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Watford Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Caerphilly (Caerffili), Caerphilly

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5626 / 51°33'45"N

Longitude: -3.2304 / 3°13'49"W

OS Eastings: 314809

OS Northings: 185579

OS Grid: ST148855

Mapcode National: GBR HW.DS55

Mapcode Global: VH6DS.YZLG

Entry Name: Watford Chapel

Listing Date: 18 February 1999

Last Amended: 18 February 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21380

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located on a steep hill below Caerphilly mountain, S of Caerphilly town centre. The gabled entrance fronts the road. To the N is the burial ground.

County: Caerphilly

Town: Caerphilly

Community: Caerphilly (Caerffili)

Community: Caerphilly

Locality: Watford

Built-Up Area: Caerphilly

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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History

The Independents built their first chapel at Watford in 1739 under the Rev. David Williams (1709 - 84). The land was acquired from Thomas Price JP of Plas Watford, who was an active supporter of Welsh non-conformists. David Williams invited Hywel Harris to Glamorgan in 1738 and he subsequently preached at Watford, but by 1740 with the revival of Methodism, the doctrines of the two men began to diverge. The Calvinistic Methodists left Watford and built a chapel at Groeswen in 1742, whilst David Williams inclined towards Arminianism and Arianism. Charles Wesley preached at Watford in 1740 and 1741 (John Wesley is also said to have preached there), staying at Plas Watford with Thomas Price. David Williams is buried at Watford Chapel. The congregation subsequently declined and the gallery was taken down. Mary Williams (d. 1837), daughter of the Rev. David Williams, bequeathed £300 to the chapel. Alterations were made in 1842. The interior of the chapel was remodelled in 1877 at a cost of £250. In 1890 the chapel was extended and probably rebuilt, and a new gallery was installed with seating for 140 people. The chapel was renovated in 1938 and 1962.

Exterior

Symmetrical gable-entry chapel in simple classical style. Two-storey, 3-bay front. Rendered under a slate roof with plain barge boards. Round-headed openings to upper storey, the central window larger, square-headed openings to lower storey, all with hoodmoulds and stone sills. Central planked double doors with overlight, flanked by single lights. In the gable apex is an inscription within a moulded rectangular frame. It reads 'WATFORD Congregational Church, Organised 1662, Building Effected 1733, Altered 1842 & 1877, Enlarged 1890'.

The rear E end has 2 tall round headed windows with their original wooden glazing bars. Each contains 2 round-headed lights, a mullion and 3 transoms. Small lean-to below. The S side has a 4-pane window under a shallow segmental head. Adjoining the N side of the chapel is a small house set back, formerly for the minister. Rendered under a cement pan-tile roof with yellow brick end stack. Two-storey, 1-window, with a planked door to the R. Modern casement windows. In front of the house, the chapel has 2 small square-headed windows.

Interior

Entrance vestibule with 2 panelled doors leading into chapel. Between doors is a window with coloured margin glazing. A staircase to the L leads up to the gallery. Raked gallery at W end on 2 narrow cast iron columns with 5 tiers of pews. Wooden gallery front with panels containing diagonal planking. Three banks of box pews, the bench ends with circular finials. Wainscot panelling. Square headed fireplace in N Wall. Four-bay roof with plain collar trusses, boarded above. Hollow-moulded plaster coving. Reredos behind pulpit in form of blind round arch, bearing an inscription 'Molwch yr Arglwdd'. Polygonal panelled pulpit reached by stairs with turned balusters and square newel posts. Wood panelled set fawr, in front of which is a highly decorative organ, brought from America. Small wood-planked lobby to SE corner.

Memorials are mounted on the walls, some of which were formerly in the graveyard. One is dedicated to Mary Richards (d. 1767) and her husband William (d. 1780) of Energlyn. A stone tablet with an arched head in the NE corner is to Mary, wife of David Williams (d. 1745) and her son. A wooden tablet is to Mary, daughter of David Williams (d. 1837), who left £300 to the church.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a mostly late C19 chapel of special interest for its close association with the Rev. David Williams and the early history of non-conformity in S Wales.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Watford Fach Farmhouse with adjoining former barn
    Fronting Watford Road as it climbs out of the town towards Caerphilly mountain. Opposite Plas Watford.
  • II Plas Watford
    Set back from the road as it climbs up towards Caerphilly Mountain. Opposite Watford Fach Farmhouse.
  • II Milestone
    Located outside the Coach House Gallery to the S of Warren Drive.
  • II Church of St Martin
    Located on the S side of Caerphilly town at the junction of Mountain Road and St Martins Road, just N of the railway station.
  • II Wesley Methodist Church
    Located at the junction of Crescent Road and St Fagan's Street, just W of the town centre. Set into the slope with elevated entry over basement area.
  • II Farm Range with Bee-boles at Beddau Farmhouse
    Located at the junction of St Cenydd Road and Nantgarw Road. The bee-boles are in a wall overlooking the front garden of Beddau farmhouse.
  • II Memorial to David Williams
    In the park overlooking the lake immediately S of Caerphilly Castle.
  • II The Court House
    Set back from Cardiff Road on a sharp bend. Town centre position overlooking S lake to Caerphilly Castle at rear.

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