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Maesyronnen Chapel, Glasbury, Radnorshire

Maesyronnen Chapel, Glasbury Name: Maesyronnen Chapel

Denomination: Independent/Congregational

Built: circa 1696

Notes:
1. Maesyronnen Chapel and cottage, on the higher ground towards the eastern side of the area, is important in being one of the earliest surviving nonconformist places of worship in Wales. The stone-built chapel, founded in the 1690s, was originally a 16th-century cruck-built farm and barn.
[Extracted from the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website]
2. Maesyronnen Chapel, described as 'the most important surviving building associated with the early nonconformist movement in Wales' was converted from a 16th-century farmhouse and barn in about 1696, being an offshoot of the early Baptist communities which had already become established at Hay and Llanigon.
[Extracted from the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website]
3. Maesyronnen Congregational chapel was formed in 1692 and has important associations with the history of non-conformity in Wales. Meetings are said to have started with Vavasor Powell's ministry in 1640 and an independent chapel stemmed from the 1649 Act for the better teaching of the Gospel in Wales. It was formed as an offshoot of the Baptists of Llanigon and Hay. Various ministers are recorded before 1658, and between 1672 and 1682 Henry Maurice probably used this sub-medieval longhouse-derived farmhouse for unauthorised meetings. Oliver Cromwell is said to have attended a meeting here. The chapel was adapted for worship by dissenters and registered at Presteigne in 1696. The chapel is also associated with Dr Abraham Parry, FRS, editor of the first encyclopedia, and was leased with cottage and garden by the successors of Sir Humphrey Howarth to the chapel elders by an indenture of April 1720. The chapel was refurbished around 1985. It is built in the Vernacular style with its entrance in the long-wall. It houses a number of wall monuments of interest to the history of nonconformity in the area.
[Extracted from the Coflein database]
4. Maesyronnen was formed in 1696 from a sixteenth century farmhouse and barn, the latter becoming the meeting house and the former providing a home for the minister. The chapel roof was replaced and the beaten earth floor covered with flagstones in the eighteenth century and the ecclesiastical furniture of the period has survived. There is a pew and communion table dated 1727, with three box pews and a pulpit, whose height has since been somewhat reduced, of similar date. There are also some simple backless benches, evidence that comfort was not a prime consideration for those who came to hear the lengthy sermons of painful preachers. There is, however, ample evidence in the form of carvings of initials and dates on pew backs that the attention of many a congregation, despite the devotion of the times, was not always undivided. These carvings show that ecclesistical vandalism is not the present day novelty some think it to be.
[Extracted from Marching to Zion: Radnorshire Chapels, by J. B. Sinclair & R. W. D. Fenn, Cadoc Books, Kington, Herefordshire, 1990; ISBN 0-9516865-0]

Further photographs: Images of Wales Maesyronnen Chapel feature

Photography: John Ball
Date: 28 March 1998
Camera: Agfa ePhoto-307 digital
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