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Llanfrechfa - Upper & Lower

including Croesyceiliog, Griffithstown (before 1898), Ponthir, Pontnewydd and Pontrhydyrun

(A description written in 1891)

Formerly one large Parish, now form two separate Parishes, in the Northern division of the county, Hundred of Usk, Petty Sessional division, Union and County Court district of Pontypool; western division of Netherwent rural deanery, archdeaconry of Monmouth and diocese of Llandaff.

The Eastern Valleys branch of the Great Western railway from Newport to Blaenavon and Brynmawr has four stations in these parishes, viz. Ponthir, Pontnewydd, Upper Pontnewydd and Pontrhydyrun, and also a portion of Panteg station; the Monmouthshire Canal runs through the parish; it is 154 miles from London, 4 north from Newport and 2 south from Pontypool.

LLANFRECHFA LOWER includes Croesyceilog and a portion of Ponthir.

The church of All Saints, Llanfrechfa Lower, is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and a fine embattled western tower containing 6 bells: it was restored in 1872 at a cost of £3,000, and will seat 250 persons: a cross has been erected in the churchyard. The register dates from the year 1727. The living is a vicarage, tithe rent-charge £202, net yearly value £210, with residence and 27 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff, and held since 1875 by the Rev. Francis Forster M.A. of Queen's College, Oxford.

There are Baptist Chapels at Pontrhydyrun and Ponthir.

Here are some tinplate works. The old Roman road runs alongside the road through Croesyceilog.

Post, M.O. & T.O., S.B. & Annuity & Insurance Office, Pontnewydd - Miss Ann Edmunds, receiver. Letters arrive through Newport at 7.15 & 9.50 a.m; dispatched, 4.30 & 6.50 p.m.

Post Office, Croesyceilog - Mrs Roland Watkin, receiver. Letters arrive from Pontypool at 8 a.m; dispatched at 4 p.m. Pontnewydd is the nearest money order & telegraph office.

Local Board, Llanfrechfa Upper

Board Day: 2nd Monday in each month, at Board Room, Primitive Methodist School Room, Pontnewydd, at 7 p.m.

Clerk: Isaac Jones, Pontnewydd

Treasurer: William Collins, Pontypool

Medical Officer of Health: William Edward Cavanagh Murphy, Pontnewydd

Surveyor & Inspector of Nuisances: Thomas Dagger, Pontnewydd

Collector: Isaac Jones, Pontnewydd

Llanfrechfa Lower has no local Board, but is governed by the Caerleon Highway Baord.

Pontypool Union Workhouse, Griffithstown

Chaplain: Rev. John Robert Phillips

Medical Officer: John O'Keefe

Master: Hartley Feather

Matron: Mrs Lydia Feather

Places of Worship:

All Saints Church, Llanfrechfa Lower: Rev. Francis Forster M.A. vicar

Holy Trinity, Llanfrechfa Upper: Rev. John Robert Phillips, vicar

Saint Hilda's Chapel of Ease, Griffiths Town: Rev. James Edwin Dunn, curate

Baptist, Griffiths Town: Rev. David Morgan Davies B.A. Lond.

Baptist, Pontnewydd: Rev. Thomas Cocker

Baptist, Pontrhydrun: Rev. John Reece

Baptist, Ponthir: various ministers

Congregational, Griffiths Town: Rev. John Rees

Primitive Methodist, Pontnewydd: various ministers

Wesleyan, Griffiths Town: various ministers


School Boards were formed in 1881:

Llanfrechfa Upper:

Griffiths Town School (mixed & infants), for 300 boys & girls & 100 infants; average attendance, 200 boys & girls & 90 infants; William Jacobs, master; Mrs A C M Loveless, infants' mistress.

Llanfrechfa Lower:

Board School, Croesyceilog (mixed & infants), for 200 children; average attendance, 103 boys & girls & 52 infants; Daniel Meiros Evans, master; Miss Rachael L Lloyd, infants' mistress.

National School, Llanfrechfa Lower (mixed), for 140 children; average attendance, 90; Wilfred Pheasey, master.

Railway Stations:

Station masters:

Pontrhydyrun: John Powell

Panteg: Arthur Evans

Ponthir: William Smith

Pontnewydd: Thomas Fisher

Upper Pontnewydd: William S James

John Capel Hanbury Esq. J.P. is lord of the manor; the principal landowners are Frank Johnstone Mitchell Esq. J.P. and Miss Barclay. The soil is clay; subsoil, sandstone, with some silurian showing near the church. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and roots; there is also good pasturage. The area is 4,320 acres; rateable value, Llanfrechfa Upper, £16,335; Llanfrechfa Lower, £5,865.

In 1881 the population was:

Llanfrechfa Upper 4,177 (including 6 officers and 263 inmates in Pontypool Union Workhouse)

Llanfrechfa Lower 1,181.

(extracts from Kelly's 1891 Directory of Monmouthshire, transcribed by J. Doe)




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