A Short History of Aberthin Chapel (Village Hall)

November 1690

Robert Lewis, mason, following his marriage to Margaret, gave “All that Cottage sitt lying and being in Aberthin” to John Thomas of Aberthin, glover, as trustee for Robert and Margaret Lewis.


Establishment of first religious societies in North and South Wales that led to the “Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Connexion”.

July 1742

Howell Harris first mentions “Burthyn” in his diary, when he visited a farm of that name of the way from New House, Near Llantrissant to Aberddaw (Diary 91).

January 1743

Meeting of the Watford Association in the New Room, Groeswen. Later meeting at Plas Y. Watford when Richard Jones and John Deer were appointed “private exhorters” to the societies of Aberthin, Llanilid and Aberddawan.

August 1743

Harris came to “Burthyn” for the evening where he had a service at 10.00 a.m. (Diary 102).


There were 21 or 22 members of the Association at Aberthin.

May 1749

On the 27th May Harris and Daniel Rowland meet to discuss building a “New ouseHOuse House at Burthyn”. Harris and Rowland did not agree on the form or cost of the building (Diary 135a).


June 1749

Howell Lewis and William Jones both of Aberthin both yeoman, acquire the cottage from William Lewis, mason and Jennette his wife.

November 1749

Howell Lewis and William Jones transfer cottage to trustees who are:

Daniel Rowlands of Llangeitho; Howell Davies of “Henllanargoed”; Thomas Price of Watford, Eglwysilan; Howell Harris of Talgarth; Thomas Evans of Abertridoare; Richard Jones of St. Nichollas; Alexander Bassett of Lanblethian – Well known names in the history of Methodism in Wales.

This deed states:

“The same had been made convenient ornamented and repaired to and for a place of divine worship and a schoolroom by and at the expense of diverse well disposed persons round and about the said village of Aburthin who resort to the said cottage …” the second Methodist Chapel in Glamorgan”.

June 1750

Daniel Rowlands and followers split from Howell Harris.

February 1758

“Byrthin” Meeting House “late dwelling of Elizabeth Lewis” certified as a Place of Divine Worship.


Welsh Circulating Charity School Visited “Burthin Village, Llanblethian”, (Glamorgan County History).

June 1763

Rift with Howell Harris healed and he preaches at Aberthin.

June 1764

Deed and Release to a fresh set of Trustees who include: William Williams of Pantycelyn, the author of many hymns including “Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah”.


Sale by member of the congregation of the Second Edition of Rev. Peter Williams bible in Welsh and with Welsh commentary. These sales were to people from all over the Vale of Glamorgan (Calvinistic Methodist Historical Society Journal Vol. VI).


New Chapel built. There were some 40 names on the list of subscribers and their contributions vary from ten guineas to a shilling. The Rev. David Jones of Llangan collected £174.

Examples of the materials, labour costs and customs revealed are:-

                                                              £    s.    d.

For Ale when the foundation was laid, 8th April 1780    0    1    6

For 1,000 tile stones from Heol y Cawl                         1    0    6

For haling 2560 tile stones from Aberthaw                    0    12  0

Lost in four light guineas                                                      2    6

Lime for White liming the house                                     0    0    9

Candlesticks for ye pulpit                                               0    10  0


Total expenditure                                                       £179  18  10 ½



November 1787

Deed of Appointment of Trustees. The new trustees include: Rev. David Jones of Langan; James Prichard of Talygarn and four yeoman, one farmer, two blacksmiths and a labourer.


A dispute arose between the Members of the Meeting. Some were in favour of Unitarianism. The Appointments of 1797 and 1800 reflect this dispute, e.g. the appointment of 1797 was made by eight out of the fifteen surviving trustees from the 1787deed.

February 1797

Letter written which tells of a violent confrontation between members of the Chapel. This led to a Chancery case before one of the parties withdrew. It is believed that John Williams appointed as a trustee in June 1764 and a famous hymnist, who wrote “Pwy Welaf o Edom yn dod”, left the congregation and founded a Chapel in St. Athan (CMHSJ Vol – not known).


The Connexion adopts disciplinary rules.


The Connexion adopts rules relating to ordination.


The Connexion adopts a constitution.


Chapel Renovated. A total of £18.3s.0d was collected towards the repairs, the largest contribution was £2 and the smallest 1/-. The majority of the contributors lived in Aberthin or neighbouring villages. (CMHSJ Vol VI).

May 1884

New Trustees appointed including two wheelwrights; Joseph Howe of Newton, farmer; two ministers and the Cowbridge Relieving Officer.


Article published which refers to Aberthyn Hour Glass, the Pewter Communion cups, a Chandelier and Candlesticks (CMHSJ Vol V).

December 1923

Receipt of the Commissioner of Church Temporalities in Wales for 6s 8d (33 1/3p) for the Extinguishment of Tithe Rent Charge.


By virtue of Section 8 of the Calvanistic Methodist or Presbyterian Church of Wales Act 1933 the chapel became vested in the Property Board of the Presbyterian Church of Wales.


The Chapel fell into disuse (Cardiff & South Wales Times December 2nd 1955).


Chapel started to be used for Village events.


“Aberthin Church and Community Centre” created, subsequently re-named “Aberthin Village Hall”.

Early 1970’s

Erection of Cloak-rooms with help of a loan from the East Glamorgan Presbytery.

Late 1970’s

Installation of suspended ceiling and provision of store-room funded by grants and monies raised by the village. The Presbytery also wrote off its loan.

April 1985

The Secretary and Treasurer of the Village Hall Committee, contracted to purchase the property on behalf of the Village at the price of £5,000.00.

June 1985

Purchase of the property completed.


Chapel re-roofed. Paid for with funds raised within the village.

March 1986

Aberthin Village Hall Trust Deed approved by the Charity Commission. This appointed “Holdings Trustees”, to hold the Property in Trust for the Village and a Committee of Management, to deal with the day to day affairs of the Charity.

March 1986

Hall transferred to the Holding Trustees.

May 1986

Certificate of Registration as a Charity issued Registration No. 517376.

Nov. 1987

John Williams appointed as Holding Trustee.


New windows installed, kitchen fitted out, floor laid and exterior re-rendered and painted with aid of grant.


© K.H. Edwards


10 November 2006

Community Web Kit provided free by BT
Cookies and Privacy | Charity Number: 517376