Arafa Don / Bethesda Independent Chapel

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Date

26 September 2014
Location

Bethesda

SH 62323 66702; 53.17954°N, 4.06158°W

Information

The town of Bethesda, which had previously been known as Glanogwen, took its name from the Congregationalist place of worship built on the High Street around 1820-23 by the Welsh Independent nonconformists. Biblical references, especially those from the Old Testament, were very popular as chapel names with the Nonconformists, Bethesda being Hebrew for House of Mercy. The chapel was rebuilt in 1840 and renovated in 1872-75. It received a Grade II listing in 1988, but, disused, it later fell into a state of disrepair. In 1996, Gwynedd Council granted planning permission for the conversion of the building into 12 flats for the elderly. The 1875 façade was retained with the interior being rebuilt. This North Wales Housing Association residential complex opened in 1998 and was renamed Arafa Don, in honour of Abersytwth-born composer Richard Samuel Hughes (1855 – 1893) who served as organist at the chapel. Arafa Don was one this ‘Welsh Schubert’s most celebrated works.

Further Reading

Capel Bethesda (British Listed Buildings)

 

Capel Cynulleidfaol • Adeiladwyd 1820 • Adnewyddwyd 1840 • Addaswyd 1998 (Congregational Chapel • Built 1820 • Renewed 1840 • Modified 1998)

Capel Cynulleidfaol • Adeiladwyd 1820 • Adnewyddwyd 1840 • Addaswyd 1998
(Congregational Chapel • Built 1820 • Renewed 1840 • Modified 1998)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Detail, Corinthian capital

Detail, Corinthian capital

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

Arafa Don (Capel Bethesda)

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19 thoughts on “Arafa Don / Bethesda Independent Chapel

  1. Lovely building, sensible and worthwhile re-use and great photos. I agree, Bethesda is one of those places, full of interesting buildings…every time I pass through I wonder about taking photos. Glad you did!

  2. Qué hermosa historia !!!!!Me encantó el nombre Arafa Don como se la re bautizó en honor al famoso compositor galés Richard Hughes, muy conocido acá en Chubut, Patagonia, donde hay, además, dos capillas con el nombre Bethesda. Muy linda historia, muchas gracias Graham !!!!!!

  3. Pingback: Now and then I: Penrhyn Quarry | GeoTopoi

  4. Very interesting story and great pictures. I am planning a visit to this part of wales in Sep. and hope to have a stop in Bethesda. By the way – I believe that “Bethesda” would be the name in Aramaic (the more common language spoken in the first century in Judea). The Hebrew expression would have been “BetHessed”.

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