Soar-Maesyrhaf Chapel, Maes-yr-haf Road, Neath, Glamorgan
Denomination: Independent / Congregational
Gwyn Rowlands (except
8 September 2006
Fuji FinePix 40i digital
Grade II listed building in the centre of Neath, abutting the eastern edge of Neath railway station. The original chapel on this site was built in 1646 in what must have been (to modern eyes) a rural or semi-rural area. The stone inscription on the current building shows BUILT 1769 REBUILT 1864.
[Source: John Grayson on the Geograph website]
Soar Congregational Chapel was built in 1646, rebuilt in 1769 and again in 1864. The present chapel, dated 1864, was built in the Sub-Classical style of the gable-entry type and is now Grade 2 Listed.
[Source: Coflein database (NPRN 9443)]
This chapel is the successor to an earlier Independent chapel built at Cwarelau-bach near Melyn-cryddan in 1695. It was first built on this site in 1769, and rebuilt in 1864-66 by William Davies of Neath for the sum of £1430. In the early 20th century the schoolroom which stood to the rear of the chapel was demolished, and the church was extended behind the pulpit, with an extension to the gallery and the addition of the vestry and the magnificent pipe organ [shown below]. A division had occurred in the congregation in 1823 and those members who left Maesyrhaf built Zoar chapel in 1828-29. The two congregations were re-united in 1966 and now worship under the name Zoar-Maesyrhaf.
[Source: Local Information Sheet 20 – Neath, Chapels Heritage Society, undated; accessible as a PDF document on-line from the Capel (Chapels Heritage Society) website]