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English Presbyterian Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Menai Bridge, Isle of Anglesey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2242 / 53°13'27"N

Longitude: -4.1633 / 4°9'48"W

OS Eastings: 255672

OS Northings: 371869

OS Grid: SH556718

Mapcode National: GBR 5N.0WMY

Mapcode Global: WH547.07Q2

Entry Name: English Presbyterian Chapel

Listing Date: 18 July 1997

Last Amended: 18 July 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18564

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Prominently sited on the south side of Bridge Street, next to the Victoria Hotel.

County: Isle of Anglesey

Town: Menai Bridge

Community: Menai Bridge (Porthaethwy)

Community: Menai Bridge

Built-Up Area: Menai Bridge

Traditional County: Anglesey

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Menai Bridge

History

Preaching in English first started in the New Hall in 1867, with services given by the pastor of the Welsh Presbyterian Chapel, Reverend Joseph Jones. He continued to serve in both chapels for 12 years but in 1878 became pastor of the English one alone. The congregation grew and in 1882-3 the site for new premises was secured. In 1888 the chapel was built through the generosity of the Davies family of Treborth Hall. Richard Davies was MP for Anglesey 1868-1886 and Lord Lieutenant for the Island 1884-1896 and was a businessman who contributed to the development of the town of Menai Bridge in the C19. His brother, Robert Davies, of Bodlondeb, was the builder of the chapel and the architect was R G Thomas FRIBA, of Menai Bridge.

Exterior

A cruciform plan chapel planned in the style of a Decorated Gothic church, and with lower storey housing vestry, schoolroom etc. Main body of chapel in form of 'nave' of 3 bays with shorter, narrower 'chancel' at W end, canted vestry in SW angle, and tower and spire incorporating the entrance in the lower stage, in the angle between nave and N transept. Built of snecked granite (darker in the lower storey) with limestone ashlar dressings and offset buttresses, articulating the elevations by dividing them into regular bays. Slate roof with decorative red clay ridge tiles and stone copings, crosses at each gable. Tower has angle buttresses and stepped chamfered angles in the upper stage, providing a link to the spire which surmounts a polygonal bell-chamber stage with lancet lights between engaged shafts. Pointed arched windows with geometric tracery to upper storey, with relieving arches and labels with floriate stops: single and 2-light windows to 'nave', 3-light windows to transepts, and richly traceried 4-light window to 'chancel'. Transept and chancel have wheel or trefoiled windows towards their apexes. Simpler windows in lower storey.

Interior

Walls are plastered and painted, lower half with tongue and groove panelling below a panelled dado. Wagon barrel roof of tongue and groove forming chevron pattern. Nave of 2.5 roof bays (4 panels per bay), central 2 panels with decorative pierced metal ventilation grilles. Chancel and transepts each a single bay with vaulting at intersection, floriate bosses. Trusses are carried down to colonnettes supported on moulded corbels, some with shield on facing panel. Chancel is raised by 3 steps, through a pointed arch of two orders, supported on marble colonnette above a moulded corbel. Label above with floriate stops. Arches of 3 chamfered orders above engaged Tuscan style columns to transepts. Reredos is limestone, now painted, formed by an applied order of cusped pointed arches across E wall. A square headed doorway SW end of the chancel opens to stairs leading down to vestry, schoolroom, kitchen and toilets below.

Fittings: Font, C20, octagonal. Pulpit, octagonal with 4 facing panels, applied order as for reredos with composite pillars of marble colonnettes and small engaged marble spheres between arches, under a floriate frieze. Raised by 3 curving steps with brass handrail supported on iron balusters and floriate brackets. Pews and choir stalls of pitch pine, organ in chancel with ornate pipes, fitted when the church was built and the first blower organ on the island.

Glass: W gable window in 'chancel'; biblical scenes, erected to Robert Davies of Bodlondeb, d.1905.

Monuments: N transept (also known as the Davies Chapel) series of white marble tablets with peach and green borders; to members of the Davies family of Treborth Hall, on W wall, pink veined marble with inscription tablet surrounded by angels set within a moulded surround with floriate design, to Richard Davies d.1896. Chancel, brass plaque (and W window) to Robert Davies d.1905. Nave, N wall, white marble plaque to R G Thomas, architect of the chapel, d.1909; S wall, 2 marble plaques to those who fell in 1914-18 and 1939-45 World Wars.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a distinctively designed late C19 chapel, notable for its consistent and richly detailed Gothic character and quality of interior fittings. The building has a very clear connection with the development of Menai Bridge as a thriving town in the C19. It also forms a prominent feature of the approach to the town from the S.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Victoria Hotel
    Located on the east side of Bridge Street, between the town centre and Menai Suspension Bridge. The hotel is set back from the road with gardens to the rear overlooking the Menai Strait.
  • II* Capel Mawr Presbyterian Chapel
    Prominently sited on the corner of Chapel Street and New Street.
  • II Bryn Lwyd
    In an elevated position set above the NW side of Bridge Street opposite the English Presbyterian Chapel.
  • II Capel Mawr Chapel House
    Within the grounds and S of Capel Mawr Presbyterian Chapel, at the corner of Chapel Street and New Street.
  • II Warehouses
    A range of early to mid C19 warehouse buildings situated on the west side of Water Street, in the lower part of Menai Bridge.
  • II No 2 Tan Bryn
    Situated close to the centre of Menai Bridge. The houses are slightly set back from and at an angle to the road, with small gardens to the front enclosed by a low wall and railings.
  • II New Street
    New Street is between the main road through the settlement and the shore line, NE of the suspension bridge on the west side of a rocky outcrop.
  • II No 1 Tan Bryn
    Situated close to the centre of Menai Bridge. The houses are slightly set back from and at an angle to the road, with small gardens to the front enclosed by a low wall and railings.

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