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Latitude: 51.4815 / 51°28'53"N
Longitude: -3.7039 / 3°42'13"W
OS Eastings: 281778
OS Northings: 177214
OS Grid: SS817772
Mapcode National: GBR H7.KT8F
Mapcode Global: VH5HN.R183
Entry Name: Tabernacl Capel yr Annibynwyr aka Welsh Congregational Chapel
Listing Date: 17 February 1998
Last Amended: 17 February 1998
Source ID: 19366
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Just N of the main centre of Porthcawl town in a residential street W of the main N/S thoroughfare of South Road.
Built-Up Area: Porthcawl
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Cause established at Hope Chapel, Newton, the village a centre of non-Conformity from C17. By 1916 the growth of Porthcawl town meant that the chapel's main congregation had to travel to and from the village 3 times a day, and it was decided to start a new Welsh speaking Independent church in the town, with services at Hope Chapel, Newton continuing only in English. Cause met at several venues and formed a trust to create a 'stone-built church'. Eventually Tabernacl opened 1931 at a cost of £4300 to seat 600, designed by WD Walters of Tonypandy and built by John Thomas of Bronwydd. Contemporary with the Grand Pavilion.
Built of checkered red and blue brick in Flemish bond with pale ashlar dressings, rendered to sides; Welsh slate roof hipped to rear; ridge ventilator. Plan of gable end frontage with flanking side bays; hipped rear cross wing left and porch entrance rear right. Central bay has high recessed arch to pediment height incorporating a large round arched 5 light window with coloured glazing, red and buff ashlar voussoirs and 3 orders formed by brick slips, a narrow but striking decorative impost band incorporating orange and green tiles, piers are a deep splay; bands of vertical bricks at plinth, capital and pediment level. Central pair of round headed doorways have matching red and buff voussoirs, semi-circular overlights, attached polygonal piers with capitals, lintels to square headed double panelled doors; above is a decorative rectangular inscription panel with motif panel on either side. Bay terminates on each side in a polygonal pier, with dedication stones at base and rising to pediment level, with narrow blind slits at top, these echoed in small triple blind slits in apex, datestone below. On each side are recessed bays with hipped roofs, dentil eaves and long recessed staircase windows. Side of 4 bays, 2 storeys of windows, round arched to gallery and square headed below, all with altered glazing.
Interior is a mixture of traditional 1900s chapel furnishing with a strong 30's influence especially in decorative motifs. Raked 3-sided gallery is not supported by columns but by hidden girders; polished wood front with inlaid panels and carved frieze; intervening more decoratively carved small bays break forward; central clock. Segmental arched plaster ceiling is divided by ribs into 5 bays with 4 ventilators with decorative plaster star-shaped Art Deco surrounds and plaster label stops to the ribs. Moulded round headed arched recess with inscription text now holds organ but reported as formerly housing a small orchestra; organ came from Gomer Chapel Swansea. Below is a central carved pulpit, the flanking seats with a wood and painted wrought iron panelled front and decorative curved panelled set fawr. Gas lamps still in situ on side walls. Moulded dado, double doors to vestibule with gothick moulding, round headed windows to vestibule with coloured glass.
Included for its unusual facade and for its interesting combination of traditional C19 and 1900s chapel plan and furnishing with '30s style and Art Deco motifs and materials.
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