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Tabernacl Capel yr Annibynwyr aka Welsh Congregational Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Porthcawl, Bridgend

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Coordinates

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

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

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.

County: Bridgend

Town: Porthcawl

Community: Porthcawl

Community: Porthcawl

Built-Up Area: Porthcawl

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Porthcawl

History

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.

Exterior

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

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.

Reasons for Listing

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.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Church of All Saints
    Centrally within the town of Porthcawl, just NW of the main shopping thoroughfare of St John's Street and on a corner site amidst the seaside housing development of the late C19 and early C20. Surrou
  • II The Old Police Station
    In the town centre on the main shopping street.
  • II Public Conveniences
    In the centre of the main shopping street.
  • II Grand Pavilion
    On the seafront a little W of the town centre.
  • II Newton Primary School (2 blocks)
    Situated E of Porthcawl centre and harbour, W of Newton village, on the main road linking the two, by junction of the sea road to Sandy Bay.
  • II Walls of the Outer Basin and West Pier/Quay
    On the landward side of the Breakwater, to the E of Porthcawl town.
  • II Jennings Warehouse
    Situated on the west quay of the harbour just North of the Breakwater and S of the surviving harbour basin.
  • II The Old Customs House
    At the W end of the Breakwater near the corner of the Harbour and between Jennings Warehouse and the sea wall.

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