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Penmaen Chapel, Oakdale Terrace, Oakdale, Monmouthshire

Name: Penmaen/Penmain Chapel

Denomination: Welsh Independent/Congregational

Built: 1694
Rebuilt: 1828 and 1845
Renovated: 1888

Photography: Steve Veysey
Date: 14 January 2006
Camera: Fuji FinePix 6900 Zoom digital
Penmaen Chapel

Note 1. Penmain Independent Chapel was originally built in 1694 and rebuilt in 1828 with further modifications in 1845 producing the present structure. The present building, dated 1845, may be one of the early works of the architect Thomas Thomas** of Landore, as suggested by the double gothic window in the entrance gable, the gallery fronts with long fielded panels and the flat ceiling with a double channelled border. The widely spaced doorways set in the entrance gable suggest that this is the converted front of a longwall entrance chapel (1828). The front and side walls are rendered and the rear is of coursed rubble. The side walls have two rows of four windows in flat-topped domestic style, and the segmentally-arched two rear windows have yellow-brick dressings. The two exterior doorways have interior porches flanking a platform pulpit with double stairs and two doorways at the far end lead into the Sunday School. There are timber supports to the three-sided gallery rather than the iron commonly used and ther are several memorial tablets on the wall behind the pulpit. [Source: Coflein database (NPRN: 13038)]
** There are no references to Penmaen Chapel in Thomas Thomas, 1817-88: the first national architect of Wales, by Stephen Hughes, reprinted from Archaeologia Cambrensis 152 (2003).

Penmaen Chapel

Note 2. Penamen Congregational chapel . . . was started by Henry Walter, who had been curate of Mynyddislwyn and, later, vicar of St Woolos Newport. In 1618, King James issued the "Book of Sports", which relaxed the previous attitudes to Sunday amusements, and set out which times were to be allowed on the Sabbath. There was much opposition to this by the clergy, and it continued up to the Civil War. Afterwards, in 1660, when Charles II came to the throne, he re-introduced it. Many clergymen refused to obey, including Henry Walter, who was dismissed from his position in the Church. He then set up the Independent Chapel at Penmain, although the Nonconformist chapel building was not completed until 1691. Services were held in Welsh. It was rebuilt in 1828, renovated in 1888, and is the second oldest existing Independent Chapel in Wales. No longer used for worship, the building is now the 'home' of the Mynyddislwyn Male Choir. [Source: Wikipedia]

Penmaen Chapel
Photography by Google StreetView, October 2009

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