Bleddfa Primitive Methodist chapel


former 1898 Bleddfa Primitive Methodist chapel
Keith Guyler 1993

The 1862 and 1863  Primitive Methodist magazines contain accounts by G Middleton of the laying of the foundation stone and opening of the first Primitive Methodist chapel in Bleddfa. It was in the Knighton circuit.

Stone laying

This is a beautiful little village in the county of Radnor, surrounded by some of the most picturesque Welsh scenery. Here we have had preaching for many years, and a chapel has long been a desirable object. We have succeeded at last in obtaining a piece of ground, at a nominal cost of £2, on which we are about to build.

On Tuesday, July 1st 1862, the foundation stone was laid by Mr. John Wilson, of Knighton, who very handsomely gave a donation of £5 to the trust funds. About three o’clock the service commenced with a prayer by the Rev. J. Huff, of Presteign ; then the stone was laid in the name of the Holy Trinity ; and the Rev. G. Middleton preached a sermon to a respectable and attentive congregation. This was followed by an address from Mr. J. D. Rutter, high bailiff of Knighton. Throughout the whole service the greatest interest prevailed. After the collection, which amounted to £17 2s. the doxology was sung, and the service closed.

The crowd then repaired to a tent which had been erected by the friends, and decorated with arches and garlands of flowers and evergreens. Here about 300 persons partook of tea and cake. About seven o’clock, a religious service was commenced, over which Mr. J. D. Rutter presided ; and in the course of the evening several addresses were delivered by the chairman, the Revs. G. Middleton, J. Huff, and Messrs. E. Cowdill and J. Davies. The profits of the tea were £11 to be added to the collection, making a total of £28 2s. for the trust funds. “

The Bleddfa Primitive Methodist chapel in Keith Guyler’s picture was opened in 1898.  In 1891, it was one of 9 in the Knighton Circuit: Knighton, Brookhouse, Lloiney, Llangunllo, Cwm-y-Gaist, Bleddfa, Providence and Llandewy.

The chapel was closed in the 1960s and at the time of Keith Guyler’s photograph in 1993 and on Google Street View in August 2011 was in use as a house.

Chapel opening

The Primitive Methodists of this village having completed the erection of their new Chapel, whose foundations were laid under cheering auspices in July last, held the opening services on Lord’s-day, October I2th, 1862.

The day was very unfavourable as the rain descended in torrents until beyond the time of the afternoon service ; and as the district is mountainous and the population scattered, fears were entertained that there would be but a small attendance ; but despite every inconvenience many people came for miles, and the services proved quite a success. Two sermons were preached on the occasion by Mr. J. Edwards, of Kington, and Mr. J. Nott, of the Farlands, both staunch and influential members of our denomination.

The chapel itself is quite a model of neatness and convenience. Its size is 27 feet by 21, with a small enclosed yard in front. It is built of green stone with Bath stone quoins, and an ornamental coping of the same material on the parapet. The inscription is cut in old English characters ; and this, with a string course of Bath stone immediately above it, gives a beautiful appearance to the frontage which is seen a long way down the valley.

The interior is also chaste and well designed. It has seven forms on each side with rail backs, all stained and varnished. Its rostrum is of a modern plan, about 5 feet high from the floor to the Bible board, with steps at each end ; the lower part of its front is panelled, and the upper part is of strong trellis work. The outlay will be about £110 (exclusive of the labour which has been done by the friends and neighbouring farmers gratis), towards which we have raised £46 ; this leaves a debt of £70, of which £30 are lent by the trustees without interest. The friends have adopted the golden system, and intend paying off £20 the next anniversary.

On the following Wednesday after the opening, a public tea meeting was held in a tent erected for the occasion. The quiet little village of Bleddfa was on that day a scene of such excitement as it has rarely witnessed ; nearly 200 persons partook of tea prepared by the friends.

About six o’clock a religious service was commenced in the chapel, when Mr. I. D. Butter was called to the chair, and interest ing addresses were delivered by Mr. I. Moore on “The Value of Religious Deci sion in Youth ;” by Mr. I. Udell on ” This as an Age of Progress ;” by the Rev. S. Roberts, Welsh Methodist, on “The Importance of Public Worship ;” the Rev. J. Middleton, on “The Means to produce Religious Revivals;” and by the Rev. H. Leech on “Recent Improvements in Chris tian Societies.” The writer then spoke of the general sympathy in this new enter prise, and acknowledged the kindness of the friends.

Space will not permit the mention of all the names of persons who have responded to our appeals ; be it enough to say that all good deeds are registered in heaven, and will be blessed items in the morning of the resurrection. “


Primitive Methodist magazine 1862 page 698-699

Primitive Methodist magazine 1863 page 29-300

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