Capel y Drindod, Pwllheli

Capel y Drindod, Pwllheli

This Presbyterian chapel was originally known as Penmount Chapel. During the First World War the pacifist minister here argued against conscription.

The first chapel was built here c.1780. The site was previously occupied by house called Penmount, along with a cottage and boatyard (the harbour shoreline was here at the time). The chapel was enlarged as the town grew. The building we see today largely dates from the chapel’s rebuilding in 1881. Alongside is a schoolroom for Sunday School.

In 1860 there was a fierce debate about how much the minister should be paid, after Rev Owen Thomas complained that the money was insufficient. When the matter was eventually settled, more than 100 members left the chapel in protest. Some of them helped to found new chapels in the town.

In 1907 Rev Dr John Puleston Jones (1862-1925) became minister here. He had lost his sight in an accident when he was 18 months old. He later created the Welsh version of Braille.

He was a fervent pacifist. During the First World War he presented theological and practical arguments against armed conflict. “War settles things for a short while, but nothing permanently,” he said in October 1914.

He represented conscientious objectors when they appealed against conscription at military tribunals. His actions put him in conflict with many influential and respected figures. At a public meeting in Pwllheli in January 1918 he argued with the great educationalist Sir Henry Jones, whose son Elias was then a prisoner of war in Turkey and later wrote a popular book about his experiences.

The chapel’s name was changed to Capel y Drindod in 1997 when Pwllheli’s three Presbyterian chapels agreed to consolidate in one place, in the face of dwindling congregations.

Postcode: LL53 5HU    View Location Map

With thanks to Elfed Gruffydd