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Description of Beaufort extracted from The History of Brecknockshire, by Theophilus Jones, 1909, Volume 3, page 202

[Transcribed by Brenda J. Jones, 2005]

THE HISTORY OF BRECKNOCKSHIRE

BEAUFORT TOWN

The iron works of Beaufort were started by Edward and Jonathan Kendal in 1779, the town at first being named after its founders "Kendal". These gentlemen had a ninety-nine years' lease, and in 1823 they had three furnaces at work, turning out 5243 tons of iron; a fourth furnace was, however, added in 1824, and the output was then increased to 7000, and nearly the whole of the iron passed over the Monmouthshire Canal. The Kendals were joined by Mr Latham, who had a one-sixteenth share. Mr. E. Kendal, jun., of Danypark, later succeeded his father, and Mr. Bevan succeeded Mr Latham. Jonathan Kendal married an aunt of Mr. W.H. West of Gliffaes, to whom the writer is indebted for much of this information.

The works at Beaufort were sold to Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph Bailey, and he and Mr. Bevan each married a Miss Latham. The neighbouring works of Nantyglo (Coal brook) had failed, and for some years had been idle, and these Mr. Bailey, with his brother Crawshay Bailey in partnership took over; and they continued the two concerns until the death of Sir Joseph Bailey in 1858. The works were then carried on by members of the Bailey family, and eventually they were sold to a limited company; but the iron works at Beaufort were subsequently stopped. The inhabitants now earn their living as mineral workers at Ebbw Vale, trains being run for their convenience by the Ebbw Vale Company. The Ebbw Vale Coal, Iron and Steel Works are partly in this parish and partly in Aberystruth.

After the passing of the Public Health Act, 1895, the town of Beaufort, which had hitherto been included in the parishes of Llangattock and Llangynidr, was by order dated May 1878 , made part of the Urban District of Ebbw Vale, of which the greater part of the inhabitants resided in Monmouthshire. Under the Local Government Act, 1888, therefore, Beaufort passed automatically into the Administrative County of Monmouth, though up to the period of writing it has still remained in the Parliamentary County of Brecon. Under the Act of 1894, Beaufort became a separate Civil Parish. The area is 737 acres, and rateable value of £3416. The population of the Ecclesiastical Parish in 1901 was 5865, of which 2270 were in Monmouthshire. Beaufort, which lies 9.5 miles south west of Crickhowell, is in the Hundred and Union of Crickhowell, and Diocese of Llandaff. There are several private residences in the town, and many excellent business establishments.

On September 1st, 1846, by the action of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, Beaufort was formed into a new Ecclesiastical district, and placed in the Llandaff Diocese. There are two consecrated churches, and two Mission Rooms, affording accommodation for 1000 worshippers. The old Parish Church of St. John was built at the charge of the late Mr. Crawshay Bailey in 1843, at a cost of £1560, but was not consecrated until 1873; the Register, however commences in 1843. The Church is poor in design and workmanship; it has a nave, north porch, and embattled tower with one bell. Minerals have been worked in close proximity, and it was condemned in 1890 as unfit for worship; occasional services are still held there. A wall has been built around the churchyard, where rest some 2000 of the parishioners. A new Church, dedicated to St. David, was built in 1891, from designs by J.E. Halliday, Esq., Diocesan Architect, and it is a neat structure of red Gilwern sandstone, with Ebbw Vale buff brick dressings. There is a nave, chancel, and turret, for on bell; the cost was £1243. The site was given by the Duke of Beaufort. The freestone pulpit was erected by the Rev. H. Bevan, in memory of his brother Dr. G. Bevan, once of Beaufort, and the fine organ was the gift of the Ven. Archdeacon W. Latham Bevan, M.A. The font and ewer were presented by Lord and Lady Glanusk, and the lectern by Miss Bevan. There is a memorial window to the late Rev. J.W. Morgan.

In 1893 a Mission Church (St. John) was erected in the district of Newtown, with accommodation for 450. The Mission Church of St. Andrew, situates on Beaufort Hill, was built in 1895, and will seat 150 people. A Parish Hall was erected in 1905.

The living is a Vicarage, worth £276 net, and a residence, and is in the Bishop of Llandaff's gift. The incumbents have been as follows: 1847-1851, W.H. James (1st Vicar); 1851-1886, J.W.Morgan; 1886-1889, Ll. M. Williams; 1889, David Jones Llewelyn.

The burial ground, occupying two acres, was given by the late Duke of Beaufort, K.G.

There are the following Nonconformist places of worship; Baptist at Beaufort Rise; Welsh Calvinistic Methodist at same place; and also a Welsh Wesleyan there; English Presbyterian, and English Wesleyan, both at Beaufort Hill; English and Welsh Congregational at Carmel Town; English Wesleyan at Wesley Place, and English Primitive Methodist at Primitive Place.

Since 1870, Board Schools have been built at Beaufort Hill and Rassau, with accommodation for 800 children.

Beaufort House was converted into a fever hospital in 1902. The district is bilingual, the language preference being English.


[Description from Theophilus Jones's 1909 The History of Brecknockshire Volume 3, page 202 - Contributed by the late Barrie Jones; transcribed by Brenda J. Jones, 2005]

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