Capel Tabernacl and preacher’s house, Conwy

button-theme-evaclink to french translationCapel Tabernacl and preacher’s house, Conwy

The house named Gwynfryn was built in 1873 for the superintendent preacher of Tabernacl Chapel, which stands behind. Notice that the house retains its Victorian railings. Many other railings were removed from Conwy in the Second World War (to provide metal for the war effort) but it’s thought these railings were spared because of the connection to the chapel.

The chapel was built for the Wesleyan Methodists, who started worshipping in Conwy in June 1802 in a barn on Rose Hill Street (where the house named Castellmai now stands). The chapel’s original entrance was from Chapel Street, where you can still see the 1860s frontage. Its orientation was reversed in the 1880s, with a grand new entrance at what used to be the rear. Worshippers entered the chapel through the gateway alongside Gwynfryn.

One of the chapel’s deacons was Evan Parry Hughes. He had moved to the area in 1875 to help build the Conwy Valley railway line, as you can read on our page about his grave in St Agnes Cemetery.

In September 1905, during the Christian “revival”, an all-day preaching session was held here. Resident preacher O Madoc Roberts and his vocal chords were relieved in the afternoon by Frank E Jones of Colwyn Bay.

During the Second World War, children evacuated from Merseyside were taught in the schoolroom (which faces the gateway). A pre-war survey established that the borough of Conwy could accommodate almost 4,000 children and 772 teachers, but schools were overwhelmed. Many taught local children for half of the day, evacuees for the other half. The schoolrooms of Tabernacl and Carmel chapels provided valuable extra capacity.

By 1911, dressmaker Harriet Edwards was the tenant occupier of Gwynfryn. She was followed by Mrs Vaughan Edwards, also a dressmaker, in the 1930s. Colin and Monica Leboutillier bought the house in 2003. After renovation, it opened as Gwynfryn Bed & Breakfast in August 2005.

Capel Tabernacl closed in 2011 and faced an uncertain future until purchased by Colin and Monica in November 2012. It was renovated for its new use as a space for concerts, weddings, exhibitions and other events. Key features were retained, including the organ, pulpit and First World War memorial. You can view the interior when the Chapel Bar is open, serving drinks and snacks – follow the link below for opening times.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front Museum, Llandudno for evacuee information

Postcode: LL32 8AB    View Location Map

Gwynfryn B&B website – Chapel Bar opening times

Footnotes: Gwynfryn occupants

Rev Richard Williams, 1885-86
Rev T Jones-Humphreys, 1903
Mrs Harriet Edwards, 1911
Mrs H Edwards, dressmaker, 1918
Mrs H Edwards, dressmaker and Miss M Vaughan Edwards, corsetiere, 1922-36
M Edwards, corsetiere, 1936
Mrs Vaughan Edwards, costumier and dressmaker, 1939
Purchased in run-down condition by Colin and Monica Leboutillier, December 2003