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Latitude: 52.7073 / 52°42'26"N
Longitude: -3.3197 / 3°19'10"W
OS Eastings: 310934
OS Northings: 312995
OS Grid: SJ109129
Mapcode National: GBR 9S.2FCP
Mapcode Global: WH79D.Z6CW
Entry Name: John Hughes Memorial Chapel (Pontrobert Chapel)
Listing Date: 31 January 1953
Last Amended: 19 September 2002
Source ID: 7661
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: In a cul-de-sac lane to the north of Pontrobert Village (leading to Pentre-uchaf), on west side of lane; the chapel cemetery in on the opposite side (in different ownership).
Community: Llangyniew (Llangynyw)
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
The chapel was built by the Calvinistic Methodists in 1800. In its early years it was a meeting place for one of the Rev. Thomas Clarke's circulating schools. John Hughes (1775-1854), a local weaver, taught here. In 1814 Hughes was ordained at Bala, became the minister of this chapel and a celebrated preacher, and remained here, living in the cottage attached to the chapel, until his death. His pulpit, said to date from 1835, is preserved in the chapel. In his old age, when unable to move from his bed in the cottage, a hatch in the dividing wall was formed so that he could continue to preach from there. John Hughes' sermons have been published and he and his wife were instrumental in writing down the Revival hymns of Ann Griffiths.
The chapel was closed in 1865, the Calvinistic Methodists moving to a larger chapel in Pontrobert village. The Old Chapel was sold to a neighbouring wheelwright subject to a covenant to preserve John Hughes' pulpit. Large double doors were formed in the front wall for cart access. The old chapel was sold again in 1939 but continued to function as a workshop.
A local campaign to restore the chapel and cottage commenced in 1984, and eleven years later the work of restoration was completed and the chapel re-opened as a non-denominational Centre for Christian Unity and Renewal. The cottage is occupied by the Custodian.
The chapel and cottage are in uncoursed, white-painted stonework with a slate roof. Stone end chimneys. The building ranges south-west/north-east, and faces south-east to the road.
The building has been restored to what is likely to have been its appearance before the alterations of the late C19 which converted it to a wheelwright or carpenter's shop. The front elevation of the cottage part consists of a window above and below to the left and a door to the right. The front elevation of the chapel part is symmetrical in itself, consisting of a pair large of high level windows flanked by entrances for men and women. The joinery is all restored, the large windows consisting of horizontally sliding sashes over fixed lights, all leaded. Similar windows at rear.
The cottage has small modern timber windows to rear and side.
The chapel is entered by symmetrically positioned doors, and the pulpit has been retained in what is believed to be its historic location, at the centre of the rear wall, but on a low dais. None of the pews or other chapel features of the original interior remain.
The partition between the chapel and cottage is timber framed, the late date (1800) being indicated by the unusual use of Arabic numerals for carpenter's marks. At high level is a hatch used by John Hughes in old age for preaching from his bed.
There is a single king-post truss.
The adjacent cottage has its original staircase and a chamfered and stopped beam to the first floor.
A well-restored early chapel of the Calvinistic Methodist church, the character of which has been well protected including respect for its later history as a wheelwright's shop, listed also for its associaton with John Hughes, a prominent preacher, and Ann Griffiths, an important composer of Revival hymns.
Other nearby listed buildings