Great Pottery Throw Down star in bid to convert dilapidated Grade II listed Pwllheli chapel
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
The star of Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throw Down is seeking permission to convert a dilapidated Grade II listed Gwynedd chapel.
Keith Brymer Jones, a master potter, and his wife Marjory Hogarth purchased Capel Salem in the centre of Pwllheli last year.
Previously owned by the Presbyterian Church of Wales, it dates back to the 19th century, having been originally built in 1862 before being later enlarged.
The chapel had been on the market for about 12 years before it was snapped up by the couple for £200,000.
Earlier this month, Cyngor Gwynedd planners received two applications over work to develop the chapel site.
One application is for Listed Building Consent and concerns internal and external alterations to restore the building and convert it into a pottery studio and living unit.
The second concerns the full application for a change of use of the former chapel and hall to a pottery studio with living unit on the ground floor and the use of the main chapel as a multi-use space including for community events.
The chapel is on the corner of Allt Salem Terrace and Lleiniau Uchaf (Church Place).
There are residential streets on either side, and it is near another Grade II listed building, St Peter’s church.
Some of the chapels original internal features were likely destroyed in a fire in 1913, but the building still boasts “a raked gallery on three sides of the nave” and a panelled wood frontage supported by a series of ornate cast iron columns.
The plaster ceiling is also very ornate and divided into panels by ribs, with a vast central ceiling rose, and a continuous deep cornice below with an “elaborate frieze,” the planning documents say.
The full plans say the preapplication response was “positive”.
The documents add: “Mr Keith Brymer Jones has written to Gwynedd Council Economy and Community Services and Business Support, as well as spoken to some neighbouring residents on Salem Terrace about the proposals.”
Speaking previously, he said he and wife wanted to “restore the building to its original state and keep the outside pretty much as it is now, but improve it”.
He added: “We are both mindful of the aesthetic and history of Capel Salem and wouldn’t want to change it too much – there will be no PVC windows and doors, that’s for sure!”
In an Instagram post Mr Brymer Jones told followers that the chapel was the first studio he had ever owned.
“Over time I shall have open studio days, possible workshops and events,” he said.
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