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Hen Dy Cwrdd Unitarian Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Vaynor, Merthyr Tydfil

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7611 / 51°45'39"N

Longitude: -3.4038 / 3°24'13"W

OS Eastings: 303213

OS Northings: 207862

OS Grid: SO032078

Mapcode National: GBR HM.0BJR

Mapcode Global: VH6CQ.YZFV

Entry Name: Hen Dy Cwrdd Unitarian Chapel

Listing Date: 19 June 1985

Last Amended: 16 June 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11512

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Near the centre of Cefn Coed-y-Cymmer on the W side of Old Chapel Road.

County: Merthyr Tydfil

Town: Merthyr Tydfil

Community: Vaynor (Y Faenor)

Community: Vaynor

Locality: Cefn Coed-y-Cymmer

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

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Merthyr Tydfil

History

Unitarian chapel founded 1747, rebuilt 1853 and 1895, much restored 1991-3. the previous chapel was galleried as the gallery was in need of whitewash and repair 1826. The new chapel of 1853 was designed by John Lewis of Cwm-moel, Vaynor and the contractors were Watkin Meredith, mason, Thomas Vaughan, carpenter, and Philip Jones, plasterer, the contract cost was £434. The design for the 1853 facade shows that it had a pediment, outer giant pilasters, arched upper windows each side over smaller square-headed windows below, and arched doorway between, the doorway pilastered with cornice and plaque over. The present facade dates from the near complete rebuilding in 1895 for £750, and it is assumed that all the interior detail dates from this period, though the wall structure may be of 1853. In 1991-3 the facade was taken down and rebuilt, to almost the same design, slightly simplified, and the interior altered. An organ in the gallery and pulpit backboards have been removed.

Exterior

Chapel, stucco with slate roof. Pedimented gable facade in 2 storeys and 3 bays with cornice and frieze above ground floor, broken forward over 4 pilaster strips. (There was a second frieze under pediment with similar forward breaks in tops of pilasters, but this has been simplified to plain pilasters). Romanesque-style openings, first floor has 2 ashlar roundels each with 3 stone roundels within and centre triple window of 3 arched lights with ashlar heads, bases and column shafts with moulded capitals. Arched stucco hoodmoulds over roundels and triple arched hood over centre. Ground floor has arched window each side with ashlar 2-light and roundel tracery with low transom over 2 blind bottom panels, and stucco hoodmoulds. Big centre arched doorway with arched hoodmould (formerly the hoodmould was extended out as string over pilasters each side and there were sunk spandrel panels over the arch). Inscriptions in raised capital letters (slightly altered in 1991-3): in frieze below centre window ''''''''''''''''Hen Dy Cwrdd.''''''''''''''''; then below frieze ''''''''''''''''Built 1747 Rebuilt 1853. 1895. 1991.'''''''''''''''' and arched over door ''''''''''''''''I ni nid oes ond un Duw y Tad.''''''''''''''''. Double doors with fanlight. Stuccoed 2-storey, 3-window sides with arched windows above and square headed windows below, all with glazing bars (windows were linked vertically with panels between before 1991).

Interior

Plain pitch-pine 3-sided gallery with canted angles, cambered-headed panels infilled with boarding and front carried on moulded brackets. Five fluted iron columns with ornate capitals and mid-ring, probably of 1853. Two 6-panel lobby doors and window between with stained glass, earlier C20, of the Good Shepherd, removed from Capel Coffa Aubrey, the Welsh Wesleyan chapel, Cefn, demolished in 1977. Patterned late C19 or early C20 coloured glass in triplet behind gallery. Pitch pine pews with boarded backs. Large pitch pine pulpit platform with stairs up each side, the stairs with turned balusters and turned newels with finials, the platform with similar balusters to quarter-round angles, flanking panelled projecting 3-sided pulpit. Panelled base with quarter-round angles.

Reasons for Listing

Included, notwithstanding thorough restoration in early 1990s, as a Unitarian chapel with unusual Romanesque detail to facade of 1895.

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