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Latitude: 51.689 / 51°41'20"N
Longitude: -3.4102 / 3°24'36"W
OS Eastings: 302616
OS Northings: 199862
OS Grid: ST026998
Mapcode National: GBR HM.4WF0
Mapcode Global: VH6D3.VT11
Entry Name: Bethesda Baptist Chapel
Listing Date: 18 February 1999
Last Amended: 29 November 2002
Source ID: 21369
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated on raised ground at the corner of John Street and Margaret Street, set back in grassed forecourt with rubble walls and stone piers.
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Built-Up Area: Aberdare
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Baptist chapel of 1864. Said to have originated from two chapels in Jenkin Street. Great seat and part
of floor removed after dry rot in 1996, and one gallery stair carefully replaced, roof renewed.
Chapel of 1864, two-storey three-bay classical gable facade in painted stucco, with slate roof.
Single-storey vestry to rear. Pedimental gable with plaque, verges probably simplified in C20 roof renewal. Main front has 4 projecting piers to rusticated ground floor and has paired Corinthian pilasters above, under main cornice. Moulded course between floors broken forward over piers. Raised plinth. First floor arched windows, centre triplet with centre light same size as windows in outer bays, all 3 with keystones to simple moulded surrounds. Triplet sidelights are narrow without keystones. Ground floor openings are flat-headed with voussoirs, double panelled doors, overlight with marginal glazing bars. All windows have marginal glazing bars with coloured glass. Side walls rendered with three-window range of sashes similar to facade.
Interior of 1864, with unusually decorative boarded ceiling that could be of later C19 date. Three-sided steeply raked gallery with curved angles on 4x1x4 plain iron columns. Gallery front has deep marbled cove under simple painted grained panelling. Long horizontal moulded panels alternated with shorter panels, contrasting graining, clock in centre. Pews in three blocks, all with hinged doors onto aisles. Backs are horizontally panelled, doors vertically. Centre block partitioned down the middle; side blocks angled towards pulpit. Inward facing pews flank one side of pulpit only. Raked gallery pews with curved bench ends. Stick balusters above stairs and against gallery windows. Great seat replaced by pew from vestry with separate turned baluster rail to sides. Pulpit platform possibly of c1900 with short straight stair each side. Platform is rectangular containing covered immersion font. Open-spaced turned balusters and ball-finial newels interrupted for two box cabinets for communion cups with early C20 coloured glass fronts. Two doors from platform to vestry, for separate male and female entry for baptisms, with classical arched recess between. Arched door at ends of aisles also for vestry access. Plaques to two C20 ministers below the gallery on end wall. Lobby at entrance end has canted walls with panelled doors and centre square window with marginal bars. Ceiling has plaster cornice and border, the rest is in two boarded rectangles. Ornate multicoloured roses on circular plaster panels set in stained herring-bone boarded wooden sections with diagonal ribs. Unusual border, probably papier-mâché, with embossed pattern. Three pierced vents across the central division, one in the middle of each end border, but corners have ornate multicoloured papier-mâché plaques. Entrance lobby has ornate tiled floor with carpeted stairs to half-landing and gallery.
Included primarily for the handsome classical facade in a prominent position, together with unaltered
interior retaining its furnishings and an unusual panelled ceiling.