History in Structure

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Capel Bethania

A Grade II Listed Building in Bethesda, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1818 / 53°10'54"N

Longitude: -4.0667 / 4°4'0"W

OS Eastings: 261986

OS Northings: 366966

OS Grid: SH619669

Mapcode National: GBR 5S.3GML

Mapcode Global: WH54G.H9P2

Entry Name: Capel Bethania

Listing Date: 25 April 1997

Last Amended: 25 April 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18384

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated NW of centre of Bethesda, on A 5, opposite Station Road.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Bangor

Community: Bethesda

Community: Bethesda

Built-Up Area: Bethesda

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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History

Independent chapel of 1885 by the Rev. Thomas Thomas of Landore, Swansea (Thomas Glandwr). The style was called 'Landore Lombardic' in the Builder magazine 1885.

Exterior

Ruabon red brick with sandstone ashlar dressings, and slate roof. Three-bay gable front subtly articulated in the vertical plane: the wall-face being the main plane (with the windows recessed), then the flanking bays have angle piers flush with stepped corbelling under the gable, and raised again are the framing elements of the centrepiece: the doorcases, the rectangular frame of the main window recess and the corbelled framing of the gable panel. Stone coping broken by four square finials, with stone plinths, brick shafts and stone steep pyramid caps. Gable finial.

Centre has paired gabled arched doorways between pilasters, the outer ones broad to carry both arch and bases of pilasters above. Moulded stone imposts and arches, brick in paired gables with stone coping. Double 6-panel doors with ornate iron tracery in fanlights. First floor main recess has impressive stone-traceried arched window deeply-recessed under moulded stone arch on stone imposts with stone column shafts inset in brick jambs. Tracery has column-shafted mullions to broad centre light and narrower light each side, then transom right across under centre stilted arch with four stone radiating bars framing five stone roundels. The framing of the main recess is brick with stone corbelling under the head, and the sides embellished with stone pilasters up to impost height of the window, and a smaller stone cornice further up, at level of stone plinths of outer turrets.

Side bays each have ground floor small triple light, three slit windows between four recessed brick piers. Flush stone heads and sills. Above, a large stone-traceried arched window with moulded imposts, moulded stone arch and 2-light tracery with arched heads and roundel above. Transom across, and below the transom, the mullion and jambs are shafted. All glazing on front is small-paned metal, possibly renewed in 1930s.

Side walls are of 5 recessed bays, 2-storey with arched upper windows, flat-headed below. Flush ashlar lintels, arches and sills. Timber small-paned glazing, casement-pairs with top-light. Each recess is corbelled above, has brick piers and raised plinth. Three-window, 2-storey rear with one gable light. Coped gable with similar turrets but those at mid-height are chimneys.

Interior

Notable interior, particularly the roof, a shallow elliptical vault down centre with 3 tie-beams and queen-post trusses, and flat panelled ceilings each side. Curved gallery on 7 iron columns with florid capitals. Timber front in long panels with small square panels above chamfered to circles. Curved great seat incurved to form entry with small U-plan seats at foot of pulpit steps. Pulpit has curving balustraded steps and canted front panelled with roundels. Large timber pulpit-back with fluted pilasters, 5 arches, fretted frieze, and pediment with acroterial finials. Raked gallery pews, curved rear wall.

Reasons for Listing

A very confident chapel design, stylistically free, with elements from both Classical and Romanesque. The tracery is similar to that on Thomas's own chapel Siloh, Landore, Glam. of 1876, but more carefully detailed.

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