Mountain Chapel

Mountain Chapel
from Google Streetview

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Origins of Mountain Chapel

In 1825 a local mission was held in the loft of a house near Lanteague Cross and a small number worshipped there.  A former chapel, a short distance from the present building, was built by the parishioners for a school. It seated forty people and members
paid a yearly rent.  Ben Price estimates its size as being approximately 20-24ft long, 12-14ft wide and 8-10ft high at the eaves. Mr Price recalls that it had a slated roof and a chimney at the eastern end which made it resemble “a cow with one horn”. It only had an earthen floor and no ceiling apart from the rafters and slates, and also had no plaster on the walls. An enclosure of 4-5ft at the western end was formed by a partition with a door. This was the “Big Seat” within which the pulpit and the communion table were placed - this area had a boarded floor. A day school was started here but according to Ben Price only lasted a short while before failing. 
In 1854 a Congregational church was formed and the first communion was held.
In course of time the old chapel became dilapidated and a new and larger building became necessary.
The present chapel, which has seating for 150, was erected in 1889 on a plot of land given free by Sir Owen Scourfield.
The vestry, a much needed building, was built later and was paid for by Mrs Davies (widow of the late Rev. W. Davies, Oaklands). They were pillars of the church in Lanteague and all five of the family are buried in the graveyard.
Messrs W. Phillips and Tom Phillips Long Lane, William Callan Goitre and David Williams Trenewydd were also staunch supporters of the cause.
The centenary anniversary services in 1925 were occasions marking the installation of the new organ of solid black oak and there were a large number of worshippers in attendance. Tea was provided in the vestry and at 5.30pm an open-air meeting was held at the ruins of the old chapel. The people returning from the old ruins were unable to enter the new chapel for the evening service as it was found already to be full, so it was decided to have the meeting out of doors.
Unfortunately this chapel has also now closed, the final service being held in December 1999. The loss of both chapels in the parish during the last decade is of great sadness.

The ‘Muntan’ Chapel
extracted from the Narberth Weekly News, July 16th 1925
“It should be remembered that in the days of my boyhood (1860s) there was no Congregational church or chapel at Amroth and no ‘meeting’ except that held (I think once a month) in Betty Thomas’s house near the
Castle.  I want to recall two without whom it is difficult to conceive how the ‘Muntan’ Church could have continued to exist. I refer to Mr Phillips, Long Lane (father of the late Mr Thomas Phillips) and Mrs Williams, Trenewydd.  These two seemed to constitute the backbone of the cause. Mr Phillips was a bespectacled little man full of zeal and argument for the advance of the principles of Christianity. Mrs Williams always sat with Mr Phillips and the preacher. She was thoroughly Welsh in all her ways and particularly so in dress, including the Welsh high hat.”