Former rail workers’ chapel, Tenby
Former rail workers’ chapel, Lower Frog Street, Tenby
This building, now a children’s play centre, was once a chapel for rail workers, especially, to worship.
One of the moving forces behind the Pembroke & Tenby Railway was the industrialist David Davies of Llandinam, Powys. He was brought up in a Calvinistic Methodist family and used his wealth to promote the cause. His partner in the P&TR was of the same denomination – Ezra Roberts of St Asaph, Denbighshire.
Tenby rail station opened in 1863. Methodist chapel services for the rail workers were provided in the town’s Assembly Room until Sir John Phillips bought this building, previously a Congregational Chapel, for the Calvinistic Methodists in 1869.
The building was erected in 1821-1822 and updated after 1869 by the Calvinistic Methodists. The façade we see today dates from 1884. In 1892 the adjacent house was purchased to provide a manse (home for the chapel minister), and a schoolroom was added at the rear.
The chapel had closed and fallen into disrepair before it was converted to become Ocean Commotion, a family-run indoor play centre which boasts a large soft-play frame and a restaurant. The conversion work preserved many key features, including the gallery and open-timber roof which were installed by E Glover Thomas of Tenby in 1894. You are welcome to take a look inside when the centre’s open.
With thanks to Capel, the Chapels Heritage Society
Postcode: SA70 7HU