ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Salem Baptist Chapel, Hay-on-Wye, Wales: Established 1649, Rebuilt 1878

Updated on February 16, 2018
Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales | Source
Salem Baptist Chapel, Hay-on-Wye. School room
Salem Baptist Chapel, Hay-on-Wye. School room | Source

An historic site

Although Wales's first baptist congregation is recorded as having been established at Ilston (Welsh: Llan Illtyd), Glamorgan (Welsh: Morgannwg), this building at Bell Bank, Hay-on-Wye (Welsh: Y Gelli), Powys, Wales, recalls baptists establishing themselves here in 1649 (1), under the leadership of John Miles (c. 1621-1683). Indeed, the schoolroom is said to date from 1647 (2).

The current building dates from 1878. Executed in stone, it exhibits some strongly Gothic features in the shape of pointed window arches and a similarly arched doorway. Some of the gravestones in the churchyard in front of the building exhibit a similar, Gothic arch motif.

Another striking feature is the hexagonal window situated above the arched doorway.

The roof of the building is made of slate.

This single storey building set back from the road effuses an almost ramshackle solidity and a peaceful somnolence, which belies much of the doctrinal urgency which erupted in past centuries in tumultuous vitality in association with the origins of Nonconformist witness and Biblical interpretation in the British Isles.

Some years ago, the local authorities were willing to grant some funds for repairs to this building necessitated through storm damage; somewhat oddly, they had difficulty in discovering who owned the building because the building's deeds, formerly held at a local bank, had disappeared (3).

February 16, 2018

Notes

(1) Interestingly, Hay-on-Wye, situated close to the border with England, is sometimes classified as being in the English county of Herefordshire. See, for example: http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk/info/hay-on-wye.htm and http://www.visitherefordshire.co.uk/explore/hay-on-wye.aspx The Ilston congregation, mentioned above, was also associated with John Miles — sometimes written 'Myles' — who also later served as a baptist minister in Swansea, Massachusetts.

(2) The Hay-on-Wye History and Tourist Information site even classifies it as probably the oldest schoolroom in Wales. See: http://www.britainexpress.com/wales/mid/az/hay-on-wye.htm

(3) I am somewhat marginally familiar with a state of affairs which sometimes occurs in relation to Nonconformist religious buildings in the United Kingdom, many of which are held in trust by a sometimes small number of individuals, having been co-opted many years in the past, some of whom having departed this life without co-opting others to fulfil their role. Overseas visitors could even say that this represents almost a leitmotif for significant aspects of life in the British Isles, whereby a metaphorical sign might read: "Somnolence: Please do not disturb". (All rather endearing, no doubt.) This contrasts greatly with the earnest intensity association with early Nonconformist history in the British Isles.

Salem Baptist Chapel, Hay-on-Wye
Salem Baptist Chapel, Hay-on-Wye | Source

Also worth seeing

In Hay-on-Wye itself — known as a book town for the profusion of bookstores — other noted buildings include a ruined castle and a 19th century clocktower.

Cusop (distance: 0.5 kilometres), Herefordshire; the churchyard of St. Mary's Parish Church has some magnificent old trees, including yew; and the gravesite of Methodist preacher William Seward, killed in 1740; the building itself, which contains some Norman elements, was restored in the 19th century.

...

How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport , from where car rental is available. London Heathrow is approximately 247 kilometres from Hay-on-Wye. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Powys, Wales, where Hay-on-Wye is located on the Wales-England border
Map location of Powys, Wales, where Hay-on-Wye is located on the Wales-England border | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)