For further details of this project see Cardiganshire Chapels Database
Compiled by Gareth Hicks (Feb 2007)
NB. Not all available data was necessarily used from sources - and sources 1 & 4 have been combined as similar
Ebenezer Welsh Baptist chapel, Lincoln St, Llandysul
Carmel Welsh Ind chapel, Pontsian Rd, Pren-gwyn, Llandysul
Horeb Welsh Ind chapel, Horeb
Seion Welsh Ind chapel, Seion Hill, Llandysul
Bethel Welsh Wesleyan Methodist chapel, (Capel Enoc), Abereinon
Peniel Welsh Wesleyan Methodist chapel, Wesley St, Llandysul
Tabernacle Welsh CM chapel, Bridge St, Llandysul
Waunifor Welsh CM chapel, Maes-y-crugiau, Capel Dewi
Capel-y-Graig Welsh Unitarian chapel, Graig Rd, Llandysul
John Thomas's Schoolroom, Unitarian, Llandysul
Llwynrhydowen Unitarian (Hen Gapel), Cardigan Rd, Rhydowen
Capel Llwynrhydowen, Welsh Unitarian chapel, Pontsian Rd, Rhydowen
Myfrgell Unitarian Meeting Place, Seion Hill, Llandysul
Capel Pant-y-defaid, Welsh Unitarian, Pren-gwyn
Extract from Hanes Plwyf Llandyssul 1896 [The History of Llandysul], by Rev W J Davies 1896, translated by Ivor Griffiths
"This chapel is in the parish of Llandyssul, about two miles northwest of the village and the parish church. After its incorporation in 1784 and the departure of the Rev.Benjamin Jones from Pantycreuddyn,the church gave an invitation to the Rev. Jonathan Jones, Rhydybont to be their shepnerd, which he accepted, and served the church for 21 years. Mr John Lloyd, a member of Pencader, and a student at Carmarthen College, was ordained as assistant to Mr Jones on November 2nd 1802, and held the post until his move to Henllan in 1805. For the next three years, the churches were pondering whether to keep the connection with Mr Jones' other churches or get a minister of their own. Eventually the majority decided to obtain a minister of their own, and gave a call to Mr Thomas Griffiths of Newport (Pemb) and he was ordained here in the first week of March 1808. Mr Griffiths laboured hard for six years anal then moved to be co-minister with his uncle, Mr Evans, in Trewen, about two miles below Newcastle Emlyn. The church then called one of their own sons to the ministry. He was John Jones of Gilfachronw, who had just completed his studies in Carmarthen college. He was ordained towards the end of 1814, and served here for three years until his death in 1817. His successor was Mr Samuel Griffiths, who was ordained as minister on September 29th and 30th 11818.
There were 218 members when Mr Griffiths was installed, and through his diligence, this number was increased to twice that figure by 1826. The chapel measured 40 feet by 27 feet, yet it became too small, so it was extended in 1852. In the same year, branches of the church were established in Bwlchygroes, and Carmel, another branch was re-built. Mr Griffiths died in 1860,and in 1862, his successor, Mr Thomas Pennant Phillips was ordained as minister.
Mr Phillips has extended a number of branches, because on October the 12th and 13th 1864, a church was incorporated in Gwerllwyn,which is about three miles west of Horeb, and not far from the main highway leading from Llandyssul to Newcastle Emlyn, and north of the river Teifi. Another branch is Seion in Llandyssul. Although these branches have been formed, yet the mother church is flourishing.
The chapel was completely re-built except for parts of the walls, and was opened on May 21st and 22nd 1879. There is not one inscription stone on the chapel, but there were two on the earlier one. The first was outside, facing the road,and was inscribed as follows:
a adeiladwyd 1784, ail adeiladwyd 1826. Rhodd J.T. Ddolwen.
This J.T.,was raised at Ddolwen. He lived in Llwynyreos, Llanfairorllwyn, where he died.
The second inscription was inside, above the pulpit,and read as follows:
(Watch your feet when you enter the house of God.)
The following ministers were raised in this church:
Extract from Hanes Plwyf Llandyssul 1896 [The History of Llandysul], by Rev W J Davies 1896, translated by Ivor Griffiths
"This chapel stands about three miles from Llandyssul on the main road to Newquay, and is near Pantydefaid chapel. The cause was established here by John Jones, the eldest son of The Rev.Jonathan Jones of Rhydybont. After John Jones left Bwlchyfadfa because of some unpleasantness, he went to Mr Jones of Pantydefaid, the son of the Rev.Jenkin Jones, founder of the cause in Llwynrhydowen,and said to him:
"Your father was a well known preacher, with influence in the district, but the people now in Llwynrhydowen have deviated to Unitarianism, which is unacceptable in the district. The people of Horeb are too Calvinistic to join them; so there are many people with the same views as your father -- that is Arminianism,and they would be glad to have a place of worship over their own heads. If you can find someone here to gather them together, I will preach to them and care for them."
Jones, Pantydefaid, when he heard this, built a small chapel without delay at his own expense, and on his own land -- Pantydefaid, which is about 1 1/2, miles from Llwynrhydowen. In 1819, the chapel was ready and John Jones invited preachers there for the opening -- but few came. Jones preached for a few months, until the following spring, then he died in Pencarniced, still a fairly young man.
In the following year, a John Charles, blacksmith, and a member in Llwynrhydowen, went to the Rev. Samuel Griffiths of Horeb, on the day that the Rev.J. Davies was ordained in Llwynrhydowen, and asked him to preach in the small chapel of Carmel. Having received permission from Mr Jones, Pantydefaid, Mr Griffiths gave a sermon there, and people came to hear him, which induced him to preach there regularly until his death. He obtained a 21 year lease on the chapel which caused bitter feelings between the Independents and the Unitarians. Many "rigmaroles" were written to both houses. Here is a rhyme to Carmel:-
"Mae Cardinal pen Carmel yn cymeryd arno fod
Yn Ffyddlawn yn ei alwad,er treio cael y clod;
Mae'n cario pen lanternaidd,yn oleu fel yr haul,
A'r cythraul yn ei galon -- hyn yw ei unig sail."
This kind of bitterness has long since disappeared,and a brotherly love is spreading today(1896) between the various denominations here -- as it should be, between the various branches of Christ's church.
Mr Griffiths died in 1860,and the Rev.T.P.Phillips was ordained as minister of the Independents of the district in June,1862. He served the church in Carmel faithfully until 1875, when he retired as their shepherd, and in May of that year,Carmel joined with Saron, Llangeler under the same minister,who at that time was the Rev.T.J.Morris. In 1876 Mr Morris gave up the churches and moved to Cardigan.
In March 1877,the Rev.W.E.Jeffreys was ordained as minister of Saron and Carmel,and served them until his death, which took place on Saturday night, June 16th 1894. He was succeeded in November 1895 by the Rev. W.V.Edwards, the present minister. There is a graveyard attached to Carmel, and the first to be buried there was David, the son of David and Mary Jones, once of Ffynonllewelyn, which took place in March 1862. In the wall facing the road from Pantydefaid to Pontsian, there is a stone with the following:
The church has raised two ministers --- Mr John Morgan Jones, and Daniel Jones"
Extract from Hanes Plwyf Llandyssul 1896 [The History of Llandysul], by Rev W J Davies 1896, translated by Ivor Griffiths
"This chapel stands in the village of Llandyssul. The cause was established here in the later part of 1870, when a branch of Horeb was formed here. The work of building the chapel started in 1870, and was completed in 1871 with the opening services being held on the 4th and 5th of October of that year. They were also the Quarterly Meetings of the county. Mrs Jones, "The Shop" gave the land to build the chapel as well as £100 towards the cost of the building. The church was incorporated under the ministry of the Rev. T.Pennant Phillips, and he serves them to this day.
The church has raised four ministers.
The first to be buried in the graveyard was Rachel Evans of Zion Cottage of this place, who died on November 19th 1878 aged 60 years."
"The cause started here because of the divisive disagreeement with the Rev.J.Jones. He left Penybont [Llanfihangel-ar-arth parish] in 1829 and went to Caerphilly. At the end of three years he received a call to return to Penybont, which he did. But, the call was not unanimous, and bad feelings arose between his supporters and his opposers, with the result that Mr Jones' friends left Penybont and held services in the house of Thomas H.Charles, the blacksmith in Llandyssul village. They brought their cause before the quarterly meeting of the denomination which was held at Llwyndafydd on February 14th 1833, and were urged by the ministers present to build a place of worship if the opposers refused to let them have the use of Penybont half of the time. The opposers did refuse, so the Revs.Timothy Thomas of Newcastle Emlyn,and David Woolcock of Cwmfelin and Llandyssul, left,and went with Mr Jones and some of his supporters to negotiate and measure land to build a chapel.
They obtained the land from Mr John James, Blaenycwm, for the annual rent of ten shillings. The foundation stone was laid on April 16th 1833,and the roof was completed on Monday morning, June 3rd 1833, and at 10 o'clock on that same morning the church was incorporated when the Revs.T.Thomas and W.R.Davies took part in the service. The chapel was opened publicly on May 13th and 14th 1834. It is 32 feet long and 28 feet wide within its walls. Mr Jones ministered here faithfully until his death in 1856. The church was dependent on "supplies" until 1860, and among these were the Revs.Jonathan Jones of Cwrtnewydd and Crugymaen,and J.Rowlands of Newquay, who often preached there. Then the Rev.J.Davies of Bethel and Salem in Caio, received a call in April 1861 to take care of them in conjunction with Hebron, Llanfihangel-ar-Arth,and Rehoboth, Cilrhedyn, and his ministery lasted with great success until 1881 when he gave up Ebenezer.
The church managed on "supplies" until 1888 when the Rev.W. Lewis of Parcyrhos near Lampeter took over the care of the church along with Hebron until 1893. After living on "supplies" again until 1895, the church joined with Cwmduad under the ministry of the Rev.D. Richards which continues to the present day. On the wall facing the main road is the following inscription:
The church raised Dewi Elfed Jones as a preacher. He was the son of John and Hannah Jones, Penstar. He was a minister in (1) Cwrtnewydd and Crugymaen.(2) Jerusalem, Rhymney. (3) Gwawr,Aberamman. He turned to the 'Later Day Saint' and started his journey to Salt Lake City,and died in California. He was the author of "Caneuon Tyssul." "
"This chapel stands on Blaenborthin land, and was first raised by Thomas Bowen, Esq., Waunifor, in 1760. It is only the width of a field from the place where the old Borthin Chapel stood. Mr Bowen first thought of building the chapel on the place where the old building had stood, but the Rev. J.Thomas, vicar of Llanllwni and Llandyssul told him that it would come into his possission if he did so. Mr Bowen had planned originally to keep the chapel seperate from the established church and the nonconformists, but he failed to get a priest to minister there, so he finally handed it over to the Methodists. He made his Will in 1805 which was proved on February 27th 1806, with Mrs Jennet Bowen, his widow, the sole executrix of the Letters of Administration. Through the permission of Charles Lloyd, Esq., of Waunifor, I shall give the following extract from the Will regarding the chapel, which is very interesting:
"I also Will and direct that the meeting house or chapel and yard thereunto adjoining called Waunifor Chapel formerly built by me on the tenement of Blanborthin be made use of for ever hereafter as a House of Prayer and Public Worship and that all preachers belonging to and members of the Welsh Association of Methodists shall have full liberty to preach therein and that they and all other persons who shall be desirous to attend Public Worship therein shall have free ingress,egress,and regress, to and from the same without any molestation or interuption from my son Daniel Bowen, or any other person or persons claiming under me,and that the said Meeting House shall be kept in good thorough and sufficient repair by my said wife during the term of her natural life."
As well as building the chapel, Mr Bowen would lodge the ministers at his own expense, and after the death of Mr and Mrs Bowen, it appears that Miss Bowen supported the cause for many years, and after the death of his sister, the Rev.Daniel Bowen behaved like a gentleman towards the small flock. The Waunifor family, although they are ardent church people, still retain a great interest in this chapel to this day.
Perhaps the most well known member ever received here was the Rev. John Evans, Llwynfortun. His father was an ardent Independent,and when was accepted as a member, he said, "Here he is for you, I failed to make a dissenter of him." In addition to Mr Evans, Llwynfortun, Mr Williams, Lledrod,and Mr Morris Cilgerran had also preached here. For many years the church was connected to the Methodist chapel in Llandyssul under the care of the Rev.T.James, but at present it is in union with New Inn, Carmarthenshire.
The chapel was rebuilt in 1854, and re-roofed in 1887.
There are two inscription stones on the West wall of the chapel:
The Gravestone of the first one to be buried in the graveyard reads as follows:
Yma y gorwedd y rhan ddaearol, heb yr ysbrydol
This chapel stands on the side of the main road near the bottom of the village of Llandyssul. The cause was established here in 1832 by Mr Lloyd, a tax official, who preached as well as following his calling. He was followed by the Rev. John Jones, Newquay, and after him, the Rev.Joshua Evans, Tancoed, preached there. Mr Evans joined the Church of England, and is now the vicar of St James church, Pontypool. After Mr Evans departure, the Rev.John Davies, Blaenanerch was inducted here. He was followed by his brother, the Rev.David Davies. In 1867, the Rev.T. James was inducted as minister,and has been their shepherd to this day.
In the wall facing the main road there is an inscription as follows:
"This was the first Arminian church in Wales. It sprang from Pantycreuddyn church on Gellifaharen land. After Mr Jenkin Jones left the college in 1726,some said that he co-ministered with the Rev.James Lewis in Pantycreuddyn, but as a disagreement had broken out between them when Mr Jones was a student, because of the Arminian beliefs he held, it is probable that he and his followers left to establish the cause at Llwynrhydowen on his own land at Wernhir, near Alltyrodyn, and close to the main road from Pencader to Newquay. The first chapel was built in 1733 on the place where the garden of the dwelling house "Llwynrhydowen" is at present. At that time there were high feelings between the Arminians and Calvinists, and a great arguement broke out between them. Mr Jones continued to minister to his flock until his death in 1742. He was followed by his nephew and son-in-law, the Rev. D.Lloyd of Brynllefrith, who was a brilliant scholar and a popular preacher, and the church increased enormously during his ministry, making it necessary to extend the chapel in 1754, and as Mr Lloyd had other churches under his care, they appointed an assistant for him in 1767 in the person of the Rev. D.Davis of Castell Hywel. Mr Davis was ordained under the tree which still stands today on the side of 'Efail y Gof' Llwynrhydowen. After the death of Mr Lloyd in 1779, Mr Davis was the only minister, and he had an assistant when the chapel was rebuilt in 1791. The new chapel was raised on the side of the crossroads, a short distance from the first chapel.
The first assistant to Mr Davis was the Rev.Richard Lloyd, the son of the Rev.D. Lloyd, the second minister of the church. He died in 1797. The next assistant was Timothy, the son of Richard Lloyd, and he served from 1802 to 1810. Then came Mr John Jones, the eldest son of the Rev. Jonathan Jones of Rhydybont, who left around 1812 to establish the cause in Bwlchefadfa. He was followed by the Rev.D.L. Jones of Glyn Adda, who left towards the end of 1814 when he was appointed the minister of Capel Seion, in Carmarthen, and classics master in Carmarthen College.
The sixth assistant to D.Davis was the Rev.W.Rees, who outlived him, and served as an assistant until 1829-30. Dr Charles Lloyd had intended assisting Mr Davis, but did not do so because another branch broke away from the church of Llwynrhydowen and aligned with Dr Lloyd at Pantydefaid. It seems that Mr Davis revealed a very evangelical spirit in this crisis, because he insisted that everyone who wished to go to Dr Lloyd, do so peacefully,and ordered the people of the Llwyn to show the same spirit towards them.
After Mr Davis retired in 1820, the Rev.J.Davies, the son of Mr Davies of Llanybri, was ordained as minister,and continued to serve the church for nearly 40 years, from 1820 to 1858, when he died. During his ministry, the third chapel was built in 1834 in the same place as the second. Also, in that same year, the first burial took place in the graveyard, and this is the inscription on the gravestone:
Er cof am Francis Thomas, Cwrtygwybed. Bu farw
Ce's yn y llawr hyn lle'r hunaf -- orwedd
In 1830, the Rev.D.Evans,B.A., Glasgow, was appointed as assistant to Mr J.Davies, and served here for 24 years until 1853, when he moved to Maes-y-meillion, and the church at Galltyplacca broke its connection with the Llwyn because Mr Evans had ministered there and at Caeronen for a while. Mr Evans was followed at the Llwyn in June 1853 by the Rev. Peter Joseph. He served the church until 1857, when he died -- a year before his co-minister Mr J.Davies. At this time the church of' Penrhiw formed an union with Pantteg, Carmarthenshire, so that of the four churches --- Llwynrhydowen, Galltyplacca, Penrhiw, and Bwlchyfadfa --- united at the beginning of the century, only Llwynrhydowen and Bwlchyfadfa remain under the same ministry today.
In 1858, Mr W.Thomas (Gwilym Marles) came to minister at Llwynrhydowen while he was still a student, and in 1860, after graduating from Glasgow University, he took over the complete work of the ministry,and served faithfully until his death in 1879. During his ministry, something happened which does not happen to many churches in the world --- the church was evicted from its chapel and graveyard on October 29th 1876. So as to understand the history of this atrocious deed,we have to go back one hundred years.
In 1781,Mr D.Lloyd, the owner of the Alltyrodyn Estate at that time, gave a lease to Llwynrhydowen church for 99 years on the payment of the small sum of 12 pence rent a year. The estate was transferred from generation to generation as follows:
The first thing that came to disturb the congregation was a letter from a Mr Mason Allen, l, John Street, Bedford Row,dated October 20th, 1876, referring to Mr John Jones, solicitor, Llandyssul. Mr Allen was the agent for John Davies Lloyd (6), and he claimed immediate possession of the church and graveyard on behalf of Mr Lloyd, although there were 3 years of the lease still to run. The reasons given by Mr Allen were (1) No trustees had been appointed to succeed the ones named in the lease of 1781 who had of course died.(2) If trustees had been appointed according to the law, they would still be dispossessed, because the chapel had been used for purposes other than the worship of God.
The general belief as to the true cause for the eviction was the meetings held in the chapel on several occasions during the memorable electoral contest of 1868 between Mr E.Mattnew Richards and Captain Vaughan, and again in the spring of' 1871 when a great number of the parishioners of Llandyssul tried to set Mr Forster's education Act into force.
The congregation and their minister tried their best to get Mr John Davies Lloyd to permit them to keep their chapel and graveyard, but to no avail, and they decided that it would be unwise to go to law. So, on October 29th, they held a service on the main road before the chapel,and the minister preached a sermon from the steps of the gate to the graveyard.
The church then rented a small piece of land on the side of the main road near Rhydowen Bridge, known by the name "Eisin-Grug" or "Shingrug" from Mr Evan Jones, Melin Rhydowen. The following Sunday, November 5th, a fund was opened to buy land to build a new chapel, and from that day, money poured in from far and near towards paying for a new place of worship. Half an acre of Gelliaur land, about half a mile from the old chapel, was purchased for £450. Until the new chapel was ready, the church held their various services in the wooden building they had set up on "Shingrug". The foundation stone of the "Capel Coffadwrthiaethol" was laid on June 28th 1878, by Mrs Jones, Gellifaharen, the mother of Mr Jones the solicitor, and the chapel was opened in 1879. Gwilym Marles composed the following lines on the occasion of his visit to the new chapel a few days after the opening:
YR HEN A'R NEWYDD.
Unwaith mi gefais weled
By this time the eviction had so affected Mr Thomas the minister that his health failed, and he died in December 1879. About two years after the eviction, Captain John Davies Lloyd (6) died,and it appears that he was feeble minded and left a Will giving all his possessions to his agent Mr Allen,and completely ignoring his sister Mrs Massey. The lady decided to contest the Will, and she won the day, and after her victory, she paid a visit to Llandyssul to receive the most splendid welcome that anyone in the parish could recall in living memory. The village was beautifully decorated, and the people formed an orderly procession to the old Llwynrhydowen chapel led by a brass band, and on reaching the chapel, Mrs Massey opened the gate and doors, and handed the keys to the trustees of the church. The church had its dear old church back on the same terms that were given by the lady's ancestors. The chapel is how used for Sunday school, and an occasional service is held there.
In October 1879, the Rev.W. James, B.A., began his ministry at the Llwyn, and served them faithfully until his health failed, and he retired in 1888. In June 1889, the Rev.W.J.Davies, minister of Dowlais and Gellionen began his ministry here, and continued to shepherd the church until the end of July 1896.
In the walls of the old chapel there are the following inscribed stones:
(1) "Deus nobis haec otia fecit,1733."
(2) "Dyma borth yr Arglwydd, onid yw hwn onid Ty i DDuw. Sal.cxviii,20."
The above two stones are in the wall facing the graveyard near the door next to the road. The third stone is near the other door.
(3) "This house was built for Divine worship among Protestant Dissenters,1791."
The fourth stone is near the window at the back of the chapel, and indicates the date of the first extension in the time of the Rev.D.Lloyd. (We know this from a letter from D.Lloyd to his brother Mr P.Lloyd.)
In the walls of the new chapel, there are two inscribed stones, one on each side of the door,and another one above.
Inscribed on the stone on the right as you enter the chapel:
Dechreuad yr achos yn y Llwyn,1726;
On the left:
Dodwyd y maen hwn yn ei le gan Mrs Jones,Gellifaharen, Mehefin 21ain,1878.
(This stone was laid in its place by Mrs Jones,Gellifaharen, June 21st,1878).
Deus nobis otia fecit.
The stone above is inscribed:
Inside the chapel there are two splendid tablets.(1) Above the pulpit in memory of Gwilym Marles.(2) On the wall on the left as you enter the chapel, and is inscribed as follows:
Er cof serchus
"Erys ei Goffadwriaeth yn anwyl fel Aelod Ffyddlon a Gweithgar,fel Cyfranwr a Chymunroddwr Haelionus i'r Eglwys Hon, ac fel un
David Thomas and his sister Margaret Thomas left bequests to the church. John Jenkins, the father of Jenkin Jones, and founder of Llwynrhydowen left a bequest of £100 to the church, but somehow it was lost.
The first to be buried in the new graveyard of the Llwyn, was Thomas, the son of Enoch and Ann Evans of Pantcoch, Llandyssiliogogo, who died February 8th 1878, aged 14 months.
Myfi y cyntaf, olaf pwy?
"This chapel stands about 2 1/2 miles North of the village of Llandyssul between the valleys of Cerdin and Clettwr. The cause was started here in 1802 by Dr Charles Lloyd, the son of the Rev.D.Lloyd of Brynllefrith. After Dr Lloyd gave up farming, he wanted to be co-minister with the Rev.D. Davis in Llwynrhydowen, but for some reason, Mr Davis would not accept him. Then, the doctor established a cause, not only in Pantydefaid, but also formed a church in Capelygroes in the parish of Llanwnen. In establishing the two churches, he was supported by the well known D.J.Rees from Lloydjack.
After serving the churches for a year, Dr Lloyd went to England, and the Rev.John James was given a call to serve here as minister, which he accepted. He was assisted by the Rev.T.Thomas, Llanfair, and between them the young church prospered. In 1816, Mr James left,and the Rev.J.Thomas, who kept a school in the village of Llandyssul, served the churcn until 1818, when he formally accepted a call to be their minister. He served here until 1829, when he decided to leave and return to his home in Maenllwyd,in the parish of Llangynnog, in Carmarthenshire. He joined with the church in giving a call to the Rev. J.Jones (later of Aberdare), but he did not accept. In 1830 Mr Jones opened a school in Llandyssul, and preached for a while in Pantydefaid until he opened a school on July 2nd 1833 in Aberdare. He,and the Rev.Owen Evans preached in Pantydefaid around the same time, but Mr Evans continued to serve the church until 1834. The church then asked the Rev.John Thomas to return to them, which he did, and continued to serve them faithfully until 1847, when he retired.
The next to receive a call was the Rev.T.Thomas, who agreed to their request. He began his ministry in 1847, and served the church faithfully until the end of May 1894, when he retired.
Here are the inscribed stones relating to the chapel:
On the wall facing the main road are the following inscriptions:
Adeiladwyd y Ty hwn at addoliad yr unig wir
"I ni nid oes ond un Duw y Tad.-- 1 Cor.viii,6."
Over the door of the chapel is this inscription:
Y Ty hwn a ail-adeiladwyd yn y flwyddyn 1836.
Inside the chapel and on the wall on the left side as you enter,there is the following inscription on a tablet:
"Er coffadwriaeth am
Arafwch -- mae'n daith ryfedd,
On the right there is another tablet as follows:
"Er cof am
Above the pulpit there is a very beautiful tablet with the following inscription on it:
"Psalm ciii 15.
In memory of
Also in memory of
"For the fashion of this world passeth away."
The Rev. T.Thomas, Llanfair, David Thomas, and Mary Thomas, above as well as John, son of Rees Jones, Pwllffein, are buried inside the chapel.
There are about 500 people buried in the graveyard, and there is one very expensive memorial stone there, the property of Mr Evans, Brondolau.
There is also a sundial there.
"The first to sow the seeds of Unitarianism in the village of Llandyssul was the Rev. J. Thomas, the minister of Pantydefaid, which he did by holding discussion meetings on Sunday in his schoolhouse for several years. He occasionally preached, but in April 1868, regular services were started through the united efforts of the Revs.W. Thomas, M.A.,and T.Thomas.
After a gradual increase in the congregation, the Rev.T.Thomas withdrew, and the Rev.W.Thomas preached every Sunday from then on. He had a growing congregation who were unhappy with the schoolhouse as a place of worship. Mr Thomas died in 1879, and was succeeded by the Rev.W.James, B.A., who started thinking of a temple more fitting to worship in. In 1884, they completed one of the most beautiful chapels that the denomination had in the principality, built to the design of Mr John Wills of Derby. It is an adornment to the village. There is a vestry attached to the chapel,and it is so easy to speak audibly in the chapel -- as if one was conversing in a drawing room. The chapel is in the Gothic style, not the classical English generally adopted by the Welsh churches.
The inaugural services were held on the 3rd and 4th of July 1884, and Mr James continued to minister here until 1888, when he had to retire due to illhealth. Early in 1889, the Rev. W.J.Davies, minister of Dowlais and Gellionen was given a call to this ministry, which he accepted, and began his work on the first Sunday in June 1889, and continued to guide the church until October 1894,when he retired, to be followed by the Rev.T.A.Thomas.
Two ministers were raised in this church,
"This chapel stands on Wesley hill in the village of Llandyssul. The Wesleyan cause was established in the village around 1806 by the Rev.Edward Jones of Bathafarn and his co-missionaries. Mr Edward Jones usually preached on the horse block by the 'King's Head'. One day he was accused of being drunk, and in reply to that accusation he gave the following verse at the end of the sermon:
"Maent yn dweyd dros fryn a bro,
Fy mod yn feddw a ma's o ngho'
Dwy'n amheu dim na' meddwod yw
Ar felus win o seler Duw"
[They say where hills and valleys wind,
That I am drunk and out of mind;
I'll not deny I'm drunk and odd
But on sweet wine from the cellar of God]
The brethren held their meetings in the open air for a while. Among the faithful were "Davy'r Arian" and his wife Margaret, she who died in Tyssul Lodge at the beginning of 1808. A wealthy man in the person of E.Evans, Pen-pistyll, joined the society, and he ,along with others, decided to build a small chapel on land obtained on a lease from James Lewis, Greyhound , whose great grandson is Mr John Davies, Bridge Shop, Llandyssul. The chapel was started in March 1808, and was opened the following September. Mr E.Evans lent a sum of money free of interest towards the building of the chapel, and in 1812, he began to preach as an assistant preacher, and continued to do so for the next 20 years until his health failed. He died on October 31st 1833, and was buried in the graveyard of Llangeler church. In his Will, he gave the sum of money that he had lent to the church towards the building of the chapel as a gift to the church. "Davy'r Arian" also left a gift of £20 to the church in his Will. After Mr Evans' day, Mr W.Thomas was an useful assistant preacher for many years. In 1844, Daniel Thomas of Ffinant, father of Mr J. D. Thomas, Richmond Shop, bought the land on which the old building stood,and it was pulled down to build a more beautiful and larger chapel, and in 1845, the Wesleyan Union obtained a new lease for 999 years at a rent of 12 shillings (60p) a year.
When the new chapel was built, it appears that J.Jones of Penrhiwrhod wrote the following verse in scorn:
"Adeiladir y ty, yn gynnar dros ben,
Ond pwy fydd y brenin pan ddaw ef i ben,
Bydd Sior wedi marw, a rhai ar ei ol,
Ac Eglwys Llandyssul ar gopa Coedfoel."
[They have built the house with haste and speed,
But who will be King when they have completed the deed,
George will be dead, and many beneath the soil,
And Llandyssul church will be standing on top of Coedfoel.]
A reply to this scornful verse was composed by James Thomas, Pantydefaid:
"Er cymmaint yw'r dwndwr gan'r ardal y sy'
Mewn dirmyg yn gwawdio yn erbyn y ty,
Y ty a orphenir, a hyny'n ddi-ble,
Cyn symud nac Eglwys na brenin o'i le."
[Although great is the noise and also the fuss,
With scornful swearing at the house and against us,
The house will be finished and we shall all sing,
Without moving a church or even a King.]
As the Wesleyan ministers are changed every three years, I shall not give a list of them here, but I would like to note that Mr Davies, the chairman of the Welsh Union was here in 1828, and when he went to London to fullfill his duties in the Wesleyan Conference, his place here was filled by the Rev. W. Rowlands (Gwilym Lleyn), author of "Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry." When Mr Davies returned, Mr Rowlands was asked to remain as his assistant, but he chose to go to Cardiff.
"The Wesleyan Methodists started their cause in the Capel Dewi district around 1810, or 1813, in the house of Mr Enoch Jones of Abereinon, and after worshipping in this farmhouse for over 20 years, they built a chapel on Alltyrodyn land near Capel Dewi with an annual rent of 5 shillings (25p). When Enoch Jones asked Mr John Lloyd, owner of the Alltyrodyn estate for a place to build the chapel, he has this reply;
"You can have it at once, but you must set an inscribed stone in the wall to show that it is your chapel."
This was done, and the stone is outside the chapel above the old door, in the wall opposite the pulpit.
Here is a copy of it:
The chapel was consecrated on the Tuesday and Wednesday, October 15th and 16th 1833. It is 30 feet long, by 20 feet wide inside, with a gallery on three sides. There is also a large graveyard in front. The persons who took part in the opening ceremonies were:
The first to be buried here was Sarah Jones, Abereinon, who died on March 3rd 1843, aged 64 years.
[Gareth Hicks: 16 Oct 2011]
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