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Trealaw Cemetery Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taff

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Latitude: 51.618 / 51°37'4"N

Longitude: -3.427 / 3°25'37"W

OS Eastings: 301296

OS Northings: 191984

OS Grid: ST012919

Mapcode National: GBR HL.9BPB

Mapcode Global: VH6DH.KL3H

Plus Code: 9C3RJH9F+65

Entry Name: Trealaw Cemetery Chapel

Listing Date: 24 February 1997

Last Amended: 24 February 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18268

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: The cemetery is on the main Valley thoroughfare at the very eastern edge of the community and on the boundary with Porth; the chapel is near the main central entrance with the extensive cemetery stret

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Community: Trealaw

Community: Trealaw

Locality: Trealaw Cemetery

Built-Up Area: Tonypandy

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Cemetery created 1882 on land of Llethrddu Farm, some 10 years after the establishment of the first Rhondda cemetery in Treorchy, to serve the communities of the mid Rhondda, especially Porth and surrounding district; originally known as The Rhondda Joint Cemetery, inscribed thus on entrance piers, and also as Llethrddu Cemetery. Architect believed to be H Jenkins, described as 'Surveyor and Architect of the Joint Burial Board' and contractor Hopkin Knill. The Joint Burial Board Minute Book held in the lodge has monthly reports on the progress of the construction through 1882 . Undated later drawing shows a spire in place of present pyramidal roof, which is referred to in the minutes as being shingled.


Gothic. Built of coursed, occasionally snecked, rock-faced sandstone with generous ashlar dressings (described as Forest stone); banded Welsh slate roof with decorative ridge tiles and large stone finials. Plan of 5 bay nave, SE tower with entrance and short passage adjoining nave, lower single bay chancel, small NE porch. All windows have voussoirs of alternating red and buff sandstone, and red buttress quoins contrast with buff ashlar bands, all creating a modest polychromy. Buttresses have ashlar offsets and quoins creating a symmetrical pattern with the rockfaced sandstone and a prominent sillband/string course, stepped at E end, encircles the building, continuing even over the buttresses; deep ashlar copings to each gable and continuous battered plinth. Large 5 light W window has geometric tracery and hoodmould with figurative stops; above is a small blind gable lancet; large kneelers, ashlar bands in stonework, angle buttresses and stepped sillband. S and N elevations each have pointed arched windows of 2 lights with a quatrefoil tracery light, 3 to W and one to E of opposing porches. N porch has a gabled roof of large stone tiles, heavy roll moulding over pointed arched doorway, and recessed door of planked wood with decorative metal hinges up shallow stone ramp.

S tower which also serves as an entrance porch is of 3 storeys with pyramidal roof with swept eaves, replacing a former spire, and is surmounted by a decorative weather vane. Eaves cornice has ballflower moulding and lombard frieze below; full height angle buttresses with offsets are mainly of ashlar, and ashlar bands in different forms divide the storeys; belfry has double louvred lancets with plate tracery, narrow lancets below, and lancets to ground floor. Five stone steps lead to S heavily moulded pointed arched main entrance doorway which has very decorative wrought iron gate (described as a grille in the minutes); porch has rendered walls, flag floor, a pointed arch in front of the internal doorway which has a planked door with decorative hinges.

Chancel has 3 light E window with geometric tracery, 3 light S window with perpendicular style tracery, angle buttresses and lean to boiler house to N with separate matching door.


5 bay roof is boarded. Walls are rendered with exposed quoins. Floor is quarry tiled. An unusual feature is the boxed family pews aligned N/S facing each other on either side of central aisle in E bay of nave. Pointed chancel arch with foliage capitals; the main furnishing is a reading desk central under the chancel arch.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as the only surviving original Rhondda cemetery chapel, for its interesting design and detailing, for its dominating position within the cemetery, and for group value with monuments to David Evans, William Evans and Daniel Thomas.

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