Tredegar including Sirhowy and New Tredegar
(A description written in 1891)
A Town in the parish of Bedwellty, with a station on the Sirhowy branch of the London & North Western railway, 181 miles from London, 12.1/4 west from Abergavenny, 7 north-east from Merthyr Tydvil, 16.1/2 north-west from Pontypool, 22 north-west from Newport and 36 west from Monmouth; Tredegar is the Head of a County Court district, in the Western division of the county, Bedwellty Petty Sessional division and Union, Hundred of Wentloog, Blaenau Gwent division of Abergavenny rural deanery, Monmouth archdeaconry and Llandaff diocese.
Tredegar is on the west side of the Sirhowy river and built on land the whole of which is the property of the Tredegar Iron Company: in 1840 it was formed into an ecclesiastical parish from the civil parish of Bedwellty: the "Local Government Act, 1858," was adopted by the town June 19, 1874, the district comprising parts of Bedwellty and Llangunider parishes, and was extended by 41 & 42 Vict.c.clxiv; the Board consists of 12 members.
There are two railway stations, one called the Tredegar Station and the other the Sirhowy Station; both are on the Sirhowy branch of the London & North Western railway and close to the town.
Tredegar is comparatively a modern town and arose entirely though the establishment of large iron works by the Tredegar Company at the commencement of the present century: the works are on the north-east side of the town and the mines and collieries surround it. The works of the Tredegar Iron & Coal Company Limited consist of five rolling mills, five large modern blast furnaces and complete Bessemer steel manufacturing plant with 2 ten-ton converters; the company are smelters and manufacturers of iron and steel rails for railways, steel sleepers, steel tie bars and fish plates, and are large colliery owners, sending coal to London and Ireland, and have a large export trade: this company gives employment to four thousand men.
The Town is lighted with gas and is well supplied with water by gravitation from a large reservoir holding 15,000,000 gallons on the side of the hill above the Union Workhouse; both gas and water works are the property of the Local Board, having since the year 1883 been purchased by them, at a cost of £53,000. The principal streets diverge from an open space in the middle of the town, called "The Circle." in the centre of which stands a lofty cast-iron column, supporting an illuminated clock. The best shops and hotels are to be found in Castle Street and The Circle: in the other streets the houses are of a smaller description and mostly occupied by those engaged in the iron works and collieries of the district.
The church of St. George is a rectangular building of stone in the Norman style, and consists of chancel, nave, north porch and a western tower, containing one bell and clock: there are 1,00 sittings, 600 being free. The register dates from about the year 1836. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value about £300, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1883 by the Rev. Thomas Theophilus, of St. David's College, Lampeter, and surrogate of the diocese, Rev. Alfred Thomas B.A. curate. Separate services are conducted in Welsh and English. Acting Parish Clerk: George Jones.
A rising suburb of the Town, closely adjoining Tredegar railway station, on the east of the Sirhowy stream.
The church of St. James, a Chapel of Ease for the George Town district, erected in 1890 and consecrated 6th Nov. 1890, by the Bishop of Llandaff, is a building of stone in the Early English style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, organ chamber, vestry, western porch and turret with 2 bells: the site was presented by the Tredegar Iron & Coal Co. Ltd: the cost of building was £3,000, defrayed by subscription: there are seats for 500. Rev. Harold Stepney Williams, curate. Services in English.
The following shows the number of Chapels in Tredegar:
Welsh Baptist, Bridge Street: 1,200 sittings: Rev. Peter Williams, minister
Welsh Baptist, Troedrhiwgwair: 140 sittings: ministers various.
English Baptist, Church Street: 400 sittings: Rev. Rees Jenkins, minister
English Baptist, George Town: 400 sittings: Rev. Thomas Jermyne, minister
Welsh Calvinistic Methodist, Charles Street: 260 sittings: ministers various
Welsh Calvinistic Methodist, Chapel Street: 600 sittings: ministers various
English Calvinistic Methodist, Park Place: 650 sittings: Rev. Owen Daniel Jones, minister
Welsh Congregational, Chapel Street: 800 sittings: ministers various
Welsh Congregational, High Street: 400 sittings: ministers various
Welsh Congregational, Queen Street: 400 sittings: Rev. William Jones, minister
Welsh Congregational, Troedrhiwgwair: 120 sittings: Rev. Richard Humphreys, minister
English Congregational, Castle Street: 900 sittings: Rev. Benjamin Shankland, minister
Primitive Methodist, Mount Street: 320 sittings: ministers various
Primitive Methodist, Vale Terrace: 300 sittings: ministers various
Primitive Methodist, Troedrhiwgwair: 120 sittings: ministers various
United Brethren, Picton Street: 300 sittings: Rev.Arthur Smith, minister
English Wesleyan, Vale Terrace: 300 sittings: ministers various
English Wesleyan, Chapel Street: 700 sittings: ministers various
Welsh Wesleyan, North Lane: 300 sittings: Rev. Rice Owen, minister
There is a Cemetery at Cefn-Golau Mountain, comprising an area of about 7 acres, with two mortuary chapels, Sexton: William Edwards; it is under the control of the Tredegar Iron & Coal Company Limited.
Bedwellty School Board, formed in 1871 & consisting of 11 members, meet at Board Room, Earl Street, Tredegar. every 2nd Thursday; Clerk: Charles Dauncey
Board School, George Town, built in 1876, for 1,000 children; average attendance, 179 boys, 187 girls & 182 infants; John Jones, master; Miss Annie Lewis, mistress; Mrs. E. Hiscott, infants' mistress.
Board School, Earl Street, built in 1876, for 1,500 children; average attendance, 291 boys, 302 girls & 301 infants; D.L. Davies, master; Mrs. E. Kovachich, mistress; Mrs. E. Davies, infants' mistress.
Board School, Sirhowy, built in 1877, for 528 children; average attendance, 101 boys, 122 girls & 107 infants; J. Green, master; Miss E. M. Drew, mistress; Miss Cleo Evans, infants' mistress.
Board School, Bedwellty Pits (mixed), for 90 children; average attendance, 61; Miss Elizabeth Price, mistress.
Board School, Troedrhiwgwair (mixed), built in 1878, for 203 children; average attendance, 120; Miss Mary Phillips, mistress.
Catholic School, Earl Street (mixed), built in 1876, for 460 children; average attendance, 260; Mrs Alice Farrelly, mistress.
Post, M.O. & T.O., S.B. & Annuity & Insurance Office:
Hours of Business:
For sale of postage stamps, post cards, wrappers, stamped & registered envelopes, postal orders, registration of letters & delivery to callers, week days, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m; Sundays, 7 to 10 a.m.
For money order, savings bank, insurance & annuity business, issue of inland revenue licences &c., week days, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For telegraph business, weeks days, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m; Sundays, 7 to 10 a.m.
Head Office, Tredegar - William Henry Richards, postmaster.
Town Receiving Offices:
Sirhowy, Alexander Place - Miss Elizabeth Georgina Bamford, receiver
Vale Terrace - Mrs. Mary Taylor, receiver
The F Company of the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers have head quarters at Victoria Drill Hall, Park Place.
Railway Stations (London & North Western Railway):
Tredegar - John Hutchings, station master
Sirhowy - H.A. Hodder, station master
Nantybwch - J. Kavanah, station master
The market day is Saturday: the market house adjoins The Circle. There are two banks: The London & Provincial Bank Limited and the National Bank of Wales Limited; and several hotels; there is also a Literary Institute and Library of 1,077 volumes at the Temperance Hall, supported by public subscriptions and managed by a committee of gentlemen connected with the town. The Temperance Hall, the only public building in Tredegar, stands in Morgan Street: it contains several spacious rooms, well adapted for public meetings and entertainments.
SIRHOWY is to the north of the town.
A Village in the civil parish of Bedwellty and ecclesiastical parish of Tredegar. Situated on the river Rumney and opposite the village of Tir-Phil (which is in the county of Glamorgan), with a station on the Rhymney line of railway, 3 miles south from Rymney, 4.1/2 south-west from Tredegar.
The Village is supplied with gas and water by the New Tredegar Gas & Water Co. Limited, both works being in the Glamorgan village of Tir-Phil, the same company supplying the two places.
Places of Worship:
Mission Church: Rev. Thomas Davies, curate
Welsh Baptist: Rev. Thomas Williams, minister
Welsh Congregational Methodist: Rev. Thomas John Philips, minister
Welsh Calvinistic Methodist: ministers various
Wesleyan: ministers various
Board School, (mixed & infants), built in 1867, for 312 children; average attendance, 163 boys & girls & 102 infants; John Henry Phillips, master; Mrs. Mary Ann Phillips, mistress.
Post, M.O. & T.O., S.B. & Annuity & Insurance Office: New Tredegar - John Horace Downs, receiver
Brecon & Merthyr railway - Edwin Brain, station master.
The Workmens' Hall, erected in 1878, at a cost of about £1,500, raised by public subscriptions and supported by the workmen of the place, contains a lecture hall, library and reading room; the hall will seat 700 persons.
Here are four collieries, which give employment to the inhabitants.
The sole owner is the Tredegar Iron Company. The area of Tredegar is 8.000 acres;
The population of the Local Board district:
in 1861: 9,383; in 1871: 16,989; and in 1881: 18,771, including inmates of the workhouse.
(extracts from Kelly's 1891 Directory of Monmouthshire, transcribed by J. Doe)
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