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Latitude: 52.9752 / 52°58'30"N
Longitude: -4.4584 / 4°27'30"W
OS Eastings: 235027
OS Northings: 344806
OS Grid: SH350448
Mapcode National: GBR 58.JPF8
Mapcode Global: WH443.HH51
Entry Name: Capel Seilo, with forecourt walls
Listing Date: 18 May 1999
Last Amended: 18 May 1999
Source ID: 21724
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: The village of Porth-y-nant is at the bottom of a narrow valley, NW of Llithfaen. The chapel is at the S end of the eastern terrace surrounding the square, on a platform on the opposite side of the e
Locality: Nant Gwrtheyrn
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
Porth-y-nant was the name given to the new settlement planned and built for the exploitation of the granite deposits in Nant Gwrtheyrn, which was begun by Hugh Owen in 1851. The village was built by a new purchaser, Mr Dodd from c1863 and completed by a Mr Benthal. The present houses were built in c1875 by the then quarry operators Kneeshaw and Lupton. It housed workers in two main terraces of dwellings which were considered an advanced provision for quarry workers at the time. The terraces are set around an open communal square, together with company offices, a shop and bakehouse. Later, the manager's house and a chapel, commenced in 1875 and completed in 1878 at the cost of £300, were added. The village, which continued to serve the three large quarries, Cae'r Nant, Porth-y-nant, and Carreg-y-llam, produced large quantities of granite setts and kerbs, particularly for Manchester, Liverpool and Birkenhead, and continued to operate until 1914. Significant quantities of aggregates and building stone were also produced. The last person left in 1959, and after years of neglect and vandalism, the buildings were revived at the expense of ARC Aggregates as a home for the National Language School sponsored by Dr Carl Iwan Clowes in 1978, its courses beginning in 1982.
A simple Calvinistic Methodist chapel, set on a platform levelled out of the hillside, is built of stone, rendered and lined out, with a slate roof. The chapel, which seated 130, has the main gabled front facing W; two boarded doors with round fanlights, and between, two round-headed windows, all the joinery renewed. In the pediment is an arched niche containing a slate slab inscribed SEILO A.D. 1878. The side elevations are not rendered, and have three similar windows. The ample forecourt is surrounded by stone walls.
The roof is of 3 bays, the trusses ceiled at collar level and finished with acoustic tiles. Slate window sills. Small pulpit. The interior was thoroughly modernised in c1978, and finished with a carpeted floor.
Included as a critical component of the mid-later C19 complete new industrial settlement planned by the successful quarries of Nant Gwrtheyrn, considered at the time to be advanced in design due to a rising social awareness of the benefits of good quality provision for quarry workers.
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