Powys Digital History Project

St John's Chapel, Hay 2
Service as a schoolhouse, 1684

For background
information on the
dissolution of the
monasteries, see our
pages on
Religion in Wales.
Guild Chapel and schoolhouse
The chapel was used for various purposes during its long history, serving as a college, school, and as a chapel for the Guild of Hay Tradesmen. The medieval guilds controlled trade, markets, goods and apprenticeships, and also provided support for their members in times of trouble such as illness. The priest of the once wealthy Guild Chapel conducted a "morrow mass" at dawn for those on their way to work.
Chantry Chapels like St John's suffered the same fate as the monasteries, and in 1547 its holdings, incomes and possessions were forfeited to the crown.
Sketch from
the Progress of the
Duke of Beaufort
Through Wales, 1684.
Sketch of St John's in 1684 In an illustrated account of the Official Progress of His Grace the 1st Duke of Beaufort Through Wales written by H.Dineley in 1684 there is a pen and ink sketch of St John's when it was serving as a schoolhouse (left). The drawing is titled "The face of the School-house of the Hay towards the Black Swan Inn there".
The simple building had a large arched doorway in the west wall in St John's Place, and a wooden bell turret topped by a cross.
At that time the building lay at one end of the large triangular market place of the original Norman settlement. An early market cross is also shown at the corner of the Bull Ring.
  There are 4 pages on St John's Chapel. Use the box links below to view the other pages.