Hen Dy Cwrdd Chapel
Trecynon  Aberdare
South Wales

Hen Dy Cwrdd is designated as a Chapel at risk and was acquired after its closure in 2005 by the Welsh Religious Buildings Trust. The Trust conserves some of the best examples of redundant (non-Church in Wales) religious buildings in Wales. 

The current Chapel was rebuilt in 1862 to the design of Evan Griffiths an architect from Aberdare. A medium sized
Chapel with seating for 250 - 300 membership. The facade is very plain reflecting the simple and strong Unitarian beliefs.

Hen Dy Cwrdd is the earliest Nonconformist cause in the Cynon Valley and represents the continuity of radical thought and
action since the 17th century. The first chapel was built in 1751 as a cottage like meeting house. This building sat between
50 - 100 people and by 1853 had a membership of 60.

The current Chapel was heated by two different sizes of direct gas fired cast iron sectional radiators. Two 2 section radiators
are installed at ground floor level and two 6 section at Balcony level. These heaters were made by Fletcher Russell & Co Ltd
of Warrington. The heaters were supplied with towns gas from the local gas works in Aberdare.

Fletcher Russell & Co Ltd were established by Thomas Fletcher (1840-1903), who began work as a dentist in Warrington. In 1865 he was listed in Cairo Street and in 1871 at 15 Bold Street. By 1876 he had moved to 4-6 Museum Street and was manufacturing dental apparatus. By the early 1880s he had added a gas appliance manufactory in Thynne Street, and the 1881 census records show him employing 10 men, 2 boys and a girl.  By 1895 the company had become Fletcher Russell and Co Gas Engineers, his firm having merged with Alexander and William Russell of Pendleton Iron Works. The 1901 directory gives their address as Palatine Works, Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, manufacturing all types of gas equipment including fires, cookers and water heaters as well as laboratory equipment.
In the 1950's the firm merged into Radiation Ltd which later went into TI New World, which has gone through many changes and mergers up to the present day.

As these gas radiators are direct fired with no fitted flue, the flue gases simply discharged direct into the
Chapel. To prevent the build up of noxious fumes 4 ventilation outlets were fitted in the ceiling. Each octagonal
shaped outlet has 'hit & miss' slide dampers fitted to regulate the amount of fresh air introduced to the Chapel.


Lighting Installation
The original lighting installation for the Chapel was towns gas and several gas fittings and glass shades are still to be seen.
Remnants of the gas distribution pipework can also be seen. It is most likely that the gas lighting and gas heaters were installed at the same time during the Edwardian period.

In 1920 a local electrician installed a DC direct current system and the original switchgear porcelain fuse carriers and jelly mold tumbler switches have still been left in their timber enclosure. A vertical section of timber conduit has also been left in position. The electrician left his name and date of installation written on the timber.

J H Bosner Aberdare 27th February 1920.

The DC system was eventually replaced by the current AC system. 


APRIL  2017