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Latitude: 51.6597 / 51°39'34"N
Longitude: -3.5038 / 3°30'13"W
OS Eastings: 296081
OS Northings: 196723
OS Grid: SS960967
Mapcode National: GBR HH.6PDG
Mapcode Global: VH5GT.7K22
Entry Name: Bethlehem Eglwys Presbyteraidd Cymru/ Bethlehem Welsh Presbyterian Chapel
Listing Date: 20 December 1996
Last Amended: 20 December 1996
Source ID: 18065
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: On the main Valley thoroughfare near the centre of the town
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Community: Treorchy (Treorci)
Built-Up Area: Treorchy
Traditional County: Glamorgan
First chapel opened 1869, following establishing of the Cause in c 1865, part of the Glamorgan Monthly Meetings Mission and known then as the church of Treorchy. Present building dates from 1881, built at a cost of c £2000, and was the mother of several daughter churches.
A dominating gable front facade roughly twice the height of the surrounding terraces, the lay-out and much of the fabric of which dates from the earlier Rhondda industrial housing development before the last quarter of the C19. Width of street reputedly ordered by Bute estate so that coach and horses could turn. Built of Pennant sandstone, snecked and in places symmetrically snecked to a pattern, with ashlar dressings, some with decorative tooling; the stone to front is greyer in tone than the browner stone behind; Welsh slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles and gable finial;lead covering to pediment and parapet. Main street frontage has a wide central bay with pediment enriched with billet moulding and inscription panel 'Bethlehem 1881 Methodistiaid Calfinaidd' below a roundel with punched tracery. Wide shallow side pilasters support a simple entablature, the architrave also enriched with billet moulding. At gallery level are three round headed windows of equal height with moulded impost band and no sills; replaced glazing. Below a double string course are the matching though taller and deeper round headed arches of the 3 doors with kneeler type capitals to jambs and moulded impost band, splayed bases to surrounds, multipanelled double doors and simple glazed semicircular overlights; stone steps, two course plinth. On either side and slightly set back are narrow bays, battered for the lowest quarter of their height, with very long narrow round headed staircase windows. In front is a low boundary wall with 4 decoratively dressed piers with cross gabled capstones and decorative iron railings and gates with leaf motif.
The frontage is wider than the main chapel building which has 5 bays with multipane round headed fixed glazed gallery windows; 4/4 pane segmental headed horned sash windows to ground floor. 2 bay rear wing with segmental headed windows extends to right, with the end bay unusually being built out across rear lane.
Curved gallery is supported by 9 fluted cast iron piers with foliage capitals; gallery front is part boarded with an upper band of painted decorative relief panels; some stencilling to walls. Ceiling replaced 1950s. Raked ground floor with curved pews, central decorative pulpit with arcading and flanking staircases; curved set fawr; behind is a large organ installed 1930s. To rear meeting rooms, some with boarded dados and 4 panelled doors.
Listed especially for its fine and dominating exterior and as an important element both in the townscape of this central area of Treorchy and in the history of the non-conformist cause in this part of the Rhondda.
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