• Carmel

Carmel, Nantmel

Carmel was opened c. 1829 as an Independent chapel. The 1851 Census referred to 151 free seats in the chapel and room for 50 to stand. On 30 March 66 persons and 44 scholars were present in the morning service, and 35, together with 13 scholars in the evening service. The average congregation over a 12 month period comprised 80 persons with 11 scholars. Thomas Evans, the minister, commented that two services were held on every Sunday, one always in the evening and the other every alternate Sunday in the morning and afternoon with the attendance in the afternoon much larger than in the morning or evening.
It is possible that some services in the earliest period may have been held in the Welsh language and whilst Jonathan Williams, in his ‘The History of Radnorshire’ ( 1859 ) referred to the two languages being spoken in the parish, the use of the Welsh language was declining at that time. A volume on the history of the Independent Churches of Wales, published in 1891, referred to a joint pastorate with Llanwrthwl, the repair of the chapel in 1881 with opening services held in October where sermons were delivered by Dr Rees, Swansea and Mr. Kilsby Jones and also the payment of the entire debt.
Anthony Jones referred to the ‘ fine proportions and an elegant sense of scale dignify Carmel’, and Robert Scourfield described the chapel as being ‘charmingly rustic’. Two windows had been placed in the centre of the chapel with two doors besides them and another two windows above these. A gallery along three sides is supported by timber posts. Inside the chapel a deacons’ seat has been placed benaeth a raised pulpit located between the windows and is faced by four rows of seats.
The care of Carmel, which has been listed as Grade II*, was transferred yn 2017 to Addoldai Cymru on a 25-year lease.

John Thomas, ‘Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru’, v ( 1891 ), p. 251.
Anthony Jones, ‘Welsh Chapels’ ( 1996 ), p. 40.
Robert Scourfield, ‘ Powys : Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Breconshire’ ( 2013 ), p. 376.