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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Autumn Meeting of Capel - Wrexham

Capel Ebeneser Stained Glass Panels
The iconic feature of Capel Ebeneser is the wedge shaped block located directly above the pulpit designed to direct sunlight onto the minister below. The stained glass panels have been introduced recently, the original 1975 design being of clear lights.
The autumn meeting of Capel took place in Wrexham on Saturday, 9th October, attended by RCAHMW staff working on the Commissions ‘Chapels Project’. The meeting started at Capel-y-Groes Welsh Calvinist Methodist Chapel (NPRN 97274) with the AGM, and moved on to an extremely informative talk about the history of Nonconformism in the Wrexham area by Dr David R Jones. This charted the social rise of the Nonconformist movement and the history of the individual chapel buildings in the town between the later 16th century and the 1970s, when many of the towns chapels were rebuilt.
Penybryn Welsh Baptist Chapel Built 1879
Penybryn Welsh Baptist Chapel built in 1879 as an Independent Chapel and sold to the Welsh Baptists in 1898.
This late 20th century phenomena led to a different slant to the usual walking tour of chapels which followed, with four of the seven chapels visited being constructed in the 1970’s Capel-y-Groes,  Jerusalem, NPRN 7934, Capel Ebeneser, NPRN 79174, and Regent Street Chapel, NPRN 7931,. This gave an interesting insight into the modern development of religious architecture and the different geography of the space utilized by the congregations, as well as the flexibility of how such buildings fit into the modern townscape with one, Regent Street Methodist Church, built above a shopping centre. There was also opportunity to view some of the more traditional chapel buildings however; Penybryn, the oldest surviving chapel in the town from 1789 (NPRN 7914), Tabernacle out at Rhostyllen (NPRN 7605), which is a good example of the use of the local Ruabon brick in the earlier 19th century and the Trinity Presbyterian Church (NPRN 7924) as designed by the architect William Beddoe Rees.

The next Capel meeting will take place in Ammanford on the 14th May 2011. To get further details, or find out more about the work of Capel go to

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