Cwmbran Primitive Methodist chapel was opened on August 4th 1844 when the preachers were J Hibbs, Revs D Evans (Baptist), G Arbloster (Wesleyan) and DR Stephens (Baptist) – although the Sunday morning preacher did not turn up. Previously the society had met in a kitchen, and although there were two Welsh speaking chapels, there was no English preaching for the rapidly rising English influx of workers into the coal and brick works. The local MP JR Blewett granted the site of land.
The new chapel measured 32′ x 22′ and “had 36 sittings (the rest being benches)”. It cost £84.
On January 14th 1866, Cwmbran Primitive Methodist chapel was re-opened after alterations. The chapel was lengthened by 16′ and a gallery and porch added. TT Shields was the preacher at the re-opening and CT Harris tells us about it in the Primitive Methodist magazine.
The foundation stone for the extension had been laid by J Lawrence, the proprietor of Cwmbran coal and iron works, on September 19th 1865. Preachers were CT HArris and T Shields. They left a bottle under the stone containing “several documents”.
Was this the chapel in The Square at Upper Cwmbran? It might be, because Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Chapel which was built in 1840 was rebuilt in 1865 – the same year as the magazine account. If so , the chapel still exists. The Coflein website describes it as “a plain stone rubble building under a low pitched slate roof and with a long wall entry plan. The original building was a two bay structure and the south-eastern bay of 1865, which contains the gallery, is built in a matching style. There is a more recent brick gabled porch on the long north-east side.” The website also contains pictures and a location map
Primitive Methodist magazine 1845 page 124
Primitive Methodist magazine January 1866 page 49
Primitive Methodist magazine April 1866 page 238
coflein website at www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/13143/details/ebenezer-primitive-methodist-chapel-the-square-upper-cwmbran accessed May 4th 2019