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Capel Pen-rhiw

A Grade II Listed Building in St. Fagans (Sain Ffagan), Cardiff

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Latitude: 51.4877 / 51°29'15"N

Longitude: -3.2732 / 3°16'23"W

OS Eastings: 311692

OS Northings: 177299

OS Grid: ST116772

Mapcode National: GBR HT.KFCM

Mapcode Global: VH6F5.6VXW

Plus Code: 9C3RFPQG+3P

Entry Name: Capel Pen-rhiw

Listing Date: 6 October 1977

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 17385

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Museum of Welsh Life

County: Cardiff

Town: Cardiff

Community: St. Fagans (Sain Ffagan)

Community: St. Fagans

Locality: Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Saint Fagans


Unitarian Chapel, complete with fittings, brought from Dre-fach Velindre, Carmarthenshire. The structure was opened as a chapel in 1777 but may date from before then and previous to being a chapel is thought to have been in use as an outbuilding. It was re-erected at the Museum of Welsh Life in 1956.

The Museum Council had recommended in October 1943 that 'an open-air museum was an essential auxiliary to the National Museum of Wales.' ; 'a Wales in miniature where in the confined area of one hundred acres the visitor will be able to wander through time and space.' This vision was made reality by Lord Plymouth's gift of St. Fagans Castle and Park to the National Museum of Wales in 1946. The gardens were opened to the public in 1947 and the house in 1948 but it was recognised that 'some time must elapse before any ancient houses can be re-erected in the Park'. The purpose of the Museum was that 'from different parts of Wales, farm-houses and buildings which would otherwise fall into ruin or be destroyed will be secured for re-erection, the chosen houses will of course be architecturally, historically and socially significant of Welsh culture'. The first building thus re-erected was the Stryd Lydan barn in 1951 and the ones which are included in the list are those re-erected between that date and 1972 and are thus all more than thirty years on their present site.


Whitewashed stone rubble walls, with a stone slate gabled roof. South-east elevation with a tall centre sash window three panes wide, flanked to each side firstly by a 2-light window with small panes and, secondly, by a square-headed doorway with ledged door. North-west wall lit by one sash window three panes wide. South-west gable end with one semi-circular headed sash window with glazing bars. North-east wall gable end with one small window.


Single cell chapel with gallery. Stone staircase against north-east wall leading to early C19 gallery (replacing a loft) on south-west, north-west and north-east sides. Pews of differing design with panelled sides, possibly each family having been responsible for its own pew; arcaded pew adjoining pulpit probably for elders, with one for deacons in front of it again. Roof on false crucks; six bays, collared principals, three tiers of purlins and ridge piece.

Reasons for Listing

Included as one of the first complete buildings re-erected at the Museum of Welsh Life, then the Welsh Folk Museum. This building is of considerable historic interest as one of the early exhibits, both for itself and for the way it has been displayed.

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