Cadw has announced the intention to list Capel Celyn Memorial Chapel, Llyn Celyn.

First published:
19 June 2019
Last updated:

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A consultation on the listing is now underway, with the intention to list at Grade II* for both its special architectural and historic interest.

The memorial chapel which was designed by Welsh sculptor R.L. Gapper of Aberystwyth and is owned by Dŵr Cymru, is located at the north-west end of Llyn Celyn. It was built on the site of the lost farm of Gwern Delwau, and used stones retrieved from this and buildings demolished when the reservoir was constructed, including from the original Capel Celyn.

The memorial garden that houses grave-stones re-sited from the original Capel Celyn is surrounded by boulder field walls which incorporate the date stone from the original chapel. Gapper’s intention was for the building to resemble a boat, which would symbolise the culture and religion of the community surviving the flood and coming to shore, and the choice of local, re-used stone was intended to root the building to its place. The distinctive angled window which is a strong feature of the design was positioned so as to look towards the site of the original chapel.

Listed at II* for both its special architectural and historic interest Cadw considers that the building is of special architectural interest as a modern memorial chapel, beautifully modelled and adapted to its site, and giving powerful but subtle expression to the circumstances of its building.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:

“Listing of the building is recognition of its special historic interest and as a fine memorial by R.L.Gapper to Capel Celyn, the people of its community and to the defining place of Capel Celyn’s story in the history of modern Wales.

Chris Jones, Chief Executive of Welsh Water said:

“As the guardians of the building, we welcome plans for Capel Celyn Memorial Chapel to be given listed status, reflecting its cultural significance and its crucial importance to the local community and the history of our country.

“We are committed to ensuring the building is maintained and enhanced so it remains accessible to the public – and have been working with local campaign groups and Cadw on how to best achieve this.

The consultation for the listing of Capel Celyn has now begun, with the intention to list the building following the 28 day consultation period. This structure has been afforded Interim Protection under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended by the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016. It is an offence to damage this structure.