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Capel Mawr, Sunday School and railed steps to chapel forecourt

A Grade II Listed Building in Talysarn, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.0547 / 53°3'16"N

Longitude: -4.2513 / 4°15'4"W

OS Eastings: 249210

OS Northings: 353194

OS Grid: SH492531

Mapcode National: GBR 5J.CRR1

Mapcode Global: WH43T.NHS2

Entry Name: Capel Mawr, Sunday School and railed steps to chapel forecourt

Listing Date: 21 July 2000

Last Amended: 21 July 2000

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23708

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located in a commanding position at the eastern end of Talysarn with its Sunday School directly to the east, the chapel is set high above the road at the top of its own steps.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarfon

Community: Llanllyfni

Community: Llanllyfni

Locality: Talysarn

Built-Up Area: Talysarn

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Calvinist Methodist chapel; congregation established 1821, a new chapel built in 1877 and the present building erected 1884.


Rectangular plan on 2 storeys with lower L-shaped Sunday School and vestry set back in courtyard to right; chapel in Romanesque style and of regularly coursed and snecked rubblestone with granite dressings to front elevation; rubblestone less regularly coursed to sides; slate roof. Front elevation, approached by steep flights of steps with ashlar-coped rubble walls topped by cast-iron railings and decorative lamp standards and overthrow, has rusticated pilaster strips to corners and a boldly projecting cornice and finials to the gable, the whole dominated by a central Romanesque-style rose window with 8 polished shafts and capitals in round-headed recess with rusticated voussoirs, imposts and keystone. On string course above eaves level sits a blind serliana with a keyed and moulded cornice framing the inscription "1884/ CAPEL/ TREFNYDDION/ GALFINAIDD/ TALYSARN". On either side of the rose window are paired round-headed windows with polished column-shafts and keystones containing narrow 8-paned glazing bar sashes with margin lights. On the ground stage is a full-width porch with lean-to roof, hipped to slight projections to corners and centre, the latter forming a canted bay; continuous plinth, cill and moulded impost bands and narrow sashes with margin lights in round-headed openings to front. 6-panel doors in moulded round-headed arch-ways with keystones on either side of canted bay. 5-bay side elevations have 2 tiers of windows; round-headed openings, the cills raised, with C20 replacement windows to upper level, square-headed 16-paned sashes to lower. Rear gable has 2 round-headed glazing bar sashes on first floor and another window to apex.

The Sunday School/vestry is built of squared slate slabs under a slate roof, hipped to the southern end which projects slightly at right-angles on the west. Single storey with later range at right-angles to the west on north forming basic L-plan. West wall of main range has three 16-paned sashes with slate cills to left of hip-roofed projection and another to front wall of projection; lean-to porch on north wall of projection in angle with main range which has rendered ridge stack directly above. Later range on north has two 4-paned sashes and brick ridge stacks.


Entrance lobby with vestry to front has staircase to gallery with open string, turned balusters and newels. Chapel itself is as completed in 1884 with all fittings and furnishings in pitch pine; plastered walls; flat panelled and boarded ceiling with neo-classical plaster decoration (including guilloche patterning) to ribs and gilded pendants to intersections of the square panels; centre of ceiling is occupied by a larger panel with ceiling rose comprising an outer circle of 8 plaster panels with Greek key ornament and paterae to the panels and anthemion ornament in the spandrels; circular feature to centre with egg-and-dart decoration. A similar but smaller feature is found to the centre of the central panels to north and south of the main panel with ventilators from which hang electric (formerly gas) lights. Gallery on 3 sides, supported by fluted cast-iron columns with cast-iron brackets, is curved to corners with panelling to front, projecting into square panels with colonettes at regular intervals. The base of the gallery front has a continuous dentil cornice above which are brass gas brackets; tiered panelled benches with low dividing screens and doors to the ends. Gallery windows have moulded architraves and console brackets; rose window has stained glass. Set fawr directly beneath in front of organ has original arched panelled pulpit on octagonal pedestal with turned newel and twisted balusters to stair; similar detail with dumpy turned balustrade to the railed enclosure below. Original raked seating in the form of low box pews throughout the ground floor. Sunday School has C19 benches and a reading desk.

Reasons for Listing

Included as an excellent example of a late C19 Methodist chapel in Romanesque style, occupying a prominent townscape location and retaining a splendidly sumptuous and unaltered interior.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Seion Congregational Church
    Situated in an elevated position amidst terraced housing approximately half way up Cavour Street; in front of the chapel is a small forecourt behind an irregularly coursed rubblestone wall, topped by
  • II Weirglodd-newydd
    Situated on track (Weirglodd-newydd) immediately above Talysarn.
  • II Brynarvon
    Situated on track (Weirglodd-newydd) immediately above Talysarn.
  • II Causeway
    Located off the B 4418 to the north of Dorothea House, beginning beyond Pont Wythdir and running north-east for approximately 100m across marshy ground with a spoil heap to the north-west on the south
  • II* Engine House, Boilerhouse, Bunker and remains of chimney to south
    On a ridge of bastard rock which divides the main Dorothea Quarry from the South Dorothea Quarry; located by the side of the road access to the quarry.
  • II South-western aerial ropeway revetment, incline and associated buildings
    Located above the south side of the North Dorothea Slate Quarry, between the Cornish beam engine house to the west and the ruins of the former slate mill to the east.
  • II Tunnel Portal and Tunnel
    Located in the hillside to the north of Talysarn Hall.
  • II Parc
    Set within its original small field system on a track on the western edge of the small settlement of Cilgwyn.

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