Tabor Welsh Congregational Chapel, Maesycwmmer June 2019

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mookster

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Thanks to UEP-Wales for bringing this one to my attention in perfect time for a little South Wales trip.

Tabor Welsh Congregational Chapel, latterly part of the United Reformed Church, was first constructed in 1829, rebuilt in 1856 and this, the chapel as it stands today, was built in 1876 by Thomas Thomas of Landore. Built in the Classical style with a gable entry plan, a two-storey layout and large arch in the facade. It features a Glorification arch, an unmolested interior and unusual ironwork inside and as such is considered one of his finest works, so is now Grade II listed. The chapel closed in 2003 and in the intervening years at some point came to house the entire contents of a Billy Bear children's soft play centre. The attached Sunday School building is almost totally buried under the stuff however mercifully there is a lot less inside the chapel.

After gaining entry with a bit of lateral thinking we were initially struck by how terrible a condition the Sunday School is in. The ceiling has caved in across the rear half of it making the balcony very unstable and indeed one corner with one of the staircases has totally rotted through. After carefully getting down to the ground floor level we found that that floor was no better, in most of the room it's basically just carpet and beams. Thankfully though, after pulling open the door into the chapel itself I was faced with the reason I had put this one on my 'to do' list. The interior of the chapel is stunning, despite the plethora of crap being stored in there. It has held up fairly well in the years since closure however the damage from neglect is beginning to show, the large arched window at the far end has separated from the wall and fallen inwards, and there are holes appearing in the ceiling. We spent far longer here than expected, it was a great peaceful place to sit and shoot, although there are literally thousands of cobwebs in here over pretty much everything so perhaps not a place to be if you have a fear of spiders...

The scaffolding on two areas of the outside appears brand new, so hopefully they are about to do something with it whether that's just patching the roof up or more I don't know.

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...And then we pulled the door open.

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Thanks for looking :)
 

Sabtr

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Hey that's really nice in there - lots of light coming in and those higher tiers are close with the whole thing being compact. I can see why it's a listed structure now.
Desperately needs saving that but given the location and possible future uses? Hopefully fire doesn't 'fix' the problem for the owner.

Last year I climbed (permission visit) a local church tower that's around 150 feet high and has a flat lead roof with a small stone wall around. It was an internal climb and takes you through various open levels on tight ladders too tight against walls - my shoulders were trying to push me away from the walls and off the ladders.
To be honest I was talked into it - the timbers and joints were very bad. So bad that nothing was safe. Even the top roof bounced as I walked along it and that was sheet lead on massive oak beams - the oak was rotten and old. My heart is fluttering here!
I know exactly what you're describing with rotten church wood! I had flash backs just reading your escapades in the report.
 

mookster

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It's in the middle of a residential area so you'd assume it would be an easy conversion into a house or something like so many other chapels have been, however the listed status is what will scupper a lot of plans.
 

HughieD

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Liking that. And yes. Think you are spot on about the Grade II listing being a bit of a hindrance here, as is often the case.
 

Rex50

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Great post. I've been eyeing this for a while so I paid it a visit. It looks like they are doing work to the building
 

UEP-Wales

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Great shots there Mookster! The floor is fun isn't it!

I believe they are just patching the roof up, work is being undertaken by the council and they want to pass the costs on to any future purchaser.

Nice to see another take on it so cheers!
 

PhilW

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Thanks to UEP-Wales for bringing this one to my attention in perfect time for a little South Wales trip.

Tabor Welsh Congregational Chapel, latterly part of the United Reformed Church, was first constructed in 1829, rebuilt in 1856 and this, the chapel as it stands today, was built in 1876 by Thomas Thomas of Landore. Built in the Classical style with a gable entry plan, a two-storey layout and large arch in the facade. It features a Glorification arch, an unmolested interior and unusual ironwork inside and as such is considered one of his finest works, so is now Grade II listed. The chapel closed in 2003 and in the intervening years at some point came to house the entire contents of a Billy Bear children's soft play centre. The attached Sunday School building is almost totally buried under the stuff however mercifully there is a lot less inside the chapel.

After gaining entry with a bit of lateral thinking we were initially struck by how terrible a condition the Sunday School is in. The ceiling has caved in across the rear half of it making the balcony very unstable and indeed one corner with one of the staircases has totally rotted through. After carefully getting down to the ground floor level we found that that floor was no better, in most of the room it's basically just carpet and beams. Thankfully though, after pulling open the door into the chapel itself I was faced with the reason I had put this one on my 'to do' list. The interior of the chapel is stunning, despite the plethora of crap being stored in there. It has held up fairly well in the years since closure however the damage from neglect is beginning to show, the large arched window at the far end has separated from the wall and fallen inwards, and there are holes appearing in the ceiling. We spent far longer here than expected, it was a great peaceful place to sit and shoot, although there are literally thousands of cobwebs in here over pretty much everything so perhaps not a place to be if you have a fear of spiders...

The scaffolding on two areas of the outside appears brand new, so hopefully they are about to do something with it whether that's just patching the roof up or more I don't know.

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...And then we pulled the door open.

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Thanks for looking :)
Visited in the mid 1990's when it was a working Chapel. Sad to see it now
 

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