Thomas Thomas (architect)

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Thomas Thomas

Revd Thomas, Landore, Swansea NLW3365348.jpg

Thomas Landore, pictured c. 1875
Born 1817 (1817)
Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
Died 16 March 1888(1888-03-16) (aged 70–71)
Mumbles, Swansea
Nationality Welsh
Other names
  • Thomas Glandŵr
  • Thomas Landore
Occupation Church 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]

Welsh people nation and ethnic group native to Wales

The Welsh are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to, or otherwise associated with, Wales, Welsh culture, Welsh history and the Welsh language. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living in Wales are British citizens.

Minister (Christianity) religious occupation in Christianity

In Christianity, a minister is a person authorized by a church, or other religious organization, to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community. The term is taken from Latin minister, which itself was derived from minus ("less").

Chapel Religious place of fellowship attached to a larger institution

The term chapel usually refers to a Christian place of prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution or that is considered an extension of a primary religious institution. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a college, hospital, palace, prison, funeral home, church, synagogue or mosque, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Chapel has also referred to independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church.

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]

Ffairfach village in the United Kingdom

Ffairfach is a village 12 mile (0.80 km) south of the market town of Llandeilo in the eastern part of Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is located close to the confluence of the Afon Cennen and the River Towy.

Llandeilo town in Wales

Llandeilo is a community and town in Carmarthenshire, Wales, situated at the crossing of the River Towy by the A483 on a 19th-century stone bridge. Its population was 1,795 at the 2011 Census. It is adjacent to the westernmost point of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Carmarthenshire unitary authority

Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in southwest Wales, and one of the historic counties of Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford. Carmarthen is the county town and administrative centre.

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]

Clydach, Swansea village in Swansea, Wales

Clydach is a large village and community in the City and County of Swansea, Wales, falling within Clydach ward and the Llangyfelach Parish. It is located some 6 miles (9.7 km) north east of Swansea city centre. Its population in 2001 was 7,320. Welsh is the first language of 24 per cent of the population and both Welsh and English language schools are available. The village lies close to the M4 motorway which can be accessed via the bypass or old road via Ynystawe.

Congregational church religious denomination

Congregational churches are Protestant churches in the Reformed tradition practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs.

Landore human settlement in United Kingdom

Landore is a district and community in Swansea, Wales. The district falls in the Landore council ward. A mainly residential area, it is located about 2.5 miles north of Swansea city centre. The north-easterly part of Landore is known as Morfa. There have been a number of new developments in the 21st century, such as the Liberty Stadium and the Morfa Shopping Park, which opened in 2005.

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]

New Siloh Congregational Chapel chapel in Landore, Swansea, Wales

The New Siloh Congregational Chapel, also known as the Siloh Welsh Independent Chapel or simply the New Siloh Chapel, is a Grade II* listed chapel building at the top of Siloh Hill in Landore, Swansea, Wales. The prefix 'New' distinguishes it from the nearby Old Siloh Chapel, built in 1829.

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]

Pediment element in classical, neoclassical and baroque architecture

A pediment is an architectural element found particularly in classical, neoclassical and baroque architecture, and its derivatives, consisting of a gable, usually of a triangular shape, placed above the horizontal structure of the entablature, typically supported by columns. The tympanum, the triangular area within the pediment, is often decorated with relief sculpture.

Pulpit speakers stand in a church

Pulpit is a raised stand for preachers in a Christian church. The origin of the word is the Latin pulpitum. The traditional pulpit is raised well above the surrounding floor for audibility and visibility, accessed by steps, with sides coming to about waist height. From the late medieval period onwards, pulpits have often had a canopy known as the sounding board or abat-voix above and sometimes also behind the speaker, normally in wood. Though sometimes highly decorated, this is not purely decorative, but can have a useful acoustic effect in projecting the preacher's voice to the congregation below. Most pulpits have one or more book-stands for the preacher to rest his or her bible, notes or texts upon.

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]

Mumbles is a headland sited on the western edge of Swansea Bay on the southern coast of Wales. The name Mumbles is also applied to the district encompassing the electoral wards of Oystermouth, Newton, West Cross, and Mayals. In the 2018 Best Places to Live in the UK report, The Sunday Times listed Mumbles as the best in Wales.

Sketty district of Swansea, Wales

The suburban district of Sketty is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the west of the Swansea city centre on Gower Road. Sketty falls within the Sketty council ward of Swansea.

Notable works

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

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References

Notes

  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.

Sources

Further reading