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Latitude: 51.861 / 51°51'39"N
Longitude: -4.4861 / 4°29'9"W
OS Eastings: 228905
OS Northings: 220965
OS Grid: SN289209
Mapcode National: GBR D6.SZX1
Mapcode Global: VH3LD.6H77
Entry Name: Bethel Calvinistic Methodist Chapel
Listing Date: 8 July 2002
Last Amended: 8 July 2002
Source ID: 26746
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated facing SE some 150m N of the crossroads in the centre of Meidrim.
Built-Up Area: Meidrim
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Calvinistic Methodist chapel of 1902-4 by Arthur I Jones of Carmarthen. Late Gothic style. The cause was founded in the mid C18 under the protection of the Bowens of Castell Gorfod, notable supporters of John Wesley. Chapel had been rebuilt in 1837 and altered in 1854. The present chapel was built by Evans, Thomas & Lewis of Meidrim at a cost of over £2,000, the impetus for the rebuilding coming from the Lloyd family of Pentowin.
Chapel, rockfaced grey limestone with Bath stone dressings and slate roof. Late Gothic design of unusual type with Italianate turrets each side of gable. Two-storey front with ashlar-framed pediment, and cross finial. Pedimented plaque in pediment. First floor large Perpendicular Gothic 5-light centre window with ashlar panels below each light, linked by flush ashlar bands to single depressed-arched window each side. Hoodmoulds also linked. Ground floor has centre Tudor-arched doorway with flat hoodmould and sunk spandrel panels between flat-headed 2-light late Gothic windows, the hoodmoulds all linked. Double boarded doors with cast-iron hinges, leaded lights to all windows. The facade is framed by pairs of tall Bath stone columns on high plinths, the plinths reaching almost to window-head height of ground floor. Columns have Gothic foliage capitals, and cornice at level of pediment base. Cornices carry an ashlar Italianate turret with arched opening each side, angle shafts, cornice and slate pyramid roof. Plinths have inscribed stones, one recording the opening by Mrs W E Lloyd in 1904, the other in memory of John Howard 1845-91.
Two-storey, 4-window sides with ashlar 2-light windows and leaded lights. Upper windows have flat-heads with hoodmoulds, recessed segmental-pointed lights, lower windows have square-headed lights recessed under cambered arches. Rubble stone rear has large Perpendicular Gothic style 4-light traceried window. Bargeboards to gable. Roof ridge has 2 conical-capped metal ventilators.
Ornate interior with 3-sided gallery, small canted section at corners. Gallery front in timber with contrasted-grained panels in groups of three, a square panel each side of a long panel, under long thin panels of pierced cast-ironwork to a slightly Art Nouveau scroll design. Fluted pilasters between each section, cornice below over long painted plaster or lincrusta frieze to floral scroll design. Gallery is on painted cast-iron columns with Corinthian capitals.
Ornate ceiling with deep cove each side over corbelled cornice, the cove decorated with raised plaster rectangles. The main ceiling mixes timber-boarded and plastered sections divided by moulded timber ribs. Boarded border each side, and 7 strips across the ceiling. Centre strip has 3 plaster panels, centre one with plaster rose, outer ones with decorative plaster frames as on cove. The 3 outer strips are 2 large plaster panels with similar raised decorative frames and a thin boarded strip between with 2 small plaster roses. Boarding is laid diagonally.
Three blocks of numbered pitch-pine pews with quatrefoil-pierced bench ends. Set Fawr similar single pew facing pulpit. Inward-facing pews each side of pulpit. Pulpit platform in pitch-pine Gothic, with steps up each side and open frontal matching step balustrades, that is with turned columns and cusped trefoil heads. Newels are square, panelled with turned finials. Platform of 5 bays, the pulpit stepped forward of 3 bays. Panelled base. Big segmental pointed recess behind pulpit with 4-light stained glass window of 1903 by S Evans of Smethwick, Suffer the little children, in memory of Walter Lloyd. Entrance lobby with two 4-panel doors and centre 3-light window with coloured glass, the leadwork outlining Gothic cusped heads.
Included for its special architectural interest as an unusually ambitious early C20 chapel in Gothic style, retaining its richly furnished interior.
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