The Chapel

History

Opened -1870

Deconsecrated - 1986

Demolished - 1988




The Babell Chapel was clearly a central point for many families in Cwmbwrla for many years and if you have stories or photos remembering those times please send them to us so they can be shared. 


Finding photos of the chapel has been difficult and this one comes courtesy of the West Glamorgan Archive where some of the most helpful people in Swansea can be found. 


The irony of the photo is the chapel being derelict, and just like the graveyard photos this needs to be replaced with ones recording better times.


The photographs below come courtesy of Peter and Andrea Thomas.

What a crying shame that a building with such an imposing interior is no longer with us.

It is easy to imagine how attending the Chapel was an important relief from the tough working conditions that many of its congregation would have endured.

Brief History of the Babell Chapel

Origins

The chapel in the photo above is actually the second Babell Chapel in Cwmbwrla with the first being built in 1843, modified in 1846 and 1951 and finally replaced in 1870. The expansion in 1851 doubled its capacity from seating 60 to seating 120 which reflects the rapid population increases in Swansea during the mid to late 1800s due to industrial growth. 

Second Babell Chapel

By the late 1860 it was clear that a new Chapel building was required to accommodate the growing congregation and in 1870 the second Babell Chapel was opened. The land for the present day Babell Chapel graveyard was purchased in July 1881 from the estate of the late Rev. Calvert Richard Jones for the sum of £710. 

Closure and deconsecration

After the second world war the congregation started to reduce which lead to discussions between the leaders of three Calvinistic Methodist chapels - Babell, Crug Glas and Jerusalem - about merging. All three of the chapel buildings were old and maintenance costs were escalating so it was decided that Babell and Crug Glas would close with their congregations moving to Jerusalem Chapel. 


Babell Chapel was deconsecrated in 1986 and demolished soon thereafter (exact date unknown - any information on this is appreciated).


Ironically, after the demolition of the Babell and Crug Glas chapels it was found that the Jerusalem Chapel had structural problems and the congregation was forced to move again, this time to the Trinity Calvinistic Methodist Chapel in Sketty.


The photos below appear to show the chapel being demolished in early 1988. Many thanks to Steve Roberts for sending us these pictures.

Memories

Mrs. G. Davies from Gowerton sent us a couple of images. The leaflet to the right was published in 1946 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Babell Chapel.





Mrs. Davies believes this photo records a tea held at the chapel.