Thomas Thomas (architect)

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Thomas Thomas
Revd Thomas, Landore, Swansea NLW3365348.jpg
Thomas Landore, pictured c. 1875
Born1817 (1817)
Died16 March 1888(1888-03-16) (aged 70–71)
NationalityWelsh
Other names
  • Thomas Glandŵr
  • Thomas Landore
OccupationChurch minister and chapel architect
Saron Welsh Independent Chapel, Tredegar Saron Independent Chapel Tredegar - geograph.org.uk - 494055.jpg
Saron Welsh Independent Chapel, Tredegar
Brecon Congregational Memorial College Camdem Court, Brecon.jpg
Brecon Congregational Memorial College

Thomas Thomas (1817 – 16 March 1888) was a Welsh church minister and chapel architect, also known as Thomas Glandŵr (Thomas Landore). He is described as "the first national architect of Wales" [1] and the "unchallenged master of chapel architecture in Wales in the 1860s". [2]

Contents

Early life

Thomas Thomas was born in 1817 and brought up near Ffairfach, at Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. His father ran a carpentry business, where Thomas worked before moving to Swansea. [3]

Religious ministry

Though he had no formal training he was appointed as a chapel minister in Clydach in 1848, a post which he held until 1853. [3] Reverend Thomas subsequently became a Congregational minister at Landore, Swansea, until he resigned in 1875. It has been conjectured that he resigned after it was discovered he was the owner of sub-standard workers housing in north Swansea. [2]

Architecture

Thomas was also known an architect and began designing chapels in 1848 and continued through the chapel-building boom of the 1860s and '70s, designing not only for his own Congregational denomination but for others too. [4] He had redesigned Landore's own Siloh Chapel in 1860. The New Siloh Chapel (1878) in Landore was, however, designed after Thomas's resignation by Thomas Freeman who had been a builder and surveyor of the Reverend Thomas's earlier chapels. [2]

Thomas Thomas is credited with at least 119 chapels across Wales. He also made sure he garnered the distinction of preaching the first sermon (or one of the first sermons) at each of his new chapels. [4] His trademark design feature of chapels was the giant arch in the pediment on the facade of his buildings. He also invented the stylistic interior feature of dipping the chapel gallery behind the preacher's pulpit. [4]

Later life

After resigning as a church minister, Thomas moved to Mumbles. He died there on 16 March 1888 and was buried at Sketty. [2]

Notable works

Hermon Chapel, Oswestry Hermon Chapel 2013-09-21 15-48-04.jpg
Hermon Chapel, Oswestry

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References

  1. "Thomas Thomas (1817–1888)". Stained Glass in Wales (University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies). Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Hughes 2000, p.  281.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Thomas Thomas: First National Architect of Wales". The Story of Nonconformity in Wales (Welsh Religious Buildings Trust). Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 Hughes 2000, p.  pages 271–6.
  5. "Capel Bethel including forecourt walls, gates and railings, Llansamlet". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  6. "Capel Als,including Railings,piers & Gates to Chapel Enclosure,marble Hall Road, Llanelli". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  7. 1 2 Hughes 2000, p. 275.
  8. "Saron Congregational Chapel, including attached schoolroom, Tredegar". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  9. "Capel Tabernacl, Cyngor Bro Dyffryn Cennen". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  10. "Capel Salem, including attached Sunday School, forecourt gates and railings and hall to rear, Porthmadog". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  11. "Sardis Independent Chapel and attached schoolroom, Ystradgynlais". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  12. "Capel Mair, including forecourt railings, St Clears". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  13. "Hermon Chapel, Oswestry". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  14. "Camden Court, Brecon". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  15. "Seion Independent Chapel, Seion Hill, Llandysul". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  16. "Hope Independent Chapel, Pontardulais". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  17. "Jerusalem Independent Chapel, Resolven". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  18. "Tabor United Reformed Church, Maesycwmmer". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  19. "Mount Pleasant Baptist Chapel, Pembroke". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  20. "Capel Salem, Llangennech". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  21. "Providence Independent Chapel, vestry, house and railed forecourt., Llangadog". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  22. RCAHMW. "Bethesda Chapel, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist;bethel, Irfon Crescent, Llanwrtyd Wells (6131)". Coflein. Retrieved 30 September 2021.

Sources

Further reading