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Latitude: 51.6218 / 51°37'18"N
Longitude: -3.6618 / 3°39'42"W
OS Eastings: 285051
OS Northings: 192746
OS Grid: SS850927
Mapcode National: GBR H8.95MZ
Mapcode Global: VH5GX.GHZM
Entry Name: Salem Welsh Baptist Chapel
Listing Date: 14 July 1997
Last Amended: 14 July 1997
Source ID: 18495
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Located in a row of terraced housing, and set behind a narrow front railed area.
Built-Up Area: Maesteg
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Built in 1872 to the design of H Morgan of Briton Ferry, and erected by Thomas Morgan & Davies of Abertawe at the cost of £2877.4s.7d to seat 1150 worshippers. A new seating plan, involving alterations to the doors, was implemented in 1908.
Rock faced rubble with limestone dressings. Portico front, with tapered Tuscan pilasters defining a wide central entrance bay, and narrower side bays, rising to an entablature with pediment. The frieze is inscribed SALEM ADDOLDY Y BEDYDDWYR A ADEILADWYD 1872. A pierced circular vent is set in the pediment. Central round headed arch enhanced with egg and dart mouldings, perhaps an alteration of c.1908, over a pair of doors (renewed). To either side, two tiers of paired round headed windows with keyed architraves, the keystone vermiculated. Plinth blocks. Inscribed foundation stone below the left pilaster. The side elvations have 5 similar paired round-headed windows on 2 levels, and larger windows to the vestry below the main chapel floor. Gable terminals. The front area is defined against the street by low coped stone walling carrying cast iron railings between central and side piers and gates. These were added soon after completion of the chapel.
Remarkably well preserved interior in its original state. The body of the chapel has a raked gallery on cast iron columns extending around 3 sides, semicircular at the W (entrance) end, and has a bellied and part-gilded cast iron palmette balustrade. The pulpit, on the E wall, is raised against a moulded classical arch on fluted pilasters, which is decorated with stylised painted lilies and an inscription in the tympanum. The pulpit is approached by 5 steps each side, with shaped handrails, leading from the set fawr in a semicircular enclosure with seats around a semicircular table. Below the floor, a curved baptistery with steps each side, the hinged cover inscribed. The area is defined by a moulded timber rail on decorative iron stanchions. Pews in 3 blocks, parted by gangways; 'rosewood' mahogany frames and pine panels. The ceiling is panelled with moulded ribs, and enriched by a particularly fine example of the original stencilled decorations. Original oil lamps on wall brackets, and 2 over the pulpit with glass cylinder diffusers. Behind the pulpit wall, a wide cross corridor gives access to 3 small meeting rooms. Below the chapel, there is a large vestry with iron columns and proscenium arch.
Included at II* as an important chapel which has remained largely unaltered since it was built, including retaining its original decorations and fittings.
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