joists on ground floor where a full-height wooden-boarded partition partly separates entrance corridor from the main front room which has a high boarded dado, an earlier-C19 pilastered fireplace surround with reeded circular angle blocks; paired mid-C19 door architraves to small rear room and stair cupboard, the former containing 2 harmonia. Dogleg wood stairs to first floor, the bottom steps renewed. Paired C19 door architraves also on 1st-floor landing; 4 moulded-panel doors, painted beige and brown oxide. Plainer pilastered fireplace surrounds of earlier-C19 style in both front rooms. Step down to 1st-floor scoolroom which is lined with matchboarding in a ca. 1900 style. Outbuilding at SE. end.
A grass strip to rear of the chapel is enclosed on NW. and SW. by a stone wall. The chapel ground on E. is laid to grass; it is enclosed by a wire fence and bounded by the Nant-y-Brithdir on the N. and by the Camddwr river on the E.; a few extant C19 memorials. At the N. footbridge entry from the stream there is a C19 iron gate with circular uprights with spear-headed finials rising alternately to above top and mid rails. Adjoining this entry on E. there is a 1-storey stone stable range; this has a central interior dividing wall; in the N. external wall there are 2 windows and 2 doors with yellow brick dressings of late-C19 type.
Conclusion: a lateral-façade chapel in an isolated rural setting; of historical importance, and also of symbolical importance to the Calvinistic Methodist cause.
See guide notes in chapel interior; see also W. J. Gruffydd (Golygydd), Tua Soar (ca.1995); also E.R. Horsfall-Turner, Walks and wanderings in County Cardigan (1903). Visited 5/11/96 by DJR, PI and OJ. OJ 5/11/96-1/97.
Very remote barn-chapel situated at the far end of Llyn Brianne reservoir. Built to serve the farming families who constituted the congregation. Set among evergreens at the head of a velley junction, stream runs past the chapel. Boundary walls. Long sidewall façade, chapel to right, schoolroom etc (two storey) to left; common roof line. Clear descendant of the long house tradition. Two chimneys. Ramdom rubble construction, slight relief around the windows. Schoolroom reached by external stone staircase left, used as such by LEA until '47. Simple minister's retiring room. Part slated gable-end walls. Horse stall and small tables to right - are a lean-to almost gone. Good pink interior with pink walls and little coloured panes in the windows, slight rake to the floor. Painted ribbon on wall behind the pulpit, 'Duw Cariad Yw' Graveyard to front.
Noted: 'Mid Western Wales', Rees (Shell Guide)
Replied to 1851 Census as having 100 average morning attendance. (Anthony Jones)
- Altered: 1880A Source:Cadw
- Built: 1828 Source:Cadw
- Built: 1822 Source:Horsfall-Turner
- Built: 1828 Source:1851 Census
- Built: 1822-1828 Source:Anthony Jones
- Date Of Chapel: 1828 Source:
- Outbdg At Rt Angles: Roof: 1880A Source:Cadw
- Outbdg At Rt Angles: Blt?: 1828 Source:Cadw
- Pulpit Probably: 1880A Source:Cadw
- School [in Sunday School]: Pre 1947 Source:Cadw
- Architect: 1828 Ebenezer Richard, Tregaron
- £ 1000: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- 30: 1851 ()
- 126: 1851 ()
- 140: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- Chapel: 30/09/1997 (Cadw)
- Chapel: 7/12/2010 (Denominational website)
- Monument Type: CHAPEL
- Form: Building
- Storey: Single Storey
- Style: Vernacular
- Gallery: X
- Plan: Long-wall entry
- Pulpit Position: Front wall
- Window Glazing: "Y" Glazing
- Windows: 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: SN78475328