A plaque detailing the history of the Philadelphia Chapel and its cemetery was unveiled yesterday morning in Cadoxton by Deputy Town Mayor, Margaret Wilkinson.
The late-morning sun shined on the grounds of the chapel as the Deputy Town Mayor lifted the veil on the plaque, situated on the outside wall of the old chapel grounds, right next to the King William IV pub, historic in its own right and known affectionately as "The Billy".
The chapel was built in 1813 with a small cemetery attached for members of the congregation in the, then, small village of Cadoxton, home to around 150 residents. Its name "Philadelphia" means "brotherly love" and comes from the Greek philio meaning "to love", and adelphos "brother". Its flock was small but devoted, with services held in Welsh as it was the preferred language of the congregation.
As the town grew and morphed due to the construction of the docks, beginning 1884, a new church was established with services in English. The Philadelphia chapel was finally closed in 1937 with its attached cemetery becoming orphaned. At this time, Barry Urban District Council, now the Barry Town Council, became caretakers of the site, maintaining the grounds ever since.
In recent years, residents of the area would be forgiven for not being aware of what stood behind the locked gate of the cemetery, with the high outer walls obscuring a view into the area, but it is hoped that the new plaque will spread awareness about the chapel, its history and Cadoxton's heritage.
In a short speech while unveiling the plaque, Councillor Margaret Wilkinson said:
"This is a history we should remember. We shouldn't forget the history of Barry nor of Cadoxton, because it was one of the first places that set Barry up."
The churchyard will continue to be kept locked, but people wishing to arrange a visit can contact Barry Town Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01446 738 663 or 01446 746 940.