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Tabernacle Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot

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Latitude: 51.5963 / 51°35'46"N

Longitude: -3.7817 / 3°46'54"W

OS Eastings: 276683

OS Northings: 190111

OS Grid: SS766901

Mapcode National: GBR H3.BRGN

Mapcode Global: VH5H1.D4ML

Plus Code: 9C3RH6W9+G8

Entry Name: Tabernacle Chapel

Listing Date: 28 April 2000

Last Amended: 28 April 2000

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23251

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: A narrow forecourt in front of the chapel faces the road and is bounded by stone gate piers and iron gates and railings.

County: Neath Port Talbot

Town: Port Talbot

Community: Port Talbot

Community: Port Talbot

Built-Up Area: Port Talbot

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Port Talbot


The chapel was built in 1909 at a cost of £3,427 on land donated by Emily Charlotte Talbot of Margam Park, and replaced earlier chapels of 1824 and 1871, located elsewhere. The land was given on the premise that the front of the chapel should look like a church; it has a tower (the spire now removed) and a large traceried gallery window.


Gothic-style exterior. Tall narrow gabled front with flanking staircase bays. That to the R is also a tower, which formerly carried a spire. Constructed of rock-faced coursed stone under a slate roof. Central gabled doorcase with angle buttresses, kneelers and foliate finial. Pointed arched doorway with 2 orders of mouldings supported on 2 attached shafts with ringed capitals. Hoodmould with large foliate end bosses. Planked double doors and an overlight with vertical struts and Art Nouveau glass. The entrance is flanked by single lancets with similar hoodmoulds. Wide dressed stone string course broken by apex of doorcase reading, Tabernacle / Newydd / 1909 (some letters missing). Immediately above is a large Perpendicular-style 5-light window, the lights with cinquefoiled heads. Tall ogee hoodmould which rises almost to apex level with a large foliate flourish. Dressed stone to gable apex, with a central trefoiled lancet containing a louvre flanked by similar blind lancets. The flanking bays have narrow angle buttresses with offsets and are 1-window. The staircase bay to the L is 2-storey with dressed stone battlemented parapets and an octagonal pinnacle at the exterior angle. The tower to the R is 3-storey, and has been truncated with a pyramidal roof added. The lower windows are 2-light with cinquefoiled heads under pointed arches with hoodmoulds. The upper storey windows are 2-light with trefoiled heads under segmental arches. The 3rd stage of the tower, above a wide dressed stone string course, has a tall pointed arched window with 2 cinquefoil-headed lights. Plinth across front with 6 foundation stones to each side of the entrance dated 1908-9.

The E side of the tower has windows to the 2nd and 3rd stages as S side. Lean-to bay to R with 2-lancet window under segmental head to lower storey and a large dressed cinquefoil to the upper storey. The walls of the main chapel are set back and are of rubble stone. The E side is 3-window, each separated by an angle buttress. Horned sash windows with margin glazing in yellow brick surrounds, with segmental heads to lower storey and pointed-arched heads to upper storey.

The W side of the staircase bay is of rubble stone with lean-to roof and a flying buttress. Segmental headed window in yellow brick surround offset to L and large cinquefoil above. The W wall of the chapel is similar to the E side.

The vestry is at the rear end of the chapel and has a wide N gable end, with ridge stack, with lower narrower gabled bays advanced to E and W. The N end is 2-storey with 6-over-6-pane horned sash windows with yellow brick surrounds and segmental heads. The upper storey has 4 windows with a narrower light to the R; the lower storey also has 4 windows, but not aligned, and with 2 narrow lights to the R. The E gable end has a doorway R of centre flanked by 1 window to the R and 2 to the L. Two pointed arched windows to upper storey and a louvre in the gable apex. The S side of this advanced gable has a door under a segmental head with a window above. The W gable end has only a louvre in the gable apex. Similar doorway with window above into its S side.


Art Nouveau-style interior. The entrance vestibule has stone staircases to L and R entered under moulded round arches. The L staircase has cast iron balusters. The rear wall of the chapel is curved and contains a wide 5-light window flanked by half-lit doors, all with Art Nouveau glass. Between the wall and the staircases are low arched recesses. Planked wainscot panelling. Inside the chapel is a deep 4-sided gallery with wood panelled front on narrow fluted cast iron columns with large foliate capitals. Clock mounted in centre of front. Organ in Tudor-arched recess above pulpit, added in 1928. The angles of the gallery walls are curved. Half lit door with Art Nouveau glass in each angle. Further double doors under high round arches with overlights provide the main access from the vestibule. Deep curved and moulded coving with frieze of embossed flowers. Panelled ceiling surround with 2 large foliate ceiling roses in high relief.

To the lower level is a wide curved panelled pulpit with dog-leg staircases flanking with turned balusters. Curved set fawr in front, moulded wooden handrail on iron balusters with open scrollwork. Three banks of pews curved to match the profile of the set fawr. Wood panelled reredos continuing up to gallery level, with flanking half-lit doors which lead to the vestry. Above the vestry, and reached from the gallery, are a series of well preserved school rooms with panelled doors. Two memorials in chapel; marble tablet to L of organ to 1st minister, and wooden World War II memorial. Margin glazing to side windows, Art Nouveau glass to S window.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its architectural interest, particularly the frontage and the fine Art Nouveau interior.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Afan Masonic Temple
    The temple fronts Forge Road; Tabernacle chapel adjoins on right.
  • II Bethany Chapel
    In a prominent position in the centre of Port Talbot. The square is at the junction of Station Road and Forge Road.
  • II Aberavon Bridge (partly in Aberavon community)
    The bridge crosses the River Afan and serves as the physical link between the shopping centres of Aberavon and Port Talbot, the former a development of the 1990s. The roadway is now pedestrianised.
  • II* Ebenezer Chapel
    In a prominent position in the square between the shopping centre and the Civic Centre, and backing onto the River Afan.
  • II Aberavon Bridge
    The bridge crosses the River Afan and serves as the physical link between the shopping centres of Aberavon and Port Talbot, the former a development of the 1990s. The roadway is now pedestrianised.
  • II Forecourt Walls, Railings and Gates to Ebenezer Chapel
    Bounding the forecourt to Ebenezer Chapel and facing W.
  • II Velindre Bridge
    Located at the SW corner of the settlement of Velindre and now carrying a path which runs parallel with Cwmavon Road.
  • II Church of St Mary
    Located in a quadrangular churchyard, encircled by the high-level A48. Just to the S of Aberavon shopping centre.

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