More about Hen Dŷ Cwrdd

20-b-101 copy

Courtesy of Rhondda Cynon Taff Photography Library

The first chapel was built in a field belonging to the old farm of Gadlys Uchaf, the lease granted on the 5th March 1751 by Theophilus Richards and revised by his son Richard Richards on 12th December 1796. The building was small and simple, described as having a porch entrance with outside stone steps and a tiled roof. Accommodating 50-100 people, in 1782 there were 43 members, and by 1853 there were 60.

The chapel was rebuilt in 1862 at a cost of £753-15s-4d to the design of architect Evan Griffiths of Aberdare, designed to be “simple and strong, reflecting Unitarian beliefs in liberty, tolerance and forbearance”. It is a medium sized chapel which seats 250-300.

The symmetrical cement rendered front is built in the Italianate style with a gable-entry plan. The bottom half of the facade is channelled, with a round arched doorway to the centre which has stone DS2014_291_013steps up to panelled double doors. Above is the inscribed stone plaque, while to either side are square-headed sash windows. At gallery level is a pair of round-headed windows over which arches the moulded stringcourse, and to either side are two further sash windows, those to the centre narrower than the outer openings. In the pediment is a round attic window. The square interior has a pulpit at the rear wall, accessed to either side by steps from the Sedd Fawr and with an arched recess behind. A gallery runs round three sides, supported by cast iron columns and with an unusually deep gallery front, the ceiling has a simple cornice, a central rose and octagonal ventilation panels.