By the eighteen-sixties there were almost three thousand chapels across Wales, with enough pews to seat three-quarters of the population. The religious census of 1851 recorded nearly 80% of worshippers in Wales attended a Nonconformist chapel, resulting in adaptation and extension of existing buildings, as well as the construction of larger chapels for a dramatically increasing population.
Our research focuses on how we sympathetically redevelop these unique places of worship, when they are no longer fit for use or have been abandoned by the communities they used to serve. Most are offered to market for residential conversion and there is a historic pattern of poor redevelopment which has seen the character and interior chattels swept away in the pursuit of floorspace and contemporary amenity. It doesn’t have to be that way, and these proposals offer alternative solutions for conversion creating new characterful homes which preserve the spirit of place.