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Latitude: 52.0833 / 52°4'59"N
Longitude: -4.2728 / 4°16'21"W
OS Eastings: 244365
OS Northings: 245211
OS Grid: SN443452
Mapcode National: GBR DH.BYN2
Mapcode Global: VH3KB.WWJT
Plus Code: 9C4Q3PMG+8V
Entry Name: Capel Llwynrhydowen (Old Chapel)
Listing Date: 21 September 1964
Last Amended: 13 January 1993
Source ID: 10655
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated facing W by crossroads in Rhydowen.
Traditional County: Cardiganshire
Originally founded 1726. Dated 1834. Unitarianism in Wales began here in the C18 under Jenkin Jones, David Lloyd and David Davis. Charles Lloyd returned from London in late C18 to preach in the area to such effect that the majority of non-conformists in the Lampeter, Llandysul, Aeron valley were Unitarians. The chapel under the Rev William Thomas (Gwilym Marles) was the focus of the struggle over the eviction of Liberal-voting tenants of the Alltyrodyn estate after the 1868 general election. In 1876 the Minister and congregation were themselves evicted and a national movement of support led to the construction of the new chapel in 1878-9.
Unitarian Chapel in rubble stone with half-hipped slate roof and lateral facade. Scallopped timber eaves cornice. Tall front with arched openings, cut stone voussoirs and keystones. Two long centre windows, 2 short outer windows over 3-panel doors with fanlights. Slate sills, intersecting tracery to fanlights and window heads, windows are sashes with glazing bars. Under eaves to centre is framed oval slate plaque 'Llwynrhydowen 1834'.
Inset into wall beneath centre windows are slate headstones to Rev P Joseph (d 1857) and Rev John Davies (d 1858), and a third to left, to J Joseph, Wesyn (d 1863).
Plain end walls. Rear has 2 very long narrow windows with marginal bars. Paired brackets to flat timber eaves.
attractive interior has panelled 3-sided gallery with Gothic moulding to cornice. 2 x 3 cast iron columns. Plain pews and set fawr. Pulpit with baluster steps and twisted balusters framing canted centre (similar detail to Brynteg Chapel, Llanwenog 1838). Chapel is said to have been renewed 1862.
Listed at grade II* because of historical importance in Unitarian history and because it is an unrestored chapel of late Georgian character.
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