The story of the Newtown chapel left in ruins after 150 years
For nearly 150 years, Bethel Chapel stood in Newtown, but for more than a decade it was neglected.
The last service celebrated at the New Road Welsh Calvinist Chapel was in 2006 and the building was subsequently sold.
Since 2006, the old chapel has been abandoned after years of neglect of which residents and politicians have expressed their concerns.
Built between 1875 and 1876, the current Gothic-style building is the third Welsh Calvinist chapel to be built in Newtown.
The Bethel Chapel photographed in happier times. Photo: Newtown Local History Group.
It was designed by famous Liverpool architect Richard Owens, built at a cost of £ 2,300 and could accommodate around 450 people.
Edwin Hughes was pastor at Bethel Chapel between 1998 and 2006. “It has always been a Welsh language chapel. It was built and paid for by the first congregation. It has been in Newtown for over a hundred years,” a- he declared.
“At the time of closing, there were around 50 to 60 people. And back then we had a Sunday school, so it was a pretty busy congregation. A very warm and welcoming place.
The ruined interiors of the Bethel chapel. Photo by David Williams.
“There had been quite a few ministers over the years. Very famous ministers to be honest such as Reverend Huw Jones is best known. His name was ‘Huw Bach y Bala’ and he was quite a popular national and well known, he sang on the radio as part of Triawd y Coleg.
“After we closed the chapel, we joined the congregation in the Crescent. We joined to use the chapel there with two different each Sunday, one Welsh and one English.”
The front exterior was constructed of quarry masonry and sandstone dressings with a central doorway and two buttresses at the main gable (the spiers of which have been removed). The rest is yellow brick under a slate tiled roof. He probably seated about 450 people.
The ruined walls of the Bethel chapel. Photo by David Williams.
The Bethel Methodist Chapel was built in 1810, rebuilt in 1820, and rebuilt again in 1876. It is believed that the first congregation raised funds to build the chapel which stands today in New Road.
The current chapel, dated 1876, was designed by architect Richard Owens of Liverpool and built in the Gothic style with a gabled entrance plan and side turrets.
Chapelle du Béthel following the collapse of its roof. Photo by Anwen Parry.
The Newtown History Group has called on anyone with any photographs or stories about the chapel to email [email protected] for an upcoming Newtonian volume.