Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Afan Masonic Temple  


Unitary Authority
Neath Port Talbot  
Port Talbot  
Port Talbot  
Port Talbot  
Street Side
The temple fronts Forge Road; Tabernacle chapel adjoins on right.  


Broad Class

The first lodge in Aberavon was held at the Walnut Tree Hotel in 1861. It was begun by Theodore Talbot of Margam Park who had previously joined a lodge in London. The temple was built in 1909 with money provided by Emily Charlotte Talbot, sister of Theodore. The builder is thought to have been Morgan Cox, a master of the lodge in 1902 and 1917.  

Classical-style temple. Two-storey range with tall narrow gable end facade, entrance to W side and late C20 additions to E side. The facade is 3-bay with a triangular pediment and is constructed of red brick with pronounced pale stone dressings. The lower storey has wide rusticated quoins and pilasters rising from a dressed plinth. Moulded string course between storeys, supporting 4 tapering Ionic pilasters dividing the bays and supporting an entablature. Each bay contains an oculus in a moulded stone surround, with keystones above and below. The latter are set within panels with foliate decoration and ears. Underneath each oculus is a square stone tablet in a frame, with moulded cornice and 2 dentilled corbels. The triangular pediment is heavily moulded and dentilled. Within it is a large stone masonic emblem, circular with scrolls and bearing the square and compass motif. Attached beneath are 3 foliate bands with stylised writing, reading 'Afan / Masonic / Temple'. The sides of the temple are roughcast. To the upper storey are 5 oculi within red brick surrounds, and vertical and horizontal glazing bars. Beneath the oculi to the S side are tall windows with segmental heads and red brick surrounds containing UPVC glazing. At the L end, in place of a window, is a small porch with late C20 door facing S with an overlight and high segmental head. UPVC window above. The N side is partly obscured by late C20 additions, most of which have flat roofs. The rear is roughcast with similar windows, 3 to the lower storey and 2 above. Late C20 gabled range adjoining to N. One window to rear side of entrance bay.  

The porch leads to a round arched doorway into the W side of the building. This has a half-lit panelled door, matching side lights and a high overlight, all with Art Nouveau glass. Inside is a stairhall with dog-leg stairs in the SE corner, with flat openwork balusters and tapering square-section newel posts with recessed panels. The newels are decorated with square and compass motifs and have domed heads. From the stairhall, the dining hall is to the R, 2 small rooms to the L and service areas straight ahead. The dining hall is 5-bay with flat moulded cross beams and ceiling roses with reeded mouldings. Dado rail, picture rail and panelled doors throughout. Upstairs, the temple is above the dining hall. Large round-arched recess to N end with pilasters, moulded arch and scrolled keystone. The recess contains a pipe organ fronted by flat timber balustrading. The organ is raised and reached by curved stairs to the E side. In front of the organ is a wood panelled pedestal in front of a seat. At the opposite (S) end is a similar pedestal in front of the Master's chair. Between the pedestals, towards the N end are 2 round tapering columns of brown marble with fluted bowl capitals with beading. These support globes. The walls are half panelled, to door shoulder height. Deep moulded coving with decorative frieze; plaster moulding to ceiling decorated with flowers and saltire crosses. Blocked wooden fireplaces to each side of temple in classical style. Towards the S end are opposing round-arched recesses at a high level containing busts. Stained glass to oculi bearing small masonic motifs. Further rooms lead R from the landing, including a committee room with half-lit door and overlight with Art Nouveau glass, and moulded coving. The coffee room has a large black and green marble fireplace to the E, supporting a wooden canopy with scrolls in relief flanked by costumed soldiers.  

Reason for designation
Listed for its fine late classical facade and unaltered interior, a rare building type in Wales.  

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