Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Yr Hen Gapel, forecourt railings, and Minister's house  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Located on the E side of the hamlet of Dol-fâch, above the railway line. The chapel is approached by a flight of wide steps between walls, leading to the railed forecourt. The manse lies behind the chapel with a separate access to the road.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

The Independent Chapel in Llanbrynmair was founded in 1669, (but according to A Jones 1675), meeting first in a timber framed lean-to outbuilding at a farm, Ty-mawr, on the other side of the valley, the makeshift conventicle structure now replaced by a barn. The first chapel was built in 1739 on land belonging to Edward Hughes of Cwm-carnedd, with the Revd. Edmund Rees as pastor. The chapel was altered in 1778, rebuilt in 1821, renovated and altered in 1874, 1878 and was again extensively remodelled in 1881, to which date much of the building and its interior belong, with further alterations recorded in 1904. Many notable ministers have presided here, Dr Abraham Rees, the encyclopaedist, editor of Chamber's Cyclopaedia and founder of Rees's Cyclopaedia was born opposite the chapel in 1743, to the wife of the minister, Rev. Lewis Rees. Rev Samuel Roberts, the great C19 radical, campaigner, poet and preacher ministered here until 1806, and later shared for a while the ministry with his father, Rev. John Roberts, assuming sole ministry after the latter's death in 1834. Samuel was minister until his temporary emigration to America in 1857. Another brother, Richard 'Gruffydd Rhisiart' was born in the chapel house and became a literary giant. There is also an association with Richard 'Mynyddog' Davies (1833-1877) of Fron, Llanbrynmair, bard and conductor of eisteddfodau, who lies buried in the graveyard. The burial ground was established in 1843 and contains monuments to a number of people of importance to both local and national history.  

Large, broad fronted chapel built of squared rubble with a slate roof. Added external gabled porches of c.1870's and central gable, all having framed bargeboards and clayware ridge finials. Two large windows at either side of the centre, with segmentally arched heads, and on either side, 3-light timber windows of the late C19 lighting the ends of the gallery. The side elevations comprise two tiers of 4-pane sash windows, the lower range with segmental brick arches. To the right, the minister's house of 3 bays, pebbledashed with a slate roof and gable stack. Glazed door and C19 6-light sashes, but 6-paned mid C19 windows above. An open stair at the E end in front of the house rises to a panelled door to the gallery.  

A complete and rich chapel interior of c.1870's. Rectangular in plan, with plastered walls and boarded ceiling in 4 bays, each bay divided by octagonal timber ribs and central ventilation medallions. A gallery extends round 3 sides, supported on 7 iron columns with reduced Composite capitals. Diagonally boarded draught lobbies around each entrance, and stair enclosures on each side for the gallery stairs. The gallery, containing 3 rows of raked pews and a wall bench, cuts diagonally across the corners. Symmetrical raised pulpit approached by steps on each side; timber arcading over panelling. Sêt-fawr and bench for elders in an enclosure in front, with the organ built in at the centre. The stained softwood pews are set on a raked floor in 3 banks, with further pews at each side in front. Stained glass of 1907 in the two large windows either side of the pulpit, Light of the World and the Good Shepherd, by A.L.Moore of London. Wall monuments: a. White tablet with crowning urn on slate, by Wilkins of London, to Catherine Francis, d.1814, Robert Francis added. (b) Gabled white marble on slate, to Samuel Roberts, d.1885, John Roberts d.1884 and Richard Roberts (Gryffydd Rhisiart), d.1883, by Marshall of Shrewsbury; (c) Gabled white tablet on slate, by Spence of Liverpool, to Lewis Rees, d.1800, Richard Tibbot d.1798, and John Roberts, d.1834; (d) Tablet by Williams of Llanelly, to John Williams of Hendre, d.1877; and (e) Bronze on Carrara marble to John William Daniels.  

Reason for designation
Included as a fine and well preserved late C19 chapel with important historical and literary associations.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]