Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Crane Street Baptist Church
In Pontypool town centre backing onto Pontypool Market.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
The Chapel was said to have been 'designed by Aaron Crosfield Esq., and improved and perfected by Mr.Langdon, architect'; and the attribution to John Langdon is now accepted. It was commissionned in 1845 and opened in 1847 at a cost of £2,200. It seems originally to have been a severe piece of Greek Revival design with the interior lit only from above, but the alterations of c1900 in the Art-Nouveau style gave gallery lighting on both sides, this is largely obscured, particularly on the south side where the taller Jubilee Building abuts closely. The interior is surprisingly ornate for an 1847 Greek revival building, and some of it, for instance the gallery front, is likely to date with the other alterations in c1900. The building was erected for the English speaking Baptist congregation, who, since about 1820, had worshipped in the disused Friends Meeting House in Trosnant Street (now the Pontypool Brass Band hall). The Welsh Baptists meanwhile worshipped in the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Crane Street (now demolished). Previous to that, and again since, the Welsh Baptists used the Penygarn Baptist Church in Trevethin.
A distinctive Greek Revival design with an entrance portico fronting onto a rectangular hall stretching back from the street. Built of yellow, probably Bath, limestone ashlar, with a Welsh slate and glazed roof which is visible only from the rear. The street front is in three bays with an Doric portico projecting before the central one. The portico has square piers on the outside, then very close beside them fluted columns, with a wide entrance way in the middle. The entablature has a double plain band without triglyphs, and a pediment over. The facade behind has up three steps a wide central doorway with panelled and studded door with architrave surround and cornice head. Above this is an inscribed plaque CRANE STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 1847. On either side of the central bay are windows with two lights with mullion and transom, and cusped tracery in the lower lights. It is evident from the stonework that these were inserted, probably in c1900 and replaced what would have been niches before. Above these are framed panels. Plain corner pilasters carry a double band as above, cornice and parapet. Good cast iron spear railings and gates across the frontage.
Side elevations are plain except for three Gothic windows inserted as above. The Minister's house at the end of the left hand court has a six over six sash on each floor, similar up court to right. The rear elevation cannot be seen.
The interior is extremely theatrical in character. It is square in plan with a beam supported on two square columns at the east end. These are incised with Greek decoration as are the pilasters which are on the walls and in the corners; the latter ones only above the galleries.Fine all-round gallery with a very elaborate bowed filigree iron front and mahogany rail. These are supported on slim iron columns with floriate capitals. Greek Revival preaching stand from 1847, but behind this the ironwork and glazed screen suggests an alteration from c1900 like the windows. The benches and pews are unaltered. Cornice, coving, corner roundels, and a very large rooflight, which certainly suggests that this was originally the only light source. Total immersion baptistery beneath the 'set fawr'.
The undercroft contains a plain room probably the Sunday School.
Reason for designation
Graded II* for the particularly high quality chapel interior.
Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]