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Former Roman Catholic Chapel at St Woolos Cemetery

A Grade II Listed Building in Allt-yr-Yn, Newport

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Latitude: 51.5835 / 51°35'0"N

Longitude: -3.0185 / 3°1'6"W

OS Eastings: 329530

OS Northings: 187675

OS Grid: ST295876

Mapcode National: GBR J4.CKFK

Mapcode Global: VH7BC.MGMF

Entry Name: Former Roman Catholic Chapel at St Woolos Cemetery

Listing Date: 14 September 1999

Last Amended: 14 September 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22340

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: St Woolos Cemetery is located along the north side of Bassaleg Road. The former Catholic chapel is situated towards the northern boundary of the cemetery, approximately 300 metres NW of the mortuary c

County: Newport

Community: Allt-yr-yn (Allt-yr-ynn)

Community: Allt-yr-Yn

Locality: St Woolos

Built-Up Area: Newport

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Later C19. The site was purchased by the Newport Burial Committee from Lord Tredegar in February 1854, the first burial being on 18th July of that year. The competition to design the Nonconformist and Anglican Chapels, together with the lodge and gates was won by Johnson and Purdue, architects of London, the buildings completed in November 1855. Towards the middle of the C19, growing urban populations coupled with increased cholera outbreaks meant that many parish churchyards became notoriously unsanitary. In 1850, the government passed the Metropolitan Burial Act, which was extended in 1853 to England and Wales. The purpose of the Acts, which spanned 1850-57 was to ensure that public cemeteries were laid out, bodies buried in a dignified fashion, and that all burials were recorded. The setting out of cemeteries with elaborate gates, lodges and chapels for various denominations had already been initiated by the London-based General Cemetery Company, a private enterprise, which laid out Kensal Green Cemetery 1831-37. Kensal Green received much publicity, fuelling the increasing sentimentality in commemorating the dead. Following the Act of 1853 came a boom in cemetery building, Newport being the first public cemetery in Wales. The use of contrasting styles for the Nonconformist and Anglican chapels is unusual among the early public cemeteries, reflecting the strength of Nonconformity in Newport.

The Roman Catholics after some difficulty, gained an area on the north side of the cemetery by 1855, but it was not until c. 1880 that they built their own chapel, by which time the Jews had a small separate burial ground immediately to the north of the cemetery. The cemetery was extended to the SW by c. 1880, demarcated by the avenue of pine trees towards the W end of the site, and again in the early C20. The cemetery remains in use, the chapels are now used for storage.


Gothic style. Single chamber plan. Construction of red rubble sandstone with Bathstone detail. High plinth. Steeply gabled slate roof with coped gables: alternating bands of blue and purple slates. Large carved crucifix finials. Low buttress each end of blank long sides. Entrance faces S, set within tall arched surround, which has ashlar voussoirs, chamfered reveals and plain imposts. Door has flattened head: paired boarded doors with iron branched hinges. Simple tracery in tympanum, hidden by protective boarding. Small spherical window above. Similar window above E triplet.


Used for storage. Scissor-truss roof. Painted stone altar table on two columns which have foliage caps.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a well-preserved later C19 cemetery chapel, a prominent surviving feature of the first public cemetery in Wales.

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