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Latitude: 51.6108 / 51°36'38"N
Longitude: -3.5827 / 3°34'57"W
OS Eastings: 290501
OS Northings: 191408
OS Grid: SS905914
Mapcode National: GBR HD.9MK9
Mapcode Global: VH5GY.VS90
Entry Name: United Reformed Church including vestry wing
Listing Date: 30 July 1997
Last Amended: 30 July 1997
Source ID: 18628
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated on a corner site just E of and above the main valley thoroughfare Oxford Street, the side elevation being on Meadow Street which was the original valley thoroughfare.
Community: Garw Valley (Cwm Garw)
Community: Garw Valley
Built-Up Area: Pontycymer
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Originally the English Congregational Church, the Cause founded 1893 by members of the nearby Tabernacl Welsh Congregational Church. First church on site was a zinc chapel and present church designed by P J Thomas and built by P. Gaylard, both of Bridgend, 1904-6. Affiliated to United Reformed Church in 1972.
In late Gothic style. Built of coursed rock-faced sandstone with generous and prominent ashlar dressings, yellow brick dressings to side left; Welsh slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles and apex cross. The main chapel is a two storeyed single cell building with a small porch on the gable end facade. This frontage has a large first storey window of 4 lights with cusped tracery, hoodmoulds with foliage stops and moulded patterned bases. Flanking this are two staircase bays created by pairs of buttresses with deep paired ashlar offsets and pinnacles, the outer higher and decorated with crockets, and enclosing single light pointed arched staircase windows with cusped heads, hoodmoulds and coloured multipane glazing on each floor. Ground floor has stone steps to gabled porch which has moulded pointed arched doorway with heavy foliage stops, attached piers and large diagonal buttresses and is flanked by two cusped headed lights with steeply gabled surrounds topped by large attached finials. Dedication stones under windows now illegible. In front is a small forecourt bounded by iron railings and a small wall right.
Side elevation fronting Meadow Street has a 6 windows range of paired lights to each storey, each with pointed and cusped head within a square headed 2 storey moulded surround with shallow hood mould and angled sill. Prominent string course at plinth level with ventilator grilles above. Attached is a rendered gabled vestry cross wing with large triple arched light window, shallow pilasters and separate entrance door; this joins a further wing with separate entrance from left side of main frontage.
A raked rear gallery has bowed decorative painted cast iron front supported by 2 slender cast iron columns with foliage capitals. Six bay roof with boarded ceiling arched in 5 panels, each truss supported by corbels. Slightly raked ground floor has 3 blocks of numbered pews. Organ with painted pipes by Peter Conacher of Huddersfield front left. Wooden pulpit, small font and communion table, with plain panelled reredos in memory of John Thomas Rhys 1867-1938 founder and first pastor; communion rail moved 1970s but still extant. Above reredos is a mosaic on the theme Blessed are the Pure in Heart set within stone canopywork and a decorative moulded stone surround with high crocketed finials. Figurative stained glass in 4 light window with cusped tracery above reredos; decorative glass to gallery window; plain coloured rectangular quarries to side windows which incorporate single opening lights; patterned coloured glass to vestibule. To rear a suite of rooms comprising minister''s room, meeting room and vestry, with original doors, surrounds and boarded dados.
Listed as a chapel of eye-catching Gothic design retaining its original furnishings and with important frontages on 2 streets, and for group value with other buildings in Meadow Street: Tabernacl Chapel, Ffaldau Workmen''s Institute and Billiard Hall and the former Coop Bakery.
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