Libanus is an excellent example of an early gable-end façade in a rural location, and retains its original pews and gallery, the latter with later Victorian stencilled decoration. It is Listed as a Grade II* building.
Libanus was built in 1841 for the Baptist cause in an isolated position to the west of Llansadwrn in Carmarthenshire. The cause began in 1788 when members of Capel Soar, Llandyfaen (near Llandybie) were baptised at Waunclynda. A movement to erect a chapel for the new group foundered when difficulties were discovered with the proposed site and the group split in to three smaller groups. The first chapel was built around 1790, apparently as a thatched building to serve both Baptists and Methodists in the area. It is said that the two congregations were separated by a wattle screen and the same minister preached to both simultaneously! The chapel at Waunclynda remained a branch of Soar until 1797/8. A minister was appointed to Waunclynda in 1800 and in 1839 the chapel had 80 members. The present chapel was built in 1841 by the chapel members themselves, on land given by one of its deacons, David Price of Blaenwaun.
The building is of the simple round-headed style, of gable entry type, constructed of rubble stone with a slate roof and overhanging plain verges. The gable facade has two small high level arched windows and arched centre door, all with stone voussoirs. The windows are small-paned with intersecting glazing-bars to heads and similar glazing to door fanlight. The double doors are flush-panelled. The north side elevation has no fenestration and flat boarded eaves. The rear gable has two large arched windows with stone voussoirs; the windows are two-light with broad mullion and Y-tracery heads. The south side, nearest the road, has a late nineteenth century lean-to vestry and schoolroom, reached via 11 steps to a door in the east end. The south side has three four-pane upper windows, a ground floor centre door and two small four-pane casements with brick surrounds.
The interior of this chapel is of particular note, with a three-sided gallery mounted upon four decorated columns. The stencil decoration found on the columns is also reflected on the cornice and panels, and dates to the late 19th or early 20th century. There are three blocks of painted panelled box pews, with larger family pews to the front centre. The late 19th century pulpit, which probably replaced one of ‘wine-glass’ design and the set fawr are of pitch pine. The ceiling is boarded, with embossed paper in panels.
By 1936 membership had been reduced to 17 and the chapel closed in 1998. Following refusal of listed building consent for conversion to a dwelling, it was acquired by Addoldai Cymru in 2003, the Trust’s first acquisition.Read more about work to date Read more about Baptists Read more about Calvinistic Methodists Read more about Wesleyan Methodists