Moriah Chapel, Station Road, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Photography: John Ball|
Date: 29 March 2012
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR
Denomination: Welsh Baptist
Note 1: A simple but elegant design typical of the post-1859 revival building boom, and the work of local builder/architects, in this case almost certainly the contractor John Powell. This is an economical version of the three-bay classical/Italianate show-front design so typical of the 1860s and early 1870s but without the attached columns or pilasters seen eleven years previously on the more elaborate Greenfield Chapel of the same denomination, here the three bays are simply defined by the prominent windows. The tall side windows light the gallery staircases and this is why most nonconformist chapels of this period (as opposed to churches) have two doorways on their main front: to ease the flow of large congregations into twin stairs and ground-floor aisles. The wide central upper window has a typical Victorian triple-arched form of Venetian or Palladian Window originating as the Serliana of the Italian Renaissance. The large oval name and date plaque set centrally in the classical pediment is a distinctively simple and elegant design typical of the large elaborate chapels of Llanelli. As with many Welsh chapels on sloping sites this has the large Sunday-School occupying the basement under the whole chapel rather than a second separately roofed building having to be constructed. The seated capacity of 900 made it the second largest Baptist Chapel in Llanelli in 1905, with the schoolroom housing 500 and the congregation owning both a caretaker's house and also a manse for the Minister. The chapel is now Grade 2 listed.
[Source: Coflein database of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (accessed 10 Feb 2016)]
Note 2: Moriah [Chapel] has a rather opulent interior with an impressive gallery and mahogany pulpit. [Extracted from personal email correspondence with Huw Edwards, dated 26 September 2011]