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MOREIA CHAPEL (CAPEL COFFA JOHN ELIAS), GLANHWFA ROAD, LLANGEFNI

Site Details



NPRN 8783

Map Reference SH47NE

Grid Reference SH4592775557

Unitary (Local) Authority Isle of Anglesey

Old County Anglesey

Community Llangefni

Type of Site CHAPEL

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Post Medieval

Site Description Moreia Calvinistic Methodist Chapel is one of the most ambitious and successful of Anglesey chapels. It was built to replace the one founded in 1794 by John Elias, the Welsh Methodist Revival preacher, who lived in the town between 1830 and 1841. It also serves as a memorial to him and, to some extent, stands in competition with the Baptist commemoration of Christmas Evans at Penuel. An original porticoed design was put forward Richard G. Thomas in 1894 at an estimated cost of £5,005. This was far more than the £3,500 available, so the plan was simplified by Owen Morris Roberts and built in 1896–8 at a cost of £5,500.

The façade of 1–1–3–1–1 bays is constructed from contrasting squared rubble and grey ashlar. Outer balustraded porches, with roundels over curved-pedimented doors, flank the main chapel with short balustraded flanks to the pedimented centrepiece. This has paired arched windows between Composite pilasters on the upper level. The detail is Italianate, crowded in a late nineteenth way, with just a touch of the emergent Queen Anne in the outer bays. Lobbies with gallery stairs lead into the rectangular interior with seating arranged concentrically at the sides. here is lovely figuring in the pine panels of the curved galleries and this continues round for the organ. The fine ceiling is made from plaster and pierced timber and carries a design of circles within circles. The elaborate sedd-fawr and pulpit are on many levels, and the large organ, by Wadsworth of Manchester, was installed in 1928. Behind the chapel is a large Sunday School and a deacons’ room and caretaker’s house. In 2009 it was still in use as a chapel.

Source: Haslam, Orbach and Voelcker (2009), The Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd. Pevsner Architectural Guide, page 181.

RCAHMW, October 2009

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