Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

Noddfa Chapel, Abercrave

Noddfa Chapel is nowadays located just off the main A4067 road that by-passes Abercrave, and heads towards Ystradgynlais. It is near the bus shelter at the Rheolau end of Abercrave, but has now been converted into a private house.

Noddfa Baptist Chapel was constructed in 1899-1900 as an offshoot of Nant-y-Ffin Chapel, Penycae with whom it shared a minister for the first 17 years. After that, it had its own ministers until 1969, whereafter members of the congregation took services. It closed in 1991 and was sold and converted to a private house.

The frontage of Noddfa chapel, facing the bypass, in 2007 when it was up for sale, and showing how obscured by trees it was.

The road-facing frontage of Noddfa Chapel in December 2018, after sale and conversion to a private home, now sans trees.

This December 2018 photograph, taken as one approaches Noddfa from the Ystradgynlais direction, shows the surviving trees which now stop short of the chapel frontage itself.

The frontage of Noddfa chapel, facing onto the main road, which would also have been the main road in the past. The name stone reads:-
Addoldyr Bedydddwys

The entrance and approach to Noddfa Chapel, taken in 2007 while it was for sale.

The entrance and approach to Noddfa Chapel, taken in December 2018 from the public highway.

A view of Noddfa Chapel combining the frontage with the name stone, that faces the main road, and the entrance way and approach.

A zoomed-in photograph from the public highway, showing the approach to Noddfa Chapel that worshippers would have seen as they came to services.

Ministers of Noddfa Chapel

Noddfa Chapel shared a minister with Nant-y-Ffin Chapel, Penycae from 1900 to 1923, with a hiatus in 1917-1918 which also matches the period when Nant-y-Ffin had no permanent minister. The first minister was the Reverend Charles James Pipe 1900 to 1917, while the minister from 1919 to 1923 was the Rev G R Davies.

From the Labour Voice Saturday 23rd November 1918 came news of a new minister for Noddfa and Nant-y-Ffin.

The people of Cwmllynfell and district regret very much to hear of the impending departure of the Rev G R Davies Minister of Bryn Seion and Bryn Gwilym Baptist Churches. Since he came to the Cwm, Mr Davies has made a large circle of friends and by his quiet unassuming manner has won the esteem of all. He has laboured hard in the district and has done good work. Mr Davies leaves for Nantyffin and Noddfa Abercrave early in the New Year.

From the Llais

The Llais newspaper had always included a round-up of happenings at local churches and chapels, even when these were not part of any particular story. Sometimes they advertised forthcoming events, and at other times who was preaching, or had preached there recently.

Those for Noddfa Chapel went out under the sub-title "Noddfa" :-

From the Labour Voice newspaper, January 7th 1922:-


A pleasing function took place when the members of Noddfa Sunday Schools were presented with gifts from a prettily dressed Christmas Tree. Councillor Howel Watkins presided over a good attendance and an interesting miscellaneous programme was gone through. Mr Albert Morgan was the secretary.

This article from the Labour Voice newspaper, 15th October 1922 interestingly shows that the Baptist minister of Noddfa will be preaching at a Methodist chapel in Cwmllynfell.

The Rev G R Davies, Noddfa, Abercrave, will be the preacher at Brynllynfell (M) Chapel next Sunday.

The Labour Voice newspaper, March 1st 1924, reported on a recent full immersion baptism at Noddfa Chapel. The minister presiding had been in charge of Nantyffin and Noddfa from 1900 to 1917, hence the interest shown in his current and pending new positions:-

A Baptismal service was held in Noddfa Baptist Church on Tuesday evening. Four youg men and two young women were baptised by immersion by the Rev C J Pipe, Tylagwyn, Cwmgarw. There was a large number present at the service. Mr Pipe has accepted the pastorate of Aberbargoed Baptist Church, and will leave Tylagwyn soon.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 15th January 1927:-


The quarterly meeting of the Free Church Council of the district was held at Noddfa, under the presidency of the Rev B Williams. A very able address was given by Mr D C Jones on the "Birth of Christ", the following members took part:- Revs B Williams, R Beynon, BA, Daniel Thomas, John E Richards, John Jones, E Oliver, D Watkins, Idris Davies, W J Thomas.
The following officers were elected for the ensuing year:- Chairman: Mr D C Jones, Noddfa; vice-chairman: Mr John Davies, Carmel; Treasurer: Mr D Watkins, Bethlehem; Secretary: Mr W J Thomas, Carmel.

From the South Wales Voice 5th January 1946 came a report on the first peace-time Christmas parties for the children since 1938:-

Noddfa Children's Party - Christmas night was a delightful event for the children of Noddfa, when the first peace-time Christmas was spent with a concert as a prologue, whilst the later part was devoted to the presentation of gifts, thanks to the generosity of Mrs Ivor H Morgan, Arosfa, who takes a keen interest in the welfare of the Sunday school children.

The splendid Christmas tree, which was brilliantly lit with coloured lights and other decorations, thanks to the efforts of Miss Betty Watkins, secretary; Miss Eirlys Thomas, superintendent; Messrs Roland Roderick and Ivor H Morgan, was a pleasing spectacle, and the young children were thrilled with eager anticipation.

Mr D C Jones, for the Sunday school, thanked the organisers for a very enjoyable evening. Those taking part in the concert were: president, Miss Eirlys Tjomas, Eiryl Llewelyn, Alwyn Morgan, Lyn Fields, Graham Morris, Marilyn Hoskins, Gwynfor Jones, Nora Watkins, Gareth Morgan, Peter James, Wyn Morgan, Shirley Shea, Adrienne Chamney, John Richards, Beryl Watkins, Meirwen Davies and Elfed Watkins, Mrs Ifor G H Jones, BA, presided at the organ.

From the South Wales Voice 8th June 1946:-

Noddfa - The Rev Hugh Roberts, BA, Llanelli, occupied the pulpit at Noddfa on Sunday. Next Sunday's preacher will be the Rev Ifor G Rhys Jones, BA, Troedyrhiw, Merthyr.





From the South Wales Voice 22nd June 1946:-

Noddfa Meetings - Noddfa Baptist Church held their annual preaching services on Sunday. The meetings in the afternoon and evening, which have been kindly lent for many years now, took place at Carmel. The Rev J S Williams, Tumble officiated, and delivered impressive sermons throughout the day. The Rev Elfed C Cox, BA, Nantyffin, conducted the services and Mr T Idris Davies, precentor of Noddfa, led the singing, assisted by Mr David Phillips at the organ.

Although the article lists Nant-y-Ffin's minister as the Rev Elfed C Cox, the article from his induction from July 1944 makes it clear that his name is Elfed Stanley Cox, so that his middle initial should be an S.

From the Llais October 25th 1957:-


Special preaching services were held at Noddfa Baptist Chapel over the week-end. On Saturday night the preacher was the Rev Hubert Davies, Ainon, Ystradgynlais, and on Sunday the Rev William Jones, Cwmtwrch occupied the pulpit.

This article in the Llais from the 11th February 1965 records fifty years of service as organist of Noddfa of Mr J.M. Jones, and records that his father, Mr Enock Jones was a founder member of the church in 1900 and its first precentor, and that his sister Hannah was the first organist of the church until her marriage in 1914, whereupon her brother took over.

50 Years of Continuous Service

Mr J.M. Jones, "Dolycoed", Abercrave, has completed 50 years, voluntary and continuous service as oeganist of Noddfa Baptist Chapel, Abercrave.
His father, the late Mr Enock Jones, who was one time choirmaster of Salem Baptist Church, Llangyfelach, came to Abercrave in 1897 and was ne of the founders and the first precentor of Noddfa, which opened in 1900.
Mr Enock Jones' daughter, the late Mrs Hannah Davies, Bwllfa, Abercrave, first headmistress of Caehopkin Infants' School, was the first organist of the church. Mr J.M. Jones succeeded his sister after her marriage in 1914, and has continued to servethe church in this capacity until the present day.

Contact Ystradgynlais History
Telephone : Available on Request

Email Yeargroup:
Email Wolfian Design:
Ystradgynlais Wargraves
Wolfian Press
Whether you have a book all ready to go, or just the idea for a book, the Wolfian Press can make your dream a reality.
Stepping Out Into Showbusiness

Click the cover to purchase the paperback

Simone dreamed of becoming a showbusiness star during her nights in the air raid shelter in the garden of her home in Southall, during World War Two. After joining the A.T.S. in the war, she became part of the concert party entertaining the troops, eventually joining the Windmill Theatre.



Complete Cleaning company, Ystradgynlais