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Former Bethany Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8229 / 51°49'22"N

Longitude: -3.0172 / 3°1'2"W

OS Eastings: 329986

OS Northings: 214292

OS Grid: SO299142

Mapcode National: GBR F5.WB7G

Mapcode Global: VH796.NF8Y

Entry Name: Former Bethany Chapel

Listing Date: 27 October 1998

Last Amended: 10 November 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 20750

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: At the north-east end of Market Street and forming a part of the group of historic buildings near the Town Hall in the main commercial centre of Abergavenny.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Abergavenny

Community: Abergavenny (Y Fenni)

Community: Abergavenny

Built-Up Area: Abergavenny

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Abergavenny

History

Baptist Chapel of 1882, designed by E A Johnson of Abergavenny, built by local contractor J G Thomas at a cost of £1,240. Recently housed a Museum of Childhood but now disused.

Exterior

Built of red brick with Bath stone dressings, red sandstone basement, Welsh slate roof. Big late-Victorian Gothic chapel. Gable front has two 3-light geometric windows with large quatrefoil heads above centre pair of entrance doors with transverse gabled wings (to house gallery stairs) at each end. Upper gable has slender recessed brick panels which rise from stone string course; kneelered coping with finial. Twin-gabled porch has ashlar apices with stone coping. Double doors, boarded (now covered) with 4-pane overlights. Each staircase bay has lancet window with traceried circular head and dripmould. This dripmould is unusually steep and is continuous with a band course across the whole facade. Brick parapet with stone dressings.
Five-bay west elevation (to street) has moulded brick eaves course; lancet windows in pairs and stepped brick buttresses. Gabled stair bays are buttressed and have smaller lancets with floral terracotta panels inset below sill in Arts and Crafts style. The upper gable breaks forward slightly, carried on a projecting stone string course decorated with carved foliate ornament; above, semi-circular window with trefoil head; stone coped gable with finial. Foundation stone at south end of elevation.
East elevation has walls of rubble stone, not brick, and is without decoration.
The chapel is raised to street-level on a stone basement, with steps up to an entrance terrace; 3-light mullion and transom windows to sides.

Interior

Interior not inspected at resurvey, the existing descripton has been used. Entrance doorway leads directly to vestibule, with stairs (left and right) to gallery. Facing wall of vestibule has 4-light mullion window with moulded architrave; square angle blocks with roundels. To left and right, 6-panel double doors (with diagonally boarded panels) lead to main chapel. Medium-sized auditorium with impressive arch-braced collar truss roof. Five bays, trusses supported on shaped stone corbels decorated with paterae. Boarded ceiling with canted sides; ribbed panels form chevron pattern. Inset octagonal ventilators with patterned grilles. Chapel has galleries across each end. Entrance-end gallery is carried on heavily moulded beam, with curved ends. Gallery front has recessed, diagonally boarded panels surmounted by ornamental band of pierced squares with cusped corners; moulded top rail. Organ gallery at opposite end recessed beneath big stone Gothic arch; scalloped and foliated corbels. Lean-to rafter roof with wind-braced purlins. End-walls flanking arch have tiny masks and plaster medallions of evangelists - eagle (St. John) to left, and angel (St. Matthew) to right. Windows lattice glazed; each jamb decorated with single floral tile in Aesthetic Movement style. Organ, pulpit platform, immersion font and pews removed. Cellar beams supported in centre by attractive cast iron columns; compound piers with four attached shafts.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special interest as an imposing late C19 Gothic chapel with interesting Arts and Crafts features, which also has group value with the adjacent Market Building and Town Hall.

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