The Plough Chapel, Brecon
The first chapel on this site was built in 1699. It was replaced in 1841 and enlarged in 1892. It took its name from a pub called The Plough which stood here in the 17th century. Back then, Nonconformists were regarded as “dissenters” and often persecuted. Town-dwellers would travel to services in isolated farmhouses. The first Welsh Independent or Congregational chapel here was built for worshippers who had previously met at scattered locations and later at a house in Ship Street, Brecon.
Today the United Reformed Church and Welsh Independents (“Annibynwyr”) meet here. Sunday worship starts at 11am. The chapel is usually open to visitors on weekends.
The writer Roland Mathias worshipped here. He was born in 1915 on a farm near Talybont-on-Usk. His father was an army chaplain during the First World War and afterwards, based in Cologne. Roland and his mother moved to Germany in 1920. As a conscientious objector in the Second World War, Roland was sentenced to jail with hard labour. He taught at schools in Wales and England before moving to Brecon in 1969. He wrote many poems and stories and edited The Anglo-Welsh Review, a literary magazine. He died in 2007.
The chapel lost a former member in the First World War. Thomas Mozart Jones worshipped here while he was a cashier at Barclay’s Bank and living at The Struet. He was a member of Brecon Golf Club. His employer moved him to Bristol before he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1916. He died of war wounds on 6 July 1917, aged 36, and was buried at Saron Congregational Chapel at Cwmwysg, near his birthplace. The funeral was led by the Plough Chapel’s pastor.
In 1916, Nonconformists of all denominations gathered here for a lecture by the Rev Elvet Lewis of London. He said men serving in the army had found Christ, and there was more Christianity in the trenches than in the churches at home. He predicted a religious revival when the men returned after the war.
With thanks to Steve Morris of Breconshire Local & Family History Society
Postcode: LD3 7AU View Location Map
|To continue the Brecon in WW1 tour, turn left outside the chapel and follow Lion Street to Bulwark. Turn left. Continue into Watton. The next QR codes are at the Presbyterian Church|