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Latitude: 51.6263 / 51°37'34"N
Longitude: -3.051 / 3°3'3"W
OS Eastings: 327343
OS Northings: 192461
OS Grid: ST273924
Mapcode National: GBR J3.8P8P
Mapcode Global: VH7B5.2DD5
Entry Name: Zoar Baptist Chapel
Listing Date: 22 July 1998
Last Amended: 24 April 2003
Source ID: 20183
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Set back from the road in a walled and gated burial ground, approximately 1.69 km from Henllys, south of the road junction at Castell-y-bwch.
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Baptist Chapel of 1836 in Gothic style. Religious Census of 1851 records 70 people attending morning service and 100 evening. Burial ground contains a tombstone to Nathaniel Jones, killed in the Abercarn colliery explosion, 11th September 1878. Overgrown and disused at time of survey. Now privately owned and with planning permission for conversion to a house.
Rendered externally, half-hipped slate roof. S front has wide porch: centre gable with side hips. Pointed-arched entrance doorway with Y-traceried overlight and boarded double-doors. Above porch, upper gable carries an inscribed stone tablet:
Side elevations each have three pointed-arched windows with Y-tracery; stone sills; 9 panes on W side but only 7 to E. Rear has single-storey lean-to vestry; small 5-pane Y-traceried window to E; boarded door to W. The N gable has a brick stack with plain oversailing course.
The interior is virtually unchanged since 1836, and retains a very strong original character. Double doors into broad vestibule; attractive pointed-arched vault, stone flagged floor. Inside face of entrance doors have 8 panels with plain chamfered mouldings. To L and R are 6-panel doors to main chapel. Small, single cell chapel (without gallery) with pleasingly grained interior woodwork. Flanking the aisles on each side are box pews; characteristic early C19 moulded panelling, with smaller horizontal over taller vertical panels. Middle block of seats raised on a boarded floor, with two rows of box pews at back and movable open backed benches in front. Centre stove with tall tin flue. Ceiling plain with no cornice, ceiled at collar level; two small rectangular ventilator openings. Set fawr of 1836, an unusual survival, has long narrow balustrade raised on plain panelled base; turned newels and balusters, stair to right. The front rail of the balustrade curves up either side of off-centre reading desk, which is supported on shaped brackets. Back of pulpit platform has dado of plain panelling and full-length attached bench with shaped supports. Behind reading desk are taller panels with shaped wings and an inset pulpit seat with curved arms and turned legs. A charming and very unaltered interior for the period.
An unusually well-preserved early C19 chapel with good interior and many original fittings.
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