"YSTRADGYNLAIS, a parish in the hundred of Devynnock, county Brecon, 8 miles N. of Neath, and 14 from Swansea. It is situated near the head of the Swansea canal and the river Tawe, here joined by the little river Llech. It is divided into Upper and Lower, and contains the chapelry of Capel Coelbren and the hamlets of Cribarth, Ellen, Garth, Gurnos, Palleg, and Pentrose, with the "Lamb and Flag Inn" at the head of the Swansea canal.  ..." [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ¬©2003]



Anthony Williams & Partners. Ystradgynlais Community Hospital. Building (25 July 1986), p. 31-8

Davies, D Hubert. Hanes Ainon Eglwys y Bedyddwyr Ystradgynlais 1848-1948. 1948

Davies, Thomas J. Faces and places of the parish of Ystradgynlais : in photographs. [Ystradgynlais] : T.J. Davies, 1992. 136p

Egan, Tim. Herman yn Ystradgynlais.(Josef Herman). Barn 354 (1992), p. 28-9

Jones, D Mansel. Canmlwyddiant Ystradgynlais R.F.C. centenary [an illustrated history of Ystradgynlais R.F.C.]Ystradgynlais : Ystradgynlais Rugby Football Club, 1992. 221p Llawlyfr dathlu canmlwyddiant adeiladu'r eglwys : Sardis, Ystradgynlais. [Ystradgynlais] : [Eglwys Sardis], 1961. 26p

Miles, John. Ystradgynlais and Yniscedwyn colliery sidings. Welsh Railways Archive 2 (1997), p. 112-13

Morgan, Leonid. Ystradgynlais Parish, Powys: Names and Families 1513 - 1813 vol 2. 1996

Morgan, William S. Horses to barges : an account of early coal and iron industries in Ystalyfera and Ystradgynlais : c.1650-1860. [Glynneath] : [Del Morgan?], [2003]. 43p

Pearce, Tom. Hanes y Tabernacl, Ystradgynlais : Capel y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd 1891-1991. Ystradgynlais : Capel y Tabernacl, 1991. 36p

Salmon, Robert. The Powys philosophy. [Ystradgynlais Hospital]. Health Service Journal 96 (1986), p. 727

Taylor, Anna-Marie. A not so silent village : portrayals of Ystradgynlais. Planet 122 (1997), p. 80-4

White, Albert E S. Walking Around the Industry, Hills and Valleys of the Ystradgynlais - Abercrave Area. 1997 Ystradgynlais official guide. [Carshalton] : Home Publishing Co., 1972



Master Indexes to the 1871 Census entries for Ystradgynlais transcribed by the Ystradgynlais Family History Society. The transcriptions also include entries for the neighbouring parish of Llangiwg (Glamorgan).



There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History

Church of St Cynog, Ystradgynlais on the Brecknockshire Churches Survey site.


Church Records

Detailed information on deposited registers and transcripts for this parish is given under Breconshire Parish Registers on the Powys Archives website.

As a guide only, the principal extant parochial church records for this parish span the dates shown below (as detailed in Parish Registers of Wales, NLW 2000) but exact current holdings should be confirmed with the individual Archives:

  • Baptisms 1721-1969; Marriages 1721-1856, 1893-1971; Banns 1823-1913, 1940-78; Burials 1721-1990 Parish Registers, or copies, for all or part of these dates are held at Powys Archives, Glamorgan Archives and/or West Glamorgan Archives. Bishops Transcripts for various periods are held at the NLW

Aber-Craf/Abercrave parish was formed out of Ystradgynlais in 1925, extant records are:

  • Marriages 1912-89 (West Glamorgan Archives and/or Glamorgan Archives)

Coelbren, Y - an ancient chapelry of Ystradgynlais, extant records are:

  • Baptisms 1902-25; Marriages 1863-1990; Burials 1902-25 (West Glamorgan Archives and/or Glamorgan Archives.) See mother church records for earlier CMB.

Court Records

Petty Sessions were first held in the nineteenth century, a minor court presided over by two or more justices or magistrates. Records include minute books, court registers, adoption registers, licensing and ledger accounts. There is a 75 year closure period for adoption records and 30 years for the rest. Petty Sessions Records from 1910-1994 (reference: BPS/Y) have been deposited at Powys Archives


Description & Travel

Ystradgynlais Past by Alan Griffiths " ‚ÄčImages etc of old Ystradgynlais including Abercrave, Coelbren, Craig y nos, Cwmgiedd, Cwmtwrch, Glanrhyd, Gorof, Gurnos, Pen y cae, Penrhos, Penwyllt, Ynyscedwyn etc."

Victorian Powys for schools site - Ystradgynlais and the Upper Swansea Valley.

Ystradgynlais on BBC website.

Various landsapes - on the People's Collection Wales  site

You can see pictures of Ystradgynlais which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for Ystradgynlais from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.



Various items - on the People's Collection Wales  site

  • Ystradgynlais c1908 [street scene] 
  • Ystradgynlais Park c1914
  • Brecon Road, Ystradgynlais c1914
  • View of Ystradgynlais in 1909

Land & Property

Palleg  - Tribal Lands, Manor & Farm Estate. By James M Burton.   "This report and thesis attempts to determine the origins of Palleg Manor c.1215-1915 and its farms within the boundaries of Ystradgynlais parish. It also expands upon the history, tenants and land owners of the Palleg land area from prehistoric times to the present day. "

Conveyance (feoffment), 31 December 1489, (i) Isabella verch David ap Owen Lloid, to (ii) Thomas ap Traherne ap Thomas. Tenement at Enesgeddewyn; in Ystradgynlais. [Witnesses: Morgan ap Jankyn ap Griffith ap Owen, Llewelyn ap Morgan, David ap Howell Veyhan, David Thomas ap Howell Gethyn and others]. [Written in Latin]. - on the People's Collection Wales  site



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN820149 (Lat/Lon: 51.820091, -3.714066), Ystradgynlais which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Places, villages, farms etc. within Ystradgynlais parish as shown on the parish map on the CD of Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.) (Extracted by John Ball)

  • Ystradgynlais Higher [69] - Abercrave, Ash Grove House, Cefn-byrle, Coelbren, Coelbren Junction Station, Craig-y-nos Castle, Craig-y-nos Station, Dan-yr-ogof, Garw-leisiau, Glyn-Llech-uchaf, Henrhyd Waterfall, Pant-y-wal, Penwyllt, Pen-y-cae, Rhongyr-isaf, Rhongyr-uchaf, Tonyspyddaden.
  • Ystradgynlais Lower [70]- Abercrave, Bryn-y-graerion, Caer-bont, Caer-lan, Cwm Giedd, Dorwen, Garth, Glan-rhyd, Gurnos, Gwaun-ton, Gwys Station, Hendre-ladis, Lower Cwm-Twrch, Pant-y-cwrt, Pen-cae-moel, Pen-rhos, Pen-y-wern, Tir-y-cwm, Tre-Fleming, Tir-y-gof, Tre-deg, Upper Cwm-Twrch, Ynys, Ynys-Cedwyn, Ystradgynlais, Ystradgynlais Colliery.




Various items - on the People's Collection Wales  site

  • Giacamo Conti, [shop] Ystradgynlais,c1925-30 
  • Conti Bros - Ice Cream Distribution c 1925
  • Pencil sketch of the charging bank at Ynysgedwyn Iron Works, produced by Dylan Roberts, 1977
  • Finished ink-line drawing, the profile of the Ynysgedwyn incline, plus the accompanying preliminary pencil artwork. Fig 58, "The Brecon Forest Tramroads", S.R. Hughes, 1990
  • Workers at Anglo-Celtic Watch Co. (' Tick Tock'), Christmas 1954
  • Article & photo on Tick Tock Anglo Celtic in Bilington Post 5 January 1956.

Social Life & Customs

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales  site

  • Ystradgynlais Prize Band 1905 
  • The queue into Capitol Cinema, Ystradgynlais 1950s
  • Mrs. Price, filling a can from the water spout, Ystradgynlais, 1950s.
  • Smith's Industries Factory trip, possibly to Brecon.
  • Magazine: Smith's Industries social news.
  • 'Tick Tock' factory children's Christmas party.