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Merthyr Tydfil

Gwaelod means 'bottom' like godre and the place name probably meant the 'bottom' or 'lower end' of the hill called Cefn y Garth, which hill lay between the later-named Gwaelod y Garth House and Tir Bryn Cae Owen homestead. This is a large and complex land-grouping in the hamlet of Garth which incorporated several adjoining land-holdings. The Gwaelodygarth Estate north of the Brecon Road was once all farmland. Originally William Morgan purchased the Gwaelodygarth and Gwaunfarren Estates for £1,500. A toll house built in 1842 on the Brecon Road still stands opposite the entrance to Gwaelodygarth Lane. The Gwaelodygarth Estate was bordered on 3 sides by iron works, Penydarren and Cyfarthfa bordered the land, which were linked by the road between Dowlais and Brecon. An important link road ran through the estate. Gwaelodygarth became an important area for the provision of housing for industrial workers. Building in Gwaelodygarth started between 1798 and 1809. The houses were built here specifically for rent and leased by the rather better off inhabitants of the town, including the higher paid ironworkers. Pen y Darren House was built in 1786 on former Gwaelod y Garth land. Charles Wilkins in 'The History of Merthyr Tydfil', recorded that William Forman came to live at Pen y Darren House and his son, Edward Forman, lived at Gwaelod y Garth Fach Cottage, a place he built with great care and expense. The pillars of the gateway were cited as marvels of masonry by Charles Wilkins. The Gwaelodygarth Estate was alongside the Penydarren Works and the enormous tip created by the Penydarren Works which was called the British Tip.

Originally built for the Crawshay family, Gwaelodygarth House dates from the early 19th century and was probably built by Richard Crawshay around 1809, possibly for his son-in-law Benjamin Hall. It was a classic mid Georgian building of generous proportions and balanced design.  William Crawshay II lived here before Cyfarthfa Castle was built and then it was sold to the local lawyer, Meyrick. There was a rumour that Gwaelodygarth House is haunted by the ghost of one of Crawshay's mistresses who was locked in the attic here to keep her away from his wife.

On the edge of the Cyfarthfa Estate, the house stood in its own grounds of parklands and ornamental gardens, surrounded by a great deal of farmland, The approach was by 2 driveways, from the east and from the west, one of which was adjacent to a period lodge. The house was home to the Berry family and Lord Buckland in 1912, until he sold it to Guest Keen and Nettlefold. It became a domestic training institution and then a school for female evacuees during WWII. In September 1950 Gwaelodygarth House was opened as a Training School for Nurses by Dr Stuart Cresswell. In June 1979 it became a Mental Health Day Unit. The house was in reasonably a good condition until a serious fire in August 2003 destroyed part of the building. In order to ensure the restoration of the property it was suggested in 2005 that Gwaelodygarth House be converted into 3 townhouses.


<Click on The Photographs to Enlarge>

Gwaelodygarth, The Ring Lamp.

Gwaelodygarth House.

Dressmaking Class at Gwaelodygarth Training Centre for Girls - 1930s

.The Hunt at Gwaelodygarth House.

Alan took these photographs of Gwaelodygarth House in 2005

The Chase.


Gwaelodygarth Farm

(Photograph Courtesy of John Smith)




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Gwaelodygarth Lane - Merthyr Carnival in 1946, heading towards the Fete and Gala in Cyfarthfa Park

Gwaelodygarth Lane

MerthyrTydfil_GwaelodygarthLane.JPG (315652 bytes)


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