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John Hughes Memorial Chapel (Pontrobert Chapel)

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llangyniew, Powys

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Coordinates

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

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

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).

County: Powys

Community: Llangyniew (Llangynyw)

Community: Llangyniew

Locality: Pontrobert

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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Pont-Robert

History

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.

Exterior

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.

Interior

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.

Reasons for Listing

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.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Old Rectory
    To the south-east of the village of Pontrobert, on the north side of the road to Dolobran; the house set back from the road with garden to front, yard to rear.
  • II* Garth-fawr
    Reached by a lane east of a minor road to the north-east of the village of Pontrobert.
  • II Farm Building at Dolobran including Link Wall to House
    At west side of Dolobran Hall, across a small yard.
  • II* Dolobran Hall
    1 km west of Pontrobert village, reached by a lane to the north of the Pontrobert to Mathrafal road. Farmyard at north and west (including listed farm building), garden to south.
  • II* Friends' Meeting House
    Located in a deliberately obscure position in a fold of the hill at the end of a farm track N of Forge Farm. Burial ground is now a garden.
  • II Cynhinfa
    About 1.5 km south-west of Pontrobert, to east of a minor road. The site is now Parc Cynhinfa Caravan Park.
  • II Pont-y-Ffatri (partley in Llangyniew Community)
    Carrying the road east from Pontrobert to Mathrafal over the Afon Efyrnwy, about 1.5 km east of Pontrobert.
  • II Pont-y-Ffatri (partly in Meifod Community)
    Carrying the road east from Pontrobert to Mathrafal over the Afon Efyrnwy, about 1.5 km east of Pontrobert.

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