Twyn Community Centre, Caerphilly

Twyn Community Centre, Caerphilly

This building, which features a distinctive tower, was erected c.1880 to replace an earlier Methodist chapel, dating from 1791. The building became a community centre in 1974 and today is also home to Caerphilly Town Council.

At one time the congregation in the original chapel dwindled to the point where part of it was converted into a residential house. The renowned preacher Evan Harris (1786-1861) of Merthyr Tydfil was among those who visited. The chapel’s fortunes reversed as the coal industry boosted Caerphilly’s population, and in 1879 a decision was taken to demolish the old building and create a bigger one in Gothic style, at a cost of c.£800.

The chapel was overrun in December 1904 when Evan Roberts, originator of the Christian revival in Wales, preached in Caerphilly. It was estimaPhoto of cheese market hallted that more than 2,500 people travelled to the town by train to hear him. The Twyn chapel had to organise overflow meetings, some of which were also overcrowded.

Behind the chapel building was a hall which hosted a cheese market. Farmers from the surrounding countryside would bring their home-made cheese here to sell to the public. This was typically a crumbly white cheese. Eventually it became known as Caerphilly Cheese. The hall was demolished in the post-war decades to enable Market Street to be widened and straightened, where previously there was a dog-leg in the road between the hall and Manchester House.

The photo shows the cheese market hall in 1951. The south gable of what’s now the Twyn Community Centre is on the left, Manchester House on the right.

The building was extended northwards in the 1980s, with stonework matching the original.

With thanks to Richard Williams, of Caerphilly Local History Society, and James Fussell

Postcode: CF83 1JL    View Location Map

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