Calfaria Baptist Chapel, 1887
George Morgan of Carmarthen, a professional architect, was the most influential designer of chapels for the Baptists in south Wales. At Calfaria are two chapels side by side (both designed by Morgan). This was a common arrangement where the first modest chapel was replaced by something larger and more elaborate when the congregation grew and could afford it, the first building becoming a Sunday School. This happened very rapidly at Calfaria with the first simple red-brick chapel completed in 1881 and the second built only six years later. This was constructed in Morgan's influential `Lombardic' style, derived from north Italian Romanesque architecture of the twelth-century but here used in a Spartan and economic version compared to Morgan's earlier Lombardic Baptist chapels elsewhere: Abergavenny (1877); Haverfordwest (1878); Port Talbot (1880) and Morriston (1884). The two Lombardic features drawn from earlier chapels are the stepped-eaves of the gable and the group of diminishing arches around the attic ventilator in the apex of the gable. The group of circular lights around the head of the central window had recently been used by three architects of the Independent denomination: Humphrey, Freeman and Thomas and is derived from Palladio's sixteen-century Villa Poina in northern Italy. The flanking first-floor windows have simple Florentine tracery and the ground-floor staircase lights are given economic interest by the simple device of stepping them up from the two central doors. This play of elements using a minimum of expensive cut-stone livens-up what is otherwise a very austere exterior especially on the sides where the mass-walling of Pennant sandstone is unrelieved except for simple paired-windows.