Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 13:33 UK

Chapel gutted by fire demolished

Tabernacle chapel being demolished
Tabernacle chapel was built during the Victorian era

A landmark chapel, which has been gutted by fire, is being demolished amid fears it is unstable.

Fire crews worked through the night to deal with the blaze last weekend at the disused Tabernacle chapel, Aberystwyth.

Some nearby residents were evacuated during the fire, and two have been moved while the Victorian building is brought down.

It had been hoped to save one side of the chapel but engineers say that too is unstable.

Mill Street at the rear of the chapel has been closed until the work is finished on Sunday.

Speaking from the site, Colin Fayers, project manager for Merlin Homes, which owns the chapel, said: "The intention was to demolish three sides of the chapel, but the demolition experts have concerns about the remaining one side left.

"We'll have to assess the situation as we go along."

Structural engineers visited the scene earlier this week and said the building was unstable.

"Cadw [the Welsh historical buildings organisation] had a meeting on Wednesday and they agreed it had to come down," said Mr Fayers.

Tabernacle chapel being demolished
The demolition work is expected to take three days
"Two residents have been evacuated and put into bed and breakfast accommodation and should be allowed back home on Sunday."

A dozen residents were moved from homes backing onto the Victorian building as a precaution during last Friday's fire.

Police said two men and two youths arrested on suspicion of arson had been released on bail.

It is unclear how the the fire started, but investigators are treating it as suspicious.

The Calvinistic chapel dates from 1880, and was the fourth building on the site as congregations expanded with the Methodist revival.

It closed in November 2002 because of the cost of the building's upkeep to the congregation of 70.

There had been hopes of converting the listed building into flats.

Residents moved after chapel fire
05 Jul 08 |  Mid Wales
'Mimosa centre' plan for chapel
14 Nov 03 |  Mid Wales

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