- Nprn: 6877
- Cadw Ref: (WO) 2/27
- Cadw Record No: 3850
- Summary: Ebenezer Welsh Methodist Chapel was built in 1806 to the design of architect Evan Roberts of Denbigh, and a school room added in 1815. The chapel was then rebuilt in 1825, by architect John Lloyd of Caernarvon, in the Gothic style of the gable entry type. In 1875 Ebenezer was altered and restored to the design of architect Richard Davies of Bangor. Further repairs and additions took place in 1893 and a Mission Room built in 1912. The present building dates from 1875 and is now Grade 2 listed.
RCAHMW, September 2009
- Description: Chapel built 1805/6 to the design of Evan Roberts of Denbigh (?). Rebuilt/modified 1825-6 in Gothic style, gable entry type, to the design of John Lloyd of Caernarvon. Altered & restored 1875-6 to the design of Richard Davies of Bangor (cost £2300). Repairs & additions 1893; mission erected 1912. Status (1997): in chapel use.
Summary: altered gable façade chapel of 1826, in the Gothick style; centre entry of 1826 converted to a window of 1875-76 with separate gallery and ground-floor entrances of 1875-76, dispersed to each side. The ground-floor entries are still in the front wall, but the gallery entries are in the inner return walls of the porch, the last of 1875-76 and of 1893. 3 storeys from 1826 with basement schoolroom; 4-sided gallery. Box pews. Panelled-plaster ceiling of 1875-76. Iron-framed windows. Stained glass in 1875 window and gallery.
History & development: The cause founded 1805 (Royal Commission on Church of England & other religious bodies). Chapel erected 1826 according to Religious Census of 1851, but the 1st Wesleyan chapel is thought to have been built ca. 1805; W. Evan Roberts, joiner, of Denbigh, was the designer of the schoolroom of that date; this was extended in 1815 (Board of Celtic Studies database). The chapel of 1826, to the design of John Lloyd, is illustrated in a print in the chapel vestry: this shows the front gallery windows and SE. side elevation window openings (& tracery?) as now, a central ground-floor entry via Gothick doors or porch, with flanking windows as to gallery. In 1834, an English Wesleyan chapel was built behind it, and facing on to Pool Street (John Wynne, Sir a thre Caernarfon (1861), p. 38).From at least April 1860 the need for alterations was envisaged; John Lloyd, then Trustee and County Surveyor, wrote that " a few of our leading friends" saw the necessity of "little alterations in arrangement of some of the pews on the ground floor" and some repairs of our chapel (XD/34/345, Gwynedd Archives). More extensive works were delayed partly by the existing "rather heavy" debt on the old chapel (Caernavon & Denbigh Herald, 2/9/1876). The renovation work that did take place in 1875-76 was at a cost of £2300 and to seat 900-1000 people (Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald, 2/9/1876); this was to the design of Richard Davies, architect of Bangor, who was also "architect to the connexion", and was implemented by Mr Hugh Rowlands, joiner & builder of Caernarvon. "In as much as the old chapel was of a somewhat Gothic style, the alterations have been carried out in accordance with that style" (Caern. & Denbigh. Herald, op. cit.). All of the 1826 chapel was removed, apart from the masonry walls. Floor levels were altered, the chapel floor raised and the gallery lowered "to a considerable extent". In September, 1876, " a splendid porch ...[was]... in course of erection, the columns of which are built of Anglesey marble". The 3 stained-glass windows behind the porch also date from 1875-76, as did a new "pulpit platform and communion place" &, probably, the present ceiling. The agreement of 19th April, 1875 (XD/34/346, Gwynedd Archives) refers to a new entrance and stated that the contractor was to provide new pew framing and seats for gallery as well as ground floor, and refers to old pew framings and seats, some of which appear to have been re-used in the basement schoolroom and classrooms of 1875-76. The agreement also refers to the several drawings and the specification prepared by Richard Davies. In plan form the chapel is shown as now on the OS 1;500 sheet of 1880, with a wide SW. flight of steps in front, rising to a porch with similarly shaped buttresses, and with a NW. path and gate to the Ty Capel passage (Ebenezer Place). Although in 1893 embellishments were made in the form of a beautiful porch: perhaps the present porch columns and gable? The Mission Room, at NW. end of site, erected 1912.
Accommodation: Space in 1851, as given in Religious Census: 82 free, 1116 other.Seating accommodation in 1905 given as 780 (chapel) and 680 (schoolroom) (Royal Commission on C. of E. & other relig. Bodies).
Exterior: front elevation: wide flight of 10 steps up to 3-bay loggia porch, of 1875-76 and 1893, with Gothic arches below parapet and end pinnacles, the parapet rising as a gable over wider centre arch; "Ebenezer" inscribed in gable; the columns have shaft rings and and the arches dripstones with foliage stops. Lower and narrow single-bay side projections from porch, comprising 1875-76 gallery stairwells; angle buttresses with offsetts; cornice as to porch over single-light lancets in front and sides. In the main front wall of the chapel, the ends of the ground floor and the upper floor are faced with grey blocks of dressed stone as in the print of the 1826 Gothick chapel; by contrast, the centre ground floor and the large porch, dating from 1875-76 & 1893, are faced with tooled ashlar and are expressive of the Victorian Gothic revival. The diagonal end buttresses, to the 1826 work, have 3 plain offsetts; renewed octagonal pinnacles, of 1876-76?. On the evidence of the 1826 print, the 3 gallery windows have been dropped in height, presumably in 1875-76; these comprise, as in 1826, 2 end lancet windows with Y-tracery, each flanking a middle, 3-light, 4-centred window with Y-tracery and dripstone. Slate plaque over, recessed in octofoil, and inscribed in gilded lettering: "A.D./1826". Moulded raking cornice, partly renewed: Gothic finial, of 1875-76 or 1893?, replacing that of 1826. Cill height of ground-floor windows in 1826 was then possibly set lower than the bottom offset of the end buttresses, with external ground level as at bottom of external steps today. The outer 1826 windows have been replaced by the bottom flights of stairs (of 1875-76) to the gallery; the original centre entry has been replaced by 3 lancet lights of 1875-76, with flanking entrances to the ground floor auditorium. The lancet lights are infilled with stained glass; 1st World War memorial of pedimented marble below. The flanking segmentally-headed doorways to ground floor each have 2 doors of 3 diagonally-boarded panels in stopped and chamfered frames; 2-light overlight with columnar mullion. The porch has a concrete flag pavement with a flat, white plaster ceiling over end bays, and a vaulted ceiling over centre bay. In the inner side walls are the flat-headed doorways to the gallery stairs, each entrance with 2 doors of 3 diagonally-boarded and stopped and chamfered panels.
The wide flight of front steps is divided into 3 by iron balustrades with iron handrails rising from bottom columnar newels, and rising to scrolls at the top. The flight of steps is enclosed to each side by a retaining wall, stepped up from the forecourt, the ramped top stage of the wall with a C19 columnar lamp standard at its base: lamp with downward tapering sides and cresting. Concrete path on NW. at basement level, leads to basement entry and chapel house. Tarmacadamed forecourt ramped down to chapel gates and railings, also probably of 1875-76 on evidence of OS map. Single bay of dwarf wall and railings at each end, flanking single side gates and pair of centre entrance gates; square intermediate gate piers and NW. end wall piers with stepped pyramidal coping. Gates have square uprights with tripartitie finials, rising alternately to upper lock and top rails; pointed aracding below top rail; scrollwork between lock and bottom rails; railings similar but shorter. Similar plainer gate to NW. side passage.
4-bay side elevations. NW. side elevation: faced with large blocks of pinkish stone in regular courses. Similar stone as lintels to schoolroom window openings, containing transom and mullion windows with slate cills. Lancet-headed 2-light middle floor windows (at ground floor of chapel), with ?later brick heads. Y-tracery, each light of 4 panes depth, including the top light. Gallery windows similar, but with cill band.
SE. side elevation, in Stryd John Llwyd/ Wesley Street, is cement rendered but has similar window openings, but with metal wire grilles, and at similar levels; basement area enclosed by a stone boundary wall. 2-storey, 2-bay house adjoining at NE. end: stone walls and slate roof: on ground floor, cambered red-brick l.h. window opening (to vestry) and, to r.h., blocked doorway; boarded 1st-floor window; NE. continuation of the building demolished at 1st floor level; blocked doorway at ground floor was possibly formerly a through-passage to rear chapel yard.
Rear or NE. elevation of chapel: of coursed stone with central gabled projection; this has 2-light lancet with brick head and Y-tracery at ground floor; a blocked triplet of lancets at 1st floor, brick-framed and with 2 relieving arches over; circular brick-framed opening beneath the gable. Wing at right angles with wooden-boarded doors and overlights to rear chapel entrance and blocked through-passage (see SE. elevation above); adjacent toilet wing on NE..
Interior: separate ground-floor and gallery vestibules. On ground floor, both outer and inner ground-floor vestibules with matchboarded dado and cream-painted plaster walls, partly curved; pair of 6-panel doors between the 2, each door with 2 linenfold panels at the base and 4 glass panels over (of very thin flutes of frosted glass), the top 2 Caernarfon arched beneath a Caernarfon-arched overlight of 2 lights. Inner vestibule with late-C19 umbrella trough, lead-lined (?), against the S. wall. In N. wall, 9-panel door to chapel (3 tiers of 3, with 6 glazed upper panels (very thin flutes of glass)).
Gallery vestibules: pair of diagonally-boarded and stopped and chamfered panel external doors under a flat lintel in the side wall of the porch. Stone-flagged floor. Stained-glass in lancet windows at front and in E. return. A flight of 6 timber steps with handrail and with a turned newel with ball finial at top and bottom, rise to 2 quarter landings, the lower one a quadrant, and the upper one below a 9-panel door (the door panels moulded at top and sides and raked below) at bottom of an upper flight of 15 steps, the last enclosed by matchboarding below and by vertical stopped and chamfered panelling above; handrail with turned top newel with ball finial.
Chapel interior: matchboarded dados with projecting cornice, to both ground floor and gallery, the dado cornices at cill level of rear ground-floor window and of lateral gallery windows, but above cill level of front gallery windows and of lateral ground-floor windows. Painted-plaster walls, pale pink blush? The pointed window openings have plain jambs, splayed reveals and flat timber cills. In the gallery the walling and window heads merge into a cove rising to the flat rectangular ceiling; this last is made up of margin panels - 5 oblong panels on NW. and SE. and 4 to front and rear, plus 4 corner panels - that enclose 20 sunk panels, painted deep blue, above moulded edges and pale-blue flat bands, to which are attached white-painted cable mouldings, with white and gilded "fleurons" at the intersections; the 4 corner panels of the main ceiling contain moulded rectangular vents and the other 16 main ceiling panels each contain a fibrous-plaster ceiling rose-cum-vent. Wide 3-centred arch at 1st floor framing organ loft, moulded with inner cable moulding and stopped at gallery level.
Gallery: 4-sided gallery, at end and adjoining sides forming an extended half circle, and on the 4th side comprising a cantilevered front for the organ loft, and set lower. Gallery beam faced with timber, stopped and chamfered between each gallery column. 9 iron gallery columns, 3 at each side and 3 round the curved S. end; founder's name not apparent: blue-painted & octagonal lower shafts, to above pew height; 2 gilded and 1 pale-blue shaft ring below plain and pale-pink circular upper shaft; gilded shaft ring below pale-blue cap. Cantilevered gallery front with matchboarded soffit, the front made up of 2 tiers of wood-framed panelling between top, bottom and middle cornices; the deeper, lower tier of panels of diagonal matchboarding and the shallow upper tier of white and gilded cast-iron work. Later C20 circular gallery clock ("Seiko", "quartz").
Ground-floor seating: box pews of 1875-76 of varnished pine. Curved and chamfered seat ends rise higher than the single-panel stopped and chamfered doors with black-shaded and gilded numbering; three-quarter top beading and brass catches; raised and fielded panel seat backs; bookboards on shaped brackets; vertical stopped and chamfered panel seat dividers. Centre block of paired pews faces forward but fans out in width along the rear diagonal aisles. The side blocks of pews are tiered with the seats parallel with the lateral external walls and have vertical stopped and chamfered panel pew fronts along the aisles.
Each side from NE. or Sedd Fawr end: 1): a single block of pews of 4 pews depth, numbered 1-4 on SE. side of chapel and 58-61 on NW. In pew no 58, a Viscount electronic 2-manual organ and an upright piano have replaced the seat; 2): a block of paired pews of 4 seats depth in its NE. half (numbered 5-8 on SE. side of chapel and 67-71 on NW.), and of 5 seats depth in its SW. half (10-14 on SE. side of chapel and 67-71 on NW.), with the pew fronts of the latter canted in towards the shallower N. end of this block; 3): a paired block of pews, 5 deep on NE. (numbered 15-19 on SE side of chapel and 72-76 on NW.) and 4 on SW.; the latter pews are in part canted obliquely on to the rear diagonal aisles and the rear seat is curved; the S part of the block numbered 20-21 on SE. with 2 rear pews minus doors, and numbered 77-78 on NW., again with 2 unnumbered pews at rear. Like block no. 2, but in reverse, with the front seat of the deeper N. side of the block canted into the front seat of the shallower S. side of the block.
The paired centre block subdivided at the back into 2 paired blocks of pews of 3 pews depth, with a small centre aisle, the rear blocks of pews fanning out in width along the rear diagonal aisles as do the 2 rear pews of the centre front block; there is a cross-aisle at the back. The 2 rear blocks of pews are numbered 22-24 and 35-37 in the paired SE. block and 42-44 and 45-47 in the paired NW. block and are in part angled obliqueley towards the rear diagonal aisle. The paired block at centre front has a continuous seat divider; its 3 rear pews (25-27 on SE. & 48-50 on NW.) again have partly canted backs. Otherwise the centre pews are numbered 28-33 on SE. side and 51-56 on NW. Behind the rear cross-aisle and between the lobbies, are 2 small blocks of pews with centre aisle; numbered 38-39 on SE. and 40-41 on NW..
Sedd Fawr and pulpit: a rear cross-aisle to both links with back stairs. Rectangular and blue-carpeted Sedd Fawr enclosure with extruded curved front; 2 rear entrances, each up 1 step. Faced with 9 vertical stopped and chamfered panels under moulded cornice at each side; along the back, to each side of pulpit, faced with 5 panels with centre door panel. The open 8-bay trabeated front has paired columns at each end of the curved extrusion, otherwise single columns; turned circular columns, of hardwood?, shouldered beneath the entablature, which also has nailhead ornament below it . Outside the enclosure, low wood platform in front with blue-upholstered kneeler strip for communicants; cushion kneeler strip also along sides. Inside the enclosure, Sedd Fawr bench seat with blue-upholstered cushion seat and vertical boarded back. 4 chairs of Windsor derivation inside the curved front. Earlier-C20 oak? Communion table (in memory of Catherine Evans, 1850-1934); portable oak lectern over. To each side, a pine-framed chair with blue-upholstered seat and arm pads, panelled back with "Ebenezer 1876" above upper segmental panels; to the design of the architect, Richard Davies?. Blue-carpeted pulpit platform with matchboarded back; cross aisle at rear, beneath boarded soffit to organ loft. Pulpit with curved front, also flanking curved staircases. Staircases each of 7 blue-carpeted steps, with "Gothic" splat balustrade; pairs of stopped and chamfered bottom newels, partly picked out in black and gold; plain square caps inset with sunk quatrefoils, and with obelisks over with small ball finials. Top newels similar up to cap level, the front newels support brass lamp standards and the rear have different caps and enclose a wide bench seat with sloping matchboarded back. The curved pulpit front has bottom, middle and top cornices; faced with matchboarding between bottom and large projecting middle cornice; between the middle cornice and top cornice-cum-handrail, firstly, a band of wide and thin strips of wood, varnished and polished, the thin strips serving as bases to polished wood colonnetts with gilded shaft rings; the plain entablature comprises similar strips of wood but with bottom fringe and moulded top cornice-cum-handrail. Lectern with gilded beading.
Gallery seating: pews of similar style but with higher, vertical-panel backs. Separate numbering system, from 1 on NE. to 76 on NW.. Each side from pulpit end: 1): block of single pews of 5 pews depth: 1-5 on SE. side and 72-76 on NW.; 2): block of paired pews, in part with 3-panel backs. Numbered on SE side of chapel 6-9 in NE. pews and 10-13 in SE. pews; on NW. side of chapel, numbered 64-67 in SW. pews and 68-71 in NW. pews; 3): block of paired pews, but wider, with 4-panel seat backs; S. part of block approaches gallery intersection and rear seats here are wider again and canted. Numbered on SE. side of chapel, 14-17 in NE. pews and 18-21 in SW. pews; numbered on NW. side, 56-59 in SW. pews and 60-63 in NE. pews; 4): a block of paired pews, 4 pews deep, canted round rear gallery intersection. Numbered on SE. side, 22-25 in NE. pews and 26-29 in SW. pews; numbered on NW. side, 48-51 in SE. pews and 52-55 in NE. pews.
Diagonal cross-aisle to rear of 4), extending to gallery stairs. 5): unnumbered triangular seat at each end of cross-aisle,in angle with gallery stairs; 3 seats behind it, numbered on SE. side of chapel, 30-32, and, on NW. side, 46-47, with a further unnumbered seat at rear; 6): at centre back, behind the gallery clock, a block of 7 pairs of pews, each pair with partly canted seat backs adjoining the diagonal flanking aisles; numbered 32-38 on SE. side and 39-45 on NW. side; the rear pews, numbered 32 & 45, are minus pew dividers.
Musical instruments: 3 manual pipe organ in gallery (registration nailed up). Wood-panelled organ loft with gold-painted pipes above, in wood-supporting frame: 5 pipes in centre and at ends, with 2 intermediate cantilevered bays of 13 pipes width.
Vestry interior: the vestry is in rear C19 cottage attached to back of chapel: doorway from internal vestibule with stopped and chamfered frame with top extrusions; 6 moulded-panel door of mid-C19 type. Carpeted floor. Round all 4 walls, mid or earlier-C19 panelling as dado and as inclined back to bench seat; 2 tiers of panelling, moulded above and sunk below; re-used from the 1826 or earlier chapel (c.f with spec. for Capel Hyfrydle, Holyhead). C20 wood chip wallpaper on walls and flat ceiling, the walls painted cream. Mid- to late-C19 fireplace against NE. wall, plain pilastered with mantleshelf on brackets; 2-tier cupboard beside it. Earlier-C19 print of 1826 chapel on vestry walls, also photographs of chapel Ministers and deacons.; mid-C19 wall memorial to The Reverend Robert Jones, Wesleyan Minister, died 1849. Pine table; Windsor chairs; iron-framed bench seat.
Basement schoolrooms and classrooms: sited beneath the chapel and accessible either via 1: 2 flights (5 steps and 4 steps) of the back stairs down from the rear, ground-level vestry, or, 2: from NW., via a wide, sloping basement passage beneath the chapel porch. Large and airy basementschoolroom, separated by SE. partition wall from row of clasrooms beneath SE. side of chapel.
Schoolroom: wooden-boarded floor; part of S. end partitioned as chapel kitchen; flat-roofed looby projection at NE. end, by dais. Lit by large 9-pane window on to back stairsand by 4 transom and mullion windows in NW. wall. Borrowed light from classrooms on SE.. NW. window openings with raked, mustard-painted cills, flat heads and slightly splayed white-painted reveals; 6 panes, partly of obscured glass, below 4 top panes. Mustard-painted dado on NW. and part of NE. walls, rising to NW. cill level. Moulded panel dado, possibly pew backs from the 1826 chapel, along SE. partition wall (2 tiers of panels) and along parts of NE. and SW. ends. Painted-plaster walls. Chapel floor and gallery columns supported by a network of girder beams and columns echoing the spacing of the gallery columns, but canted on SE.. Raked ceiling along NW. side; stop and chamfer beams along walls above stop and chamfer corbels. 2 steps on SE. & NW. up to dais at NE. end; attached to rear wall, a mustard-painted settle with 5-panel back (similar to wall dados) and shaped arms. Iron-framed benches face towards dais on SE. side of schoolroom: 1 with fixed back and 6 with adjustable backs; 4 of the latter also along NW. wall and 1 on dais. At dais end, a harmonium: Dominium orchestral organ, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Upright piano by John Brinsmead & Sons, London, the upper case with inlaid centre panel.
The SE. classrooms: transom and mullion windows, as on NW. side of schoolroom, with deep raked cills and window heads at ceiling beam height. Panelled dados, again of pew backs from 1826 chapel? Raked ceilings, below raked side pews of chapel. NE. room with 2-tier dado as seat back on SW., NW. and part of NE. walls; NE. fireplace, boxed in; harmonium, by Bell organ & piano co. of Guelph, Canada, with mouse-proof pedal, patented 1887. 2nd classroom with dado paneeling behind bench seat on NE., NW. and SW. walls; much lower window cill. Smaller 3rd classroom with moulded-panel dado; small C19 table, painted brown. Larger 4th classroom with conrete floor and lower window cill. SW. basement passage slopes downhill from NW. basement entrance; grey-painted tile floor; cream-painted plaster walls; vaulted ceiling of white-painted plaster , continuing as brick vault over SE. storeroom; pair of boarded doors with 2-pane overlight. Segmental arch over door to schoolroom.
Ty Capel: altered 2-storey house to SW. of chapel, with 3-bay front of pebbledash; C20 windows.
Mission Room: to NE. of chapel house: 1-storey, with cement-rendered walls, lined as if for ashlar; double-pitched slate roof. Three 18-pane sash windows in SE. elevation, in flat-headed openings with plain reveals and projecting cills. Two 18-pane sash windows in SW. gable. Slate-roofed porch extension from NE. gable, with entrance in its SE., front wall. Interior with timber dado, painted-plaster walls. Ceiling with exposed trusses and with flat centre and sloping sides. Currently in use as a workshop.
OMJ. 5-8/97. Visted 13/5/97 & with DJR & PI on 21/5/97..
- Repairs & Porch Added: 1893 Source:Capel
- Additions & Alterations: 1875 Source:Capel
- Built: 1806 Source:CA Inventory
- Built: 1826 Source:Plaque
- Built: 10/10/1805 Source:Capel
- Built: 1826 Source:Religious Census
- Cause: 1805 Source:RCCEORBWM
- Founded: 1805 Source:RCCEORBWM
- Date Of Chapel: 1875 Source:
- Mission Erected: 1912 Source:Capel
- Built (gates & Railings): 1880A Source:Welsh Office
- Rebuilt: 01/03/1825 Source:Capel
- Reopening: 14/05/1826 Source:Capel
- Schoolroom Built: 1815 Source:Capel
- Extended - Schoolroom: 1815 Source:Board of Celtic Stud
- Rebuilt: 1876 Source:A Jones index
- Architect: 1875 Richard Davies, Bangor
- Architect: 1826 John Lloyd, Caernarvon
- Architect: 1875 Richard Davies, Bangor
- Architect: 01/03/1825 John Lloyd, Caernarvon
- Architect: 1876 Richard Evans, Bangor
- Architect: 1893 Rowland Lloyd Jones, Caernarfon
- £ 6570: 1905 (RCCEORBWM)
- 900: 1880 Sittings (1:500 map)
- 780: 1905 Sittings (RCCEORBWM)
- 680: 1905 Sittings (RCCEORBWM)
- Chapel: 14/02/ & 05/97 (Site visit - RCAHMW)
- Welsh: ()
- Monument Type: CHAPEL
- Form: Building
- Style: Gothic
- Gallery: On three sides
- Plan: Gable Entry
- Pulpit Position: Rear wall
Key Details of this Chapel
Key Dates of this Chapel
Key People in this Chapel History
Costs during this Chapels History
Capacities during this Chapels History
Changes of Status its History
The Languages of the Chapel during its History
Key Characteristics of this Chapel
Images from Coflein
- Grid Reference: SH48056262
- Address: CHAPEL STREET, CAERNARFONCAERNARFON