by  • July 17, 2013 • Chapel, Modern, Pembrokeshire, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type, St. Dogmaels • 5 Comments

    History –

    The congregation was probably founded in 1847, probably by Minister Rev. David Evans as an off-shoot of Bethel Congregational Chapel, Moylegrove, and the building was completed in 1852. In 1849 Rev. David Evans was ordained the Minister and remained so until he moved to Carmarthenshire in 1859, after which Rev. Llewelyn Rees probably assumed ministerial duties until his death on 1st March 1861. Rev. George Williams was the Minister from 1862-70. In 1870 he moved to Amlwch on Anglesey. On 30th June 1871 Rev. William Jones became the Minister until his death on 7th July 1898 at the age of 58.

    Rev. Job Thomas, Minister of Bryn Salem 1899-1914 (Glen Johnson Collection)

    Rev. Job Thomas, Minister of Bryn Salem 1899-1914 (Glen Johnson Collection)

    On 13th September 1899 Rev. Job Evans became the Minister. Early in 1909 Mr. W. H. Davies, formerly of Glanteifi, granted a gift of land adjacent to the chapel to the congregation. On the morning of Sunday 12th July 1914 Rev. Job Evans died suddenly aged 38. From 1916-22 Rev. T. E. Jones was the Minister. In 1922 he moved to Soar Chapel, Penboyr, Carmarthenshire.

    In late 1923 Rev. T. J. Rees became the Minister. In 1924 Owen Lloyd of Tyllwyd-Fach; William Phillips of Pengarn Fach; Mr. G. P. Biddyr of Glanymor (Treasurer) and Benjamin Harries of Cwmdeifo (Secretary) were the Deacons. In March 1926 tenders were sought for conducting renovations. On 26th December 1929 a new organ was installed. In April 1937 tenders were sought for internal painting and redecoration and for rough-casting and repairs externally. On 12th May 1937 the Senior Deacon, George P. Biddyr of Alltycoed, died aged 82. On 25th July 1937 the chapel re-opened following a refit. In November 1939 Rev. T. J. Rees left for Llangeler, Carmarthenshire. On 10th March 1942 Rev. D. T. Lewis was ordained the new Minister. In 1942-51 Rev. D. T. Lewis was the Minister. On 21st May 1948 the chapel re-opened, following extensive repairs. Rev. D. T. Lewis moved to Tycroes in 1951.

    Bryn Salem pulpit, June 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson

    Bryn Salem pulpit, June 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson

    On 25th February 1951 Deacon Daniel Davies of Trecwn Uchaf, died aged 80. In November 1951 Rev. Stanley Jones accepted the pastorate. In 1952-55 Rev. Stanley Jones was the Minister. The Deacons in 1952 were named as: Clifford Biddyr of Glanymor, Secretary; Stanley Davies; Benjamin George; Gwyn Jones; John Joseph of Trecwn Uchaf, Treasurer; James Johnson and Enoch Williams. There were 45 members at that time. In September 1955 Minister Rev. Stanley Jones left for Capel Degwel in the same parish. In May 1957 Rev. Llungwyn O. Jones became the Minister. In February 1973 Deacon William James Johnson of Penrhyn Bach died. In 1983 the chapel was advertised for sale, but failed to sell. The last Minister, Rev. Llungwyn O. Jones died in May 1984. The chapel ceased to be used as a place of worship. The building was becoming dilapidated by 2002 and remained derelict in 2013.


    Bryn Salem, June 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson

    Bryn Salem, June 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson

    Stucco rendered single storey chapel with slate gabled roof and lateral frontage. Centre gable-fronted porch with marginal glazed sash window to frontage and right side door, blank right wall, slate roof. Outer bays of façade have 12-pane timber sashes, recessed with arched stucco hoods on corbels and stone sills. Similar pair of windows to left gable end wall. Plain bargeboards. Rubble stone right gable end. To right is lower attached annexe with slate gabled roof.

    INTERIOR: Stucco rendered with raked seating, now removed – formerly two aisles. Plain ceiling with canted sides. Small pulpit remains with turned stairs to sides. Centre is panelled with balustered flanks. Lower section in vertical recessed panels. Pulpit back has raised banded stucco arch rising from decorative corbels.


    Ticket – Darlith, Bryn Salem Chapel, Whitsun 1903

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1909; 1914; 1926; 1930; 1934-38; 1942-45; 1948; 1951; 1955; 1973; 1983

    Annual Report – Bryn Salem Chapel, Cippyn 1952.

    Braslun O Hanes Eglwys Annibynnol Bethel Trewyddel, S Idris Evans, 1991

    © Glen K Johnson 17/07/2013.



    1. September 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Hello. I am the resource manager for the Dyfed FHS website. We have an entry for Bryn Salem chapel, but no image. I wonder if I could use your image, and add a link to your interesting article on the chapel? I would , of course, acknowledge your permission.

      Many thanks,Sheila Padden

      • glen
        September 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        Thanks for the e-mail. I have no objection to images being used for any non-commercial purpose, providing a copyright credit is given to ‘Glen K. Johnson’. If you find any other images you wish to use, please contact me again, but I’m always happy to support the work of the Dyfed FHS.



    2. Carol O'Connor
      February 28, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Glenn, my sister in law went to bid at auction for Brynsalem Chappel (she told me in 1994 but not sure when she went) but she said it sold for £5,000. Stella Hook who used to live at Cippyn Fawr (now deceased) also told me that she’d objected to the owners getting water through her land and having a septic tank on her land.
      Incidentally my ex-husbands Father who died around 1980 was secretary at the chapel. William Griffiths, a relative of the Johnsons.

      • glen
        March 4, 2017 at 5:23 pm

        Hi Carol – yes I had heard this, and I wonder if one of the farmers purchased it to end talk of it being converted into a house? Interesting to hear of your connection to William Griffiths.

        • Carol O'Connor
          March 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

          Hi Glenn, I don’t think anyone local bought it. Mrs.Hook who used to live at Cippyn Fawr was adamant she had put a stop to any development by refusing access to her land for water and septic tank.The new owner at Cippyn Fawr knew Mrs.Hook well and may be able to answer that question.

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