Chapel Row


Giclee printed on 305gsm off white coloured archival paper with a subtle texture.

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Some ironmasters took interest in the housing of their workers as in the dwellings at Chapel Row in Georgetown built around 1825 for skilled workers at the Cyfarthfa Ironworks along the Glamorganshire Canal. This design was typical of the Crawshay style in which additional accommodation was added at the rear of the ground floor beneath a ‘catslide’ roof; a continuous back slope down to the top of the windows of the rooms in the outshot. The row is still inhabited today and maintains much of its original character including the rubble stone, double frontages, sash windows with rendered reveals, brick chimney stacks and slate roofs with the end house ended in a hip. No. 4 was the birthplace in 1841 of Joseph Parry, a venerated son of Merthyr and musician whose home is now a museum and well worth a visit.

At the end of the row there once stood an octagonally shaped chapel of ease, predating the houses having being built around 1800. Old photographs show it as a relatively plain structure of rubble stone with buttresses and arched clerestory windows. This unusual plan form was one favoured by John Wesley as an ideal model for a Methodist preaching house (perhaps for giving prominence to a central pulpit?) The only other religious building in Wales I am aware of with a similar plan is the Beluah Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Port Talbot dating from 1838.

In front of the row is a reconstructed section of the canal (no water) together with an ironwork frame of an iron Bridge relocated from Rhydycar.