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Bethania Chapel, Phillip Street, Caegarw, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan

Name: Bethania Chapel

Denomination: Welsh Congregational

Built: 1854
Rebuilt: 1859

Built in the Classical style, gable entry type, at a cost of £950 with seating for 700. In 1887, the roof of the chapel was raised to accommodate a new upper gallery, and a vestry/schoolroom was added at the side of the chapel.
It is claimed by some that the hymn Calon Lân was first performed in Bethania Chapel circa 1910. The story is that the hymn was written by a local man (Daniel James) who weighed coal. He wrote the words whilst waiting for the bags to be filled, and later his friend John Hughes put it to music. Others claim that Daniel James wrote the words when his grandson came home from school one day asking for help with his homework - to write a verse on the theme 'Calon Lân' (pure heart). Certainly, the words are attributed to Daniel James (1847 - 1920) of Mynyddbach, Swansea, better known by his bardic name of Gwyrosydd, and the tune to John Hughes (1872 - 1914) Glandwr.
[Source: Chapels of the Cynon Valley, by Alan Vernon Jones, Cynon Valley Historical Society, 2004; ISBN 0-9531076-1-2]

Photography: John Ball
Date: 12 July 2002
Camera: Olympus C-920Z digital

Bethania Chapel, Caegarw
Below: In 1887 a schoolroom was added next to the chapel in Phillip Street.
Bethania Chapel, Caegarw
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