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Castle Square Presbyterian Church of Wales, including forecourt walls and railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Caernarfon, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1392 / 53°8'21"N

Longitude: -4.2738 / 4°16'25"W

OS Eastings: 248000

OS Northings: 362642

OS Grid: SH480626

Mapcode National: GBR 5J.6692

Mapcode Global: WH43F.BC38

Entry Name: Castle Square Presbyterian Church of Wales, including forecourt walls and railings

Listing Date: 14 October 1997

Last Amended: 3 May 2002

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18962

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Prominently sited at the E end of Castle Square, at the junction with Chapel Street.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarfon

Community: Caernarfon

Community: Caernarfon

Built-Up Area: Caernarfon

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Built in 1883 (date on building) by Richard Owen, architect of Liverpool. The contractor was Richard Williams of Bank Quay, Caernarfon. The organ was purchased second hand in 1887 for £215. It had been built by Edward Franklin Lloyd, with an organ case by Robert Garnett & Sons, cabinet makers of Warrington.


Gothic style chapel of coursed rock-faced yellow sandstone and slate roof behind coped gables. The asymmetrical front has a tower and spire over a porch to the R and 2-storey porch to the L with steep hipped roof. In the centre are 4 lancets lighting the vestibule, with ringed shafts and foliage capitals and tall triple lancets lighting the main chapel, which have clustered shafts and foliage capitals. Above is an arcaded frieze and a cusped roundel to the gable. On the L side is an angle buttress with polygonal turret. The L-hand porch has an angle buttress and a quatrefoil frieze to the eaves. The porch has a doorway with a boarded door and prominent false strap hinges, the tympanum of which has a cusped circular light. Above are 3stepped lancets lighting the gallery stair, with shafts and foliage capitals. The 3-stage tower is brought forward and has shallow set-back buttresses to the second and third stages above an offset. In the lower stage are double boarded doors with prominent false strap hinges, set within an arch incorporating a foliage frieze. A mullioned overlight has shafts and foliage capitals. The R side wall has a cusped roundel. A single light is to the second stage below a roundel in the tympanum, while the third stage has a taller lancet with louvres. Above is a parapet with blind arcade and polygonal panelled turrets over the buttresses. The ashlar spire has a single tier of lucarnes.

The forecourt has gates R and L with polygonal stone piers and pyramid caps. Each pair of double iron gates has dog bars and scrollwork below spike finials. The dwarf wall of coursed rock-faced stone between the gates is stepped and has iron railings with similar detail to the gates. The return wall on the R abutting the tower has similar detail.

The R side wall is of cyclopean granite of 5 buttressed bays, each bay having a pair of lancets. Behind the main chapel is a 2-storey 5-window vestry in similar materials to the main chapel. Facing Chapel Street it has 2-pane sashes under segmental heads, except for a pair of sashes lower L, to the L of the doorway, which is L of centre and has double boarded doors.


The main doorways open to porches with doorways to the vestibule, which has 2 pointed lights to the main chapel with coloured glass. Porches and vestibule have decorative tile floors, half-lit panelled doors with coloured glass to the vestibule, and panelled doors incorporating coloured glass panels to the gallery stairs and main chapel.

The main chapel has a 5-bay arched-brace roof with boarding behind, on a bracketed cornice and the main trusses on corbels. Two cast iron columns with foliage capitals support the single-sided gallery, the front of which is panelled and projects on brackets. Each pair of windows has a segmental pointed rere-arch. The organ recess is spanned by a tall pointed arch with clustered shafts with foliage capitals, and hood mould with foliage stops. The small traceried round window in the organ recess, and the large window lighting the gallery, also have non-figurative coloured glass. Flanking the organ recess are panelled vestry doors incorporating coloured glass panels.

The large late C19 organ has a big panelled organ case with classical detail. It stands in a railed enclosure of twisted wrought iron uprights sprouting foliage-enriched scrollwork below a wooden hand rail. The main corners have square moulded wooden newels. Within the enclosure is a freestanding polygonal and panelled wooden pulpit on a boarded stem. The pews have panelled ends incorporating painted numbers in quatrefoil panels. In the side wall is a white marble memorial tablet to members lost in the 1914-18 war.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its architectural interest as good example of a Gothic style chapel on a prominent site, with a well-preserved interior, with other associated listed items for its contribution to the historic townscape and the setting of Caernarfon Castle.

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