- Nprn: 7240
- Cadw Ref: AC
- Cadw Record No: 18942
- Summary: the cause at Bethesda began in the 1740's, with the first Methodist Chapel built in 1780. The chapel was rebuilt in 1826, and enlarged in 1848. It was rebuilt again in 1873, by the architect Thomas Thomas of Landore, in the Sub-Classical style of the gable-entry type. Bethesda is now Grade 2 listed as an unusually large, elaborate and well-preserved rural chapel.
The chapel is stone built, with a three bay façade decorated with pilasters to the end and centre bays. Above these is a pedimented gable containing a quatrefoil occulus. There are two round-headed doorways to the centre, framed by cream stone dressings and columns. Above is a plaque with the inscription "Bethesda /Capel y Trefnyddion /Calfinaidd a adeiladwyd /yn 1826 / a adgyweiriwyd yn 1848 /ac a ailadeiladwyd /yn 1873". Over this is a triplet window, while theer are two tall round-headed windows in the outer bays.
In 1905 (Royal Commission on the Church of England and other Religious Bodies in Wales and Monmouthshire) there were 800 sittings in the chapel which was valued at £2100.
RCAHMW, November 2009
- Description: 1. Cause begun 1740s; chapel built 1780. Rebuilt 1826 & enlarged 1848. Rebuilt again 1873 in the Sub-Classical style, gable entry type, to the design of Rev. Thomas Thomas of Landore. Status (1998): in chapel use.
2. Stone walls, slate roof with red tile ridge and wrought iron finials. Three-bay gable facade with pilasters at the ends and to the centre bay. The pilasters rise into the pedimented gable framing a timber quatrefoil in oculus. Tall semi-circular end windows with pilasters, caps and keystone; each of 2-lights, 7-panes depth including the round-arched top panes. Semi-circular headed doorways in the centre with a segmentally-headed pair of doors with fanlight. Cream-painted plaque over door reads: "Bethesda /Capel y Trefnyddion /Calfinaidd a adeiladwyd /yn 1826 / a adgyweiriwyd yn 1848 /ac a ailadeiladwyd /yn 1873".
CD/Ecclesiastical/SN65NE from O.M. Jenkins.
1826; rebuilt 1848; rebuilt 1873. Stone walls. Slate roof with red tile ridge and wrought iron finials.Three-bay gable façade of coursed rock-faced stone to NE.; pilasters at ends and to centre bay; cornice; centre pilastes rise into pedimental gable framing timber quatrefoil in oculus; moulded bargeboard. Tall semi-circular end window of cream-painted ashlar with pilasters, caps, archicolt and keystone; each of 2-lights, 7-panes depth including round-arched top panes; glazed spandrels. Slate flagged strip in front of centre doorways with two slate steps to each of the two semi-circular headed doorways in centre; marbled and attached columns with caps; segmentally-headed door pairs with two moulded panel doors; fanlight with glazed circlet and spandrels. Cream-painted plaque over door: "Bethesda /Capel y Trefnyddion /Calfinaidd a adeiladwyd /yn 1826 / a adgyweiriwyd yn 1848 /ac a ailadeiladwyd /yn 1873". Graduated triplet window over, each window of 2 lights and 5 panes depth but wider centre light also with lozenge pane over arched top panes.
Front elevation enclosed by dwarf walls and railings, gates and gate and wall piers. End wall piers with truncated coved coping and finials. Dwarf walls with stone coping and the iron railings with square iron uprights with spear-headed finials above top rail; chamfered standards with urn finials. Two pairs of gates, similar to railings, but with lock rail. Two bays of railings to each side and one in centre.
Five-bay NW. and SE. lateral elevations; cambered-headed window openings below, and semi-circular openings in alignment above. Two-light windows with margin lights, the lower windows of three-panes depth and the upper windows of four, including two quadrant lights. SE. elevation of pebbledash. NW. elevation of rock-faced stone; four-flush panel door under stone segmental head between 4th & 5th windows. NW. elevation enclosed by stone boundary wall with white quartzite blocks; C19 iron side gate with flat double scrolls between top rails and 4 deep "S" scrolls between lock rails; with square stone gate piers with flat stone caps. Pebbledash SW. end gable with louvred roof vent in circular oculus.
Vestibule interior: encaustic tile floor (beige/gold, red, white and black: lozenges and lozenge border). Dark-grey painted dado with narrow black band over; grey-blue wall over. Raked plaster ceiling. NW. and SE. gallery staircases have stick balusters, panelled newels with Jacobethan-type finials; 10 Turkey-carpeted style steps to turn; upper flights of 11 steps, each stair with 4 stopped and chamfered panel gallery door above 1st step. Inner vestibule wall with wide 19th-century two-light rectilinear window; red margin panes and blue angle blocks; etched centre light, subdivided into large lozenge pane and triangular panes.
Chapel interior: matchboarded dado. Wall colouring as in vestibule to both ground floor and gallery. Window openings with white-painted splayed reveals and cills; some opening lights. Moulded cornice; pale-green plaster cove; matchboarded ceiling of 1933 divided into 15 sunk & horizontally-boarded panels by moulded ribs, the 5 centre panels wider; diagonally boarded margin panels with square vents at angles and in centre of long sides.
Three-sided gallery with curved intersections; painted and grained soffit to gallery beam; nine circular cast-iron columns, brown-painted below; white and gilded square acanthus leaf caps. Projecting gallery front on small modillion cornice, and faced with openwork cast-iron panel strips divided into bays by short panelled pilasters; moulded cornice. Integral clock at gallery end.
Closed bench seats with stopped and chamfered panel backs; dark-stained three-quarter moulding at top; shaped bench ends with rounded tops and gold-painted numbering; stopped and chamfered panel doors. Paired block of centre pews numbered 22-35 on NW. and 36-49 on SE.; organ in middle of front two pews. Single blocks of lateral seats set askew: nos. 9-21 on NW. and 51-62 on SE. In front, seats face at right angles on to side of Sedd Fawr: nos. 1-5 and 6-8 on NW. and nos 63-65 and 66-70 on SE..
Curved Sedd Fawr enclosure faced externally with two tiers of panelling: shallow stopped and chamfered panels below and continuous openwork cast-iron panel strip above; matchboarded back to Sedd Fawr bench. Flanking and curving pulpit staircases of six steps each; turned wood balusters; panelled newels with Jacobethan-style finials (ch.) Serpentine balustraded parapet flanking pulpit projection , the last supported on a moulded panel pillar and with canted sides faced with fretwork panels on a yellow and blue-painted ground. Eisteddfod chair in pulpit, bearing inscription "Eisteddfod /Llanddewi Brefi /Awst 1933". Arch behind pulpit: eggand dart moulding to panelled sides; ornate foliate brackets; on a painted scroll, the words "Duw /cariad /yw".
Two-manual C20 organ: 363 Concert Mod.?, the John Compton Organ Co. Ltd.
Registration: (l.h.) Pedal: Diapason 16, Bourdon 16, Contra Bourdon 32, Echo bass 16, Octave 8, Violon-cello 8, Flute 8, Choral flute 4, Contra Bombarde? 32, Ophi cleide 16
Great to pedal; Swell to pedal
Great: Double diapason 16, First diapason 8, Second diapason 8, Hohl flute 8, Gemshorn 8, Dulciana 8, Octave 4, Suabe Flute 4, Dulcet 4, Twelfth 2 2/3, Fifteenth 2, Sequi-altera II, Mixture III, Tuba 8; Swell to great; Light vibrato; Heavy vibrato; Reverberation.
Swell: Bourdon 16, Geigen 8, Lieblich gedeckt 8.
Salicional 8, Pricipal 4, Lieblich-flute 4, Salicet 4, Natural 2 2/3, Piccolo 2, Cornet III, Aeola? II, Contra fagotto 16, Trumpet 8, Clarinet 8, Clarion 4.
Memorials to C19 and C20 Ministers and one also to Mary Roberts of Foelallt.
Raked gallery seating: closed bench seats similar to those below but with higher backs. Each side from Sedd Fawr end: a single block of pews of 4 pews depth (4-panel backs), two paired blocks of pews of 3 pews depth (partly 5-panel backs). 3rdly, paired block of pews of 3 pews depth. 3 pews round each corner of the gallery (4-panel back, 7-panel back and paired pew with two 5-panel backs); behind rear gangway a single block of pews. End of gallery with paired block of pews of six pews depth, each pew with 5-panel back.
Vestry and former stable range face the NW. elevation of the Chapel from across the street. Former ground-floor stables since converted to toilets etc. and garage; 1st floor vestry thought to have been used as a school, and a school for 2nd World War evacuees apparently held here. 2 storeys. Stone walls with quoins; slate roof. 4 quoined window openings to vestry with 12-pane sash windows with some bottle glass. On ground floor, from N. end, wooden-boarded doors with stone lintels (to toilets); wide segmental stone arch over pair of wooden-boarded doors; iron/steel girder over further pair of wooden-boarded doors with large strap hinges; 4thly, wooden-boarded door in C19 stopped and chamfered frame. Entry to vestry in NE. end, via dog-leg asphalt ramp enclosed by stone walls.
Vestry interior: N. matchboarded porch projects into room. Wooden-boarded floor; linoleum strip to centre aisle. Matchboarded dado. Blue-painted plaster walls. White-painted matchboarded ceiling with sloping sides. Windows with flat timber cills and matchboarded and plain plaster reveals. Iron-framed bench seats with oak plank seats and backs, the backs covertible to desks: 13 on SE. and 10 on NW. of aisle. Lectern at end of aisle, faced with 4 moulded panels, the lectern itself supported by reeded & carved brackets. 1 shallow and 2 steps to dais at SW. end. On dais, ornate chair; upright piano (Howard, London) with wall cupboard with panelled doors behind; 2 iron-framed benches at back of dais with circular clock over & insribed: "D.Jones /Lampeter". Table with a scrubbed top. Brick fireplace surround with shelf and brick hobs and iron grate at NE. end by porch.
The 2-storey chapel house continues with the same eaves and ridge levels on SW.. Late C19? Snecked stone 3-bay front wall. Slate roof. 4-pane sash windows with horns in cambered-headed openings, the 2 ground-floor windows with keystones; 1 concrete step to centre door of 3 varnished wood panels with frosted glass panel; C20 overlight. Roof desends low to rear over 2-storey lean-to rear extension containing e.g. bathroom. Interior contains contemporary stair and fireplace surround; doors with late-C19 or early-C20 glazed upper panel. Used for hospitality for visiting preachers; Deacons meet in front room every Sunday.
20/12/95 & 29/2/96
Visited 20/12/96 by kind permission of The Minister and met at the Chapel by the Chapel Secretary
NMR Investigator photos:
Evan James gives the following dates:
1826: rebuilt (40ft x 28ft).
1848: renewed and gallery installed.
1873: third rebuilding (60ft x 40ft with gallery)
Main gable façade of a standard design of the Rev. Thomas Thomas of 1873. Two main finished facades to roads: the other two plain rendered [rear and SE side]. Whole of the present chapel is of 1872-73
- Gallery Added: 1848 Source:Cadw
- Built: 1826 Source:1851 Census
- Built: 1780 Source:Evan James
- Built: 1780 Source:Cadw
- Built: 1826 Source:Plaque
- Date Of Chapel: 1873 Source:Cadw
- Present Ceiling: 1929 Source:Cadw
- Rebuilt: 1873 Source:Evan James
- Rebuilt: 1873 Source:Plaque
- Rebuilt: 1826 Source:Cadw
- Rebuilt: 1848 Source:Plaque
- "rebuilt" (gallery): 1848 Source:Evan James
- Rebuilt: 1826 Source:Evan James
- Architect: 1873 Thomas Thomas, Landore
- £ 2100: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- : 1851 Standing 312ft ()
- 420: 1851 ()
- 800: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- 90: 1851 ()
- Chapel: 30/09/1997 (Cadw)
- Chapel: 2011 (Denominational Yearbook)
- Welsh: ()
- Monument Type: CHAPEL
- Form: Building
- Storey: Two Storey
- Style: Sub Classical
- Gallery: On Three Sides
- Plan: Gable Entry
- Pulpit Position: Rear Wall
- Window Glazing: Round Headed
- 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
The Languages of the Chapel during its History
Key Characteristics of this Chapel
Images from Coflein
- Grid Reference: SN66235540
- Address: LLANDDEWI BREFILLANDDEWI BREFI