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Bethesda Chapel, Bethesda Street, Swansea, Glamorgan

Name: Bethesda

Denomination: Baptist

Built: 1649
Rebuilt: 1830
Enlarged: 1861
Rebuilt: 1882
Photography: John Ball
Date: 12 May 2004
Camera: Fuji FinePix S602 Zoom

Bethesda Chapel, Swansea

Note 1: [The chapel] is a Neo-Classical chapel constructed of coursed Ashlar stone witha modern pantile roof and side elevations which have been rendered and painted. The front elevation has three bays with an elaborate Renaissance porch of segmental plan. The porch has three canted and richly carved doorpieces around a round-arched opening and segmental pediments decorated with dove tympana, foliage spandrels and finials, all supported on Corinthian pilasters. The main elevation has a pedimented frontispiece with a dentil cornice, flanked balustraded parapets and openwork domed turrets with finials to the corners. Below this is an entablature supported by paired pilasters on tall panelled pedestals. There is a triple opening in the pediment and three round-headed lights below a frieze inscribed BETHESDA BAPTIST CHAPEL [see below]. These windows have moulded architraves with keyblocks and linked impost bands, and there are panelled fields with roundels over the windows. In the smaller outer bays have similar but taller windows. The side elevations have four pilastered bays with windows on two levels. Bethesda is now Grade 2 Listed for its excellent interior.
[Source: Coflein database of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (accessed 1 Jun 2015)]

Bethesda Chapel, Swansea

Christmas Evans Note 2: Bethesda was a Welsh Baptist church in Swansea, Glamorgan. An important chapel in the history of the Baptist movement in Swansea, Bethesda was built on its present site in 1831, and extensively rebuilt in 1879. It closed in 1994. [Source: Archives Wales website (accessed 1 June 2015)]

Note 3: Christmas Evans (right), the great one-eyed preacher, died in 1838 in the manse of the minister of Bethesda Baptist church and was buried near the original chapel. [Source: South Wales Evening Post website (accessed 1 June 2015)]

Right Portrait of Christmas Evans by William Roos, 1835. National Museum Cardiff.

Below: The chapel graveyard was in a neglected state when photographed in 2004, but had been cleared of vegetation by 2014.
Bethesda Chapel burial yard, Swansea

Note 4: Bethesda Baptist chapel, is now [2013] Swansea's NSPCC centre. [Source: South Wales Evening Post website (accessed 1 June 2015)]

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