History and Heritage

Gosen Independent Chapel

On Swansea Road, Trebanos, Gosen Independent Chapel was built in 1865 on former Graig Trebanos farmland and incorporated in 1869.

For all or much of the period 1879-1898, Gosen shared a minister in common with Bethesda Chapel, Ynysmeudwy in the person of the Rev J.T. Davies. On Sunday 21st August 1881, the Rev J.T. Davies, listed as being of both Gosen and Bethesda, jointly presided over a ceremony to formally open the new Tabernacle Chapel, Pontardawe.

'With increased membership it became necessary to build a larger chapel, which was erected in 1892. Ten years later, the Rev D Gower Richards was inducted and during this period, the old chapel was demolished to make room for the new vestry, built in 1912 for £900.'

As can be seen in the centenary article, below, the original chapel was on the opposite side of road and slightly further down in the Clydach direction. It is now the site of Trebanos Community Hall, formerly Gosen vestry.

Views of Gosen Chapel

These photographs of Gosen Chapel, Trebanos, were taken in July 2019. Gosen Chapel remains open with a regular congregation of some two dozen.


Views of Gosen Hall

Across the road from Gosen Chapel, further down on the left, by the Colliers Arms public house, is what used to be Gosen's church hall, but is now Trebanos community hall. It's namestone says built 1865, rebuilt 1912.


Above, we can see how Gosen Hall was set back from the road, unlike nearby buildings such as the Colliers Arms.

To the right, we can see the architectural features of the hall, now the Trebanos Community Hall.


Centenary of Gosen Chapel

The South Wales Voice newspaper for 14th October 1965 records the centenary of Gosen Chapel, Trebanos:-


One hundred years of Christian ministry were celebrated at Gosen Chapel, Trebanos, last week and the special services had attracted excellent congregations, many of whose families had been connected with the church for quite a number of those 100 years.
The first Gosen Chapel which resembed an ordinary big house was built on a plot of land a few yards lower down Trebanos Cross, where now stands the Chapel Vestry which was built in 1912.
Building commenced in 1865, and the church was opened on Wednesday November 11th 1866.
Towards the middle of the 19th century the "Annibynwyn" worshipped at Alltwen, where the Rev Phillip Griffiths ministered and at Seion, Glais, where the Rev Esay Owen was the minister.
In favourable weather those who worshipped at Glais walked down the Swansea Canal Bank for about a mile and then crossed the River Tawe over a frail narrow bridge called "Pont-y-Milge", opposite the present Coedgwilym Cemetery, then via a path along the hedges of farms to the Glais road. If the weather was stormy they walked towards Clydach past the Blacksmith Shop where now stands the Mond Nickel Works, and to Seion.
The worshippers at Alltwen walked via a right of way through the now defunct Gilbertson's Works.
Gosen Chapel therefore has two mother churches.
The people thought that those places of worship were too far and it was decided to hold prayer meetings and Sunday schools in private houses.
In 1862 they were offered a spacious room by a lady named Mrs Catherine Lott, at White Hart Terrace, which is opposite the present Chapel.
There were no "Annibynwyn" Chapels in Pontardawe during that period.
In 1879 Gosen amalgamated with Bethesda, Ynismeudwy, and both chapels gave a call to the Rev J.T. Davies, Pencader.
Accepting the call, Mr Davies was ordained at Bethesda and inducted at Gosen the same day - October 23 1879.
As the little Chapel was getting too small for the growing congregation it was decided to build the present Chapel. This was completed and lopened at a cost of £1117 in 1891.
It has had six ministers - the Revs J.T. Davies (1879-1899), E.H. Carston (1899-1902), D Gower Richards (1903-1910), Daniel John (1920-1951), L. Roy Morgan (1955-1957) and the present minister, the Rev Haydn Davies.
Seven of its "sons" have entered the ministry - Revs W.J. Jones (Narberth), Mostyn Williams (Trecastle), Geoffrey Rees (Warden of Llandaff College), C. Eirwyn Jones (Lecturer at Cheshunt Church College, London), Huw Jones (Vicar of Crynant), David Morris (Missionary in South America), Lemuel Morris (Middlesborough).

Gosen Chapel in 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.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, Saturday October 20th 1923:-

Gosen Anniversary Services
Anniversary services will be held at Gosen, Trebanos, on Sunday and Monday next, when Prof. Joseph Jones, M.A., B.D. Brecon, will preach. The rev. gentleman was unanimously invited by a meeting of Welsh University Graduates at Cardiff on Saturday last to contest the University seat rendered vacant by the death of the late Mr T.A. Lewis, Pontypridd. This fact will undoubtedly add to the interest already aroused by the professor's visit, and crowded congregations are expected to attend the services.


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