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Capel Bethel including forecourt walls, gates and railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Llansamlet, Swansea

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Latitude: 51.66 / 51°39'36"N

Longitude: -3.8898 / 3°53'23"W

OS Eastings: 269380

OS Northings: 197385

OS Grid: SS693973

Mapcode National: GBR GZ.PG2F

Mapcode Global: VH4K4.JJGS

Entry Name: Capel Bethel including forecourt walls, gates and railings

Listing Date: 23 July 1999

Last Amended: 16 January 2004

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22090

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated to the SW of Llansamlet railway station approximately 70m W of the junction of Bethel Road and Trallwn Road.

County: Swansea

Town: Swansea

Community: Llansamlet

Community: Llansamlet

Built-Up Area: Swansea

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Independent chapel of 1879-80 probably designed by the Rev Thomas Thomas following his first rebuild in 1849-51. Organ added 1932. Ceiling detail is similar to Caersalem Newydd Baptist Chapel, Treboeth, of 1873 by Rev Henry Thomas.
First chapel 1818, gallery added 1839 for total cost of £352. Demolished and rebuilt 1849-51 for £508 to design of Rev Thomas Thomas, schoolroom added between 1854 and 1866. A plaque from earlier chapel in outside wall is dated 1818, rebuilt 1850, Enoch Rees, builder.


Chapel, coursed rock faced rubble stone with dressings in green sandstone. Concrete roof tiles. Broad pedimented front with moulded pediment and finial, big roundel in pediment and 3-bay front divided by thin pilasters with ashlar quoins. Arched windows with 2-light timber tracery, arched stepped triplet over centre, long arched single windows each side, all with ashlar pilastered frames and keystones. Twin arched doors. Pediment has vase finial, louvred ashlar roundel, keyed on diagonals, and with broad round ashlar surround inscribed 'Bethel Adeiladwyd 1818 Helaethwyd 1850 MDCCCLXXX'. Doors are paired with 3 ashlar piers, impost cornices and ashlar voussoirs with keystones. Double string above and third as sill course under centre windows. Double cambered-headed doors with C20 cladding under crescent overlights with roundels. Door jambs have inset cast-iron columns with shaft-rings and florid capitals. Foundation stone between laid by H. H. Vivian, 1879. Side windows have thin sill course at level of door imposts.
Rubble stone 2-storey, 5-window sides, cambered-headed lower windows, arched upper windows, with stone voussoirs. Single storey rear vestry.
Ornate front iron rails on stone coped wall and stone gatepiers, attached to chapel front right corner.


Fine and large interior with four-sided gallery on 5x1x5 fluted iron columns with leaf-scroll caps. Well-detailed gallery has curved angles and drops down behind pulpit. Moulded cornice on widely-spaced paired brackets beneath frontal of long panels between pilasters with moulded caps and inset arched panels with painted late C18 style husk-drop ornament. Long panels have inset pierced long cast-iron panels of Gothic trefoil pattern, over plain long thin timber panels. Detail is nicely curved at angles and sloped down to organ gallery.
Three blocks of pine pews, canted to sides. 'Set fawr' with cast iron stanchions to curved ended rail. Fine pulpit with delicate timber balusters, the balusters with chamfering and linking pierced roundels. Rambed stair rails, matching balustrade to serpentine-curved platform front, and centre 3-sided pulpit. Fine fretwork tracery to pointed panels, turned column shafts inset at angles and moulded cornice. Squat wine-glass stem beneath.
Very large organ of 1932 by H and H Whiteley of Chester, panelled base, big pie-front above with canted sides and 2 round front towers. Painted pipes, 2 extra pipe cases in angles of galleries.
Ceiling has cornice, plaster border, then diagonally-boarded timber border with 6 square vents and rectangular plaster centre divided into 2 panels with diagonal ribs and fine centre acanthus roses with scrollwork rings around. Behind chapel stairs up to organ, diaconate room and ministers room, then schoolroom across back.

Reasons for Listing

Included as an exceptional pedimented chapel by one of the leading chapel designers in Wales, with complete interior.

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