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Moriah Calvinistic Methodist Chapel including forecourt wall and gates

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llangefni, Isle of Anglesey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2546 / 53°15'16"N

Longitude: -4.311 / 4°18'39"W

OS Eastings: 245925

OS Northings: 375557

OS Grid: SH459755

Mapcode National: GBR HNQ3.40R

Mapcode Global: WH42T.RGB9

Entry Name: Moriah Calvinistic Methodist Chapel including forecourt wall and gates

Listing Date: 16 June 1989

Last Amended: 16 October 1998

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 5751

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Set back, behind a railed forecourt, from the E side of the A5114 Glanhwfa Road. The chapel is located directly N of the Shire Hall and is c.400m SSE of the church of St. Cyngar.

County: Isle of Anglesey

Town: Llangefni

Community: Llangefni

Community: Llangefni

Built-Up Area: Llangefni

Traditional County: Anglesey

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Llangefni

History

Built in 1897, at a cost of £5,500; a less costly reworking by Richard Thomas of Menai Bridge, of an original design by O.M. Roberts of Porthmadog (which nearly led to legal action on the part of the latter). Erected as a memorial chapel to John Elias, Calvinistic Methodist Preacher and Minister.

Exterior

Imposing, 2-storey, Classical style chapel. Comprising 5-bay, pedimented front flanked by shorter staircase and entrance bays, main body of chapel a 5-window range recessed behind staircase bays; set to rear of chapel is a 3-window, double-pile block which links the chapel to the 5-bay schoolroom over the manse, set at right angles to the rear. The entrance and staircase bays to front are faced with snecked rubble masonry with freestone dressings; other elevations are pebbledashed with smooth-rendered dressings, stressed quoins at angles. The main part of the chapel has a hipped slate roof; linking block and schoolroom to rear have gabled roofs with rendered end stacks. The doors are panelled (12-panel entrance doors to front); windows are small-paned, fixed lights to front, other elevations with sliding sashes.

The principal elevation, to front, faces W; a strongly symmetrical facade, 5-bays to centre, central 3-bays of which are slightly advanced under a triangular pediment, and recessed, shorter, flanking staircase bays. The pedimented central 3-bays are divided by pilasters; Tuscan to ground floor, Corinthian to 1st floor, plain entablature with moulded cornice, and mid floor course. Ground floor has a central, keyed oculus with coloured glass window; flanking bays have paired, round-headed lights with Tuscan pilasters as jambs supporting moulded arches with keystones. First floor has paired, round-headed lights to each bay, with Corinthian pilasters as jambs supporting moulded arches with keystones; corbelled sills. The triangular pediment has a moulded surround surmounted by an urn finial. Set within the tympanum is a pedimented plaque with scrolled shoulders; in the pediment is the date and name 1897 MORIAH, below the inscription reads: CAPEL COFFADWRIAETHOL / JOHN ELIAS / METHODISTIAID CALFINAIDD.

The flanking bays are slightly recessed; with rusticated angle pilasters, plain entablature with moulded cornice and balustraded parapet with urn finials on square piers at angles. The 1st floor has single, round-headed windows with Tuscan pilasters as jambs supporting a moulded arch with keystone; ground floor windows are similarly detailed but with jambs supporting triangular pediments.

The lower, flanking, recessed staircase bays have quoins at the angles, plain entablature with moulded cornice and parapet as for central flanking bays. The front (W) elevation has a keyed oculus with coloured window over a segmental, corbelled, pediment to a Tuscan doorway; 12-panel entrance doors recessed within. Side elevations to staircase bays have 2 tall round-headed stair windows, with Tuscan pilasters as jambs supporting moulded arches with keystones.

The side elevations to the main part of the chapel have round-headed 1st floor, and segmental-headed ground floor windows; each with smooth-rendered architraves with keystone, and each floor with continuous sill-band. The linking block has similarly detailed segmental-headed windows (without sill bands) and stressed quoins at angles. The schoolroom and manse also have similarly detailed windows; square-headed to ground floor, round-headed to schoolroom above.

The chapel is set within enclosed grounds; the sides and rear with rubble walls, the front forecourt with spear-pointed iron railings on stone-capped snecked masonry bases, similarly detailed gates between large square rendered piers with moulded cornice and shaped cap.

Interior

Fine, richly detailed interior: Entrances lead into small vestibules with gallery stairs, side doors lead into the chapel beyond, with set fawr at the opposite end. The ground floor has 3 ranks of raking box pews, central with divider, side pews curving. The gallery has banks of raking pews which follow the shape of the gallery which sweeps around 3 sides of the rectangular chapel, continued as organ gallery behind the set fawr at the E end.

The set fawr is rectangular with curving angles and side entrances, the rectangular front advanced. Facing panels are recessed with moulded surrounds, the upper part with carved, inset, floriate panels under a moulded rail with dentilled frieze. The pulpit is rectangular with bays advanced in steps to front; raised by 5 steps. The side entrance stairs have fluted balusters and newel posts, the later with square capitals decorated with floriate carving surmounted by carved, banded globe finials; the balusters are linked by an arched frieze decorated with floriate bosses, under a moulded rail. The pulpit front is of 2 stages, both with a dentilled frieze under a moulded cornice; the lower stage has recessed panels with moulded surrounds, the lower panels of the upper stage have shaped heads and each is inset with carved floriate designs; angles of the upper stage have engaged Corinthian columns.

The wall to the rear of the set fawr and pulpit is panelled, the theme continued upwards to the panelled front of the organ casing. The gallery front is also panelled, the long rectangular recessed panels interspersed with carved floriate panels flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters; upper part with floriate panelled frieze under a dentilled, moulded rail. The gallery is supported on tapering, fluted, cast-iron Corinthian piers with floriate brackets.

The walls of the chapel are plastered; ground floor and gallery with panelling to the lower part, beading between panels set under an arched frieze with moulded dado. Gallery windows have moulded arches on floriate corbels. The upper part of the walls with dentilled, moulded cornice to a coved ceiling. The ceiling has a timber surround of diagonally set tongued and grooved panelling interspersed with decorative, pierced ventilation grilles. To either end of the chapel are a pair of recessed panels separated by moulded ribs, each has a circular, decorative wooden ventilation grille with ornate, floriate plaster relief surround. The central ceiling panel is square with decorative wooden ventilation grille and highly ornate plaster relief surround; the inner part with radiating spoked ribs, panels between with floriate decoration, the outer part with large, circular, floriate bosses.

On the wall to the right of the set fawr is a marble memorial slab to John Elias d.1841; moved from Capel Dinas in 1898.

A doorway to the right of the set fawr leads through to the rooms beyond; some with original, decorative cast-iron fireplaces, room doors with chamfered angles. The schoolroom has a tongued and grooved ceiling with 4 decorative, pierced ventilation grilles down the centre; walls with tongued and grooved panelling to the lower part.

Reasons for Listing

Listed II* as an especially fine urban chapel, ambitious in scale and in the detail of its rich Neo-Classical and Renaissance vocabulary. Its architectural elaboration stresses the entrance front and there is a particularly fine interior. The chapel forms an integral part of an excellent group of civic and religious buildings built at the turn of the century, reflecting the development of Llangefni as the county town.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Doldir
    About half way down the road, to N (L) of Capel Moriah.
  • II Shire Hall
    Set back, behind a railed forecourt encompassing the war memorial, from the E side of the A5114 Glanhwfa Road; c.450m SSE of the church of St. Cyngar.
  • II War memorial in front of the Shire Hall
    Set back from the E side of Glanhwfa Road, within a semi-circular enclosure to the R side of the entrance gates directly in front of the Shire Hall.
  • II County Court
    Set back slightly from the W side of Glanhwfa Road, directly opposite the War Memorial to the front of the Shire Hall.
  • II Smyrna Congregational Chapel and Hall
    Set back slightly from the W side of Glanhwfa Road, opposite the Shire Hall.
  • II Town Hall
    Located at the S side of Bulkeley Square, and set back from the main street in the centre of Llangefni; c.400m SSE of the church of St. Cyngar.
  • II The Bull Hotel, including stable courtyard to rear.
    Located at the SW corner of Bulkeley Square with side elevation to Glanhwfa Road.
  • II Town Clock
    Set directly in front of the Town Hall, at the S side of Bulkeley Square in the centre of Llangefni.

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