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Bethel Congregational Tabernacle (Welsh Hill Church)

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Welsh Hill Church
1854; c. 1887 remodeled. PA 374, 0.5 miles east of PA 2067
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

The former Welsh Hill Church is a notable expression of ethnic identity and earnest but unsophisticated taste. Welsh began arriving in the area in 1833 and a year later their numbers were sufficient to organize a Welsh congregation. They built a small meetinghouse on rural Cambria Hill in 1839 and when they outgrew that, they built a plain clapboarded frame meetinghouse on an adjoining lot. Beginning in 1887 the meetinghouse was transformed by a remodeling in an Italianate style that was then well out of fashion in urban centers. A bell tower projects from the front, which rises to a hexagonal belfry and its bellshaped roof. A few details—drip molds on the round-arched windows, a rose window (now filled with a louver), and belfry brackets—completed the transformation. The church's interior with its nave plan and pews remains quite plain, except for the decorative panels flanking the recessed alcove behind the raised platform. The congregation continued to worship in the Welsh language until 1893.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Bethel Congregational Tabernacle (Welsh Hill Church)", [, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 538-538.

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