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Latitude: 51.7829 / 51°46'58"N
Longitude: -3.2059 / 3°12'21"W
OS Eastings: 316911
OS Northings: 210051
OS Grid: SO169100
Mapcode National: GBR YX.YZ9K
Mapcode Global: VH6CV.DG11
Entry Name: Ebenezer Presbyterian Chapel, including New Cottage
Listing Date: 29 October 1999
Last Amended: 29 October 1999
Source ID: 22533
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Chapel prominently located in the centre of Pontygof, NE of Ebbw Vale town centre. New Cottage occupies part of chapel building, entered on E side.
County: Blaenau Gwent
Community: Ebbw Vale North (Gogledd Glynebwy)
Community: Ebbw Vale
Built-Up Area: Ebbw Vale
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Large chapel of 1850, altered 1911 by R. Price, architect. Cause founded as an offshoot of Penuel, Church Street. A house was purchased in 1844 at Newtown: with the success of the Welsh-speaking cause, augmented by families arriving to work at the ironworks from rural West Wales, the adjacent house was purchased, and the dividing wall demolished. A chapel was built on the present site in 1850. The materials were supplied by the Ebbw Vale Ironworks Company, the cost being £100. Opened 23 and 24 September 1850. Interior partly damaged by a gas explosion in 1870. First resident minister, in 1873, was Llywel Morgan. By 1885, the cause was in decline, due to the decline of the Welsh language in Ebbw Vale. From December 1891 to May 1892, the chapel closed, until it was eventually refounded as an English cause. The vast size of the chapel led to a remodelling in 1911, when it was decided to build a dividing wall down the centre of the chapel, and refit the W half for worship. This meant altering the E long-wall facade, creating a new facade to the N end (the old six-bay facade is shown in a vignette in the illuminated address to Rev T. Gray Jones, hanging in the vestry). The E half was to be divided into two cottages, but the Council Surveyor objected, due to the small size of the yard. In the event, one cottage was built, and storeyed vestries formed in the NE corner. The chapel reopened on St David’s day, 1911.
Rubble construction, hipped slate roof on deep eaves. W elevation is rendered. Large rectangular plan, originally with long-wall facade facing E. N facade formed in 1911. Four bays; round-arched openings with yellow brick heads. Entry in second bay from right, central to chapel interior. Four-panel door with leaded glazing to fanlight. Eight-paned timber glazing; the two ground floor left windows shortened for later store occupying space between chapel and forecourt wall. Tablet inscribed ‘Ebenezer Trefnyddion Calfiniadd 1850. 1911’ West side is rendered, five bays long with round-arched windows to both storeys. Left bay mostly obscured by former vestry, now a separate dwelling, Vestry Cottage.
East side (originally the facade) has front of New Cottage to left, and elevation of vestries to right. New Cottage of five narrow bays, the door set to the right; round-arched brick head, panelled door. To ground floor left are two four-pane sashes with segmental yellow brick heads: three similar sashes above, narrower to centre. Vestry elevation of two bays; similar window to front of chapel. Small C20 roughcast porch to ground floor left.
Rear gallery on thick plain iron columns. Gallery front has applied grained finish, and simple repeated round-arched panels: probably this is a reused portion of the 1850 gallery. Open pews of 1911, inclined slightly. 1911 rectangular timber pulpit with end stairs and thick turned balusters. Flat boarded and ribbed ceiling.
Listed as an large mid C19 chapel, cleverly reordered in the early C20 to create an extremely unusual plan, reusing part of the old gallery. Historically, the chapel is indicative of the effects of linguistic changes in later Victorian Wales on Nonconformity, here beginning as an extremely strong Welsh cause, the later decline of the native language in the industrialised town leading to the unusual action of the congregation in 1911.
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