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Gilwern Methodist Chapel, Lion Terrace, Gilwern, Breconshire

Name: Gilwern (Lion Terrace) Chapel

Denomination: Primitive Methodist

Built: 1838
Demolished: 2015
Photography: see captions

Lion Terrace Chapel, Gilwern
Photograph from Google StreetView (2010)

Note 1: Gilwern Methodist Chapel was built in 1838 in the Vernacular style, with a gable entry plan and walls of sandstone rubble. By 2001 this chapel stood disused with the interior gutted and vehicle entrances inserted to the centre of the main gable-end and right-hand walls. [Source: Coflein online database of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (accessed 25 July 2015)]

Lion Terrace Chapel, Gilwern
Photograph from South Wales Argus (22 July 2015)

Note 2: Report in South Wales Argus 22 July 2015.

Remains of six children and memorial will have to be moved to make way for Heads of the Valleys Road dualling scheme

The construction firm behind the scheme to dual the Heads of the Valleys Road is hoping to trace any descendants of six children and four adults buried in the graveyard of a chapel in Gilwern. Costain Ltd, which is working to widen the A465 between Gilwern and Brynmawr is hoping that descendants of ten people buried in the graveyard of the Lion Terrace Chapel will come forward before the remains and memorials are removed and reinterred at the nearby Llanelly Cemetery on Church Road. They have to be removed from the graveyard, following the demolition of the chapel, as work to widen the 8.1 kilometre stretch of road progresses.
The scheme requires 122 hectares of land as well as the demolition of eight buildings that include the former Drum and Monkey and Lion Hotel public houses and a former Methodist Chapel and burial ground that was partially cleared during the construction of the current A465 road.

The chapel was built in 1838 and may have gone out of use as early as 1900.
Costain Ltd has published a disused burial grounds notice giving two months warning of its intention to remove the remains and memorials but [the company] says it is possible that some remains are buried there that don't have memorials. The firm will arrange for all remains to be removed and reinterred or cremated following conditions set by the Welsh Secretary of State that include taking due care and attention to decency, screening the area from the public during removal and placing any items buried with the deceased in containers. The remains will be removed before any building work takes place and reinterred at Llanelly Cemetery on Church Road in Gilwern within two years. Costain will re-erect any unclaimed memorials and cover the expense for those representatives or relatives.

[Source: South Wales Argus published 22 July 2015 (website accessed 25 July 2015)]

Note 3: The Ordnance Survey County Series 1:2,500 scale map (see below), published in 1880, clearly identifies the chapel and its burial ground, but the corresponding map published in 1920 describes the burial ground as 'disused'. Interestingly, the maps show an Ordnance Survey Bench mark located on the south wall of the chapel, near its southwest corner. Ordnance Survey Bench marks (BMs) are survey marks made by Ordnance Survey to record height above Ordnance Datum. If the exact height of one BM is known then the exact height of the next can be found by measuring the difference in heights, through a process of spirit levelling. [Source: website (OS Grid Reference: SO24251430)]

Ordnance Survey map, 1880
Map – Ordnance Survey County Series 1:2,500 scale, published 1880

For further details and photographs see the My Primitive Methodist Ancestors website.

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