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Help and advice for Gwauncaegurwen in the Parish of Llangiwg

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Gwauncaegurwen in the Parish of Llangiwg

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"GWAUN-CAE-GURWEN is a hamlet, 4 miles north from Pontardawe. There is a Carmel Congregational chapel, founded in 1762, which has 850 sittings, and also the Hermon Congregational chapel [In Brynamman?], erected in 1909, which has 400 sittings, and a Calvinistic Methodist chapel, erected 1907, which has over 800 sittings. Post, M. O., T. & T. E. D. Office (letters should have Glamorgan added).-Jenkin Mark, sub-postmaster . County Police, John Shellum, sergeant, & 4 constables.  Public Elementary School, erected in 1867, & enlarged in 1894, for 297 boys & girls & 197 infants; John Hugh, master; Miss M. Williams, infants' mistress. Railway Station, Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Thomas Sandbrook, station master" [From  Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks]

"LOWER BRYNAMMAN is a hamlet 6 miles north from Pontardawe, and adjoins Brynamman. There are Baptist and Congregational chapels here. Post, M. O., T. & Telephone Call Office-Miss Sarah Louisa Price, sub-postmistress. Letters through Upper Brynamman, Carmarthenshire . County Police, Robert Jones, constable.  Public Elementary School (mixed), erected 1896 & enlarged in 1909, for 310 boys & girls & 150 infants; Griffith Morgan, master; Mrs. M. Jenkins, mistress." [From  Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks]

"TAIRGWAITH, is a hamlet 1 mile east of Gwaun-cae-Gurwen station and 5 miles north from Pontardawe. The church of St. David here was erected in 1913 and a Baptist chapel in 1918. The Federation hall is situated here. Post & Telephone Call Office.-Philip John Rees, subpostmaster. Letters through, Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Glamorgan, which is the nearest money order & telegraph office, 1 mile distant . Public Elementary School (mixed & infants), opened in 1907, for 16o boys & girls & a temporary building for 80 infants; David Morgan, master."  [From  Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks]

Caegurwen;  "A joint hamlet with Blaenegal, in the parish of Llanguicke, hundred of Llangyvelach, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 9 1/2 miles (N) from Neath. The population is returned with the parish. It is situated on the border of Carmarthenshire, where the country is extremely wild and rugged, and near the right bank of the river Twrch." From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.



References to Gwaun-cae-gurwen at



Hen Garmel Graveyard, Gwauncaegurwen - a transcription by Gareth Hicks of information on the headstones of part of Old Carmel graveyard, taken from a copy document deposited at West Glamorgan Archive Service. Now also included here


Church History

See the Cwmgors/Waun site for a database of local chapels and churches   Now included here

Huws, L C Rev. Annibynwyr Gwauncaegurwen, 1942 has been translated and indexed by Gareth Hicks and provides history on the Carmel Independent Chapel in Gwauncaegurwen, and Tabernacl Independent Chapel in Cwmgors



Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

Gwauncaegurwen, Chapel of ease to Llangiwg

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
Baptisms Marriages Burials Banns Bishops Transcripts
1936-1976 1892-1970 - - -
Non Conformist Registers Deposited at the Public Record Office, London
Chapel Baptisms Marriages Burials OS Map Ref
Hen Gapel, Congregational 1822-1837 - - SN 71011134

Description and Travel

Gwauncaegurwen - on Wikipedia

Railways at Gwaun-cae-gurwen   This article is by C L Mowat, it  appeared in the Railway Magazine dated December 1957. Now included here as well

Description of Caegurwen hamlet based on 1871 census  - plus changes by 1891. Now included here

The 1838 Gwaun-cae-Gurwen railway : an abandoned  feeder to the Swansea canal. By Paul R. Reynolds, Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 32:7 (1998), 500-505. Publisher: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISSN 00338834.  Full article,  Now included here as well

You can see pictures of Gwauncaegurwen in the Parish of Llangiwg which are provided by:



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

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Gwauncaegurwen in the Parish of Llangiwg to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.



Cwmgors and Gwaun-cae-gurwen.    A collection of links and genealogical material relating to the district surrounding these adjoining villages in the parish of Llangiwg

Central Midwives Board , Register of Cases 1906-1927  Midwife ; Margaret Davies, Coffee Tavern, 34 Gors Street, Cwmgors (some Gwaun-cae-gurwen) A listing of names/dates from the register --- compiled by Gareth Hicks

The DAVIES family of Cae-Isaf Farm, Gwaun Cae Gurwen   A photograph and story on the Welsh Family History Archive site

Memoirs of G.R. Williams. A very readable account of his early childhood in GCG by Gwilym Williams, as related to and published by his granddaughter, Ruth Hartnup'.
Here is the opening paragraph;

"Sometime in 1909, we moved from Cymmer to Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, this time drawing nearer to my mother’s ‘native heath’, and indeed this proved to be just one step towards, eventually, arriving at that ‘native heath’. The first to move to work in the Waun, in Maerdy Pit, were my grandfather and his son Tomos, leaving behind Mamgu and her family. They were in lodgings while their house, No. 3 Gron Road, was being built. At the same time No. 11, Gron Road, was being built in readiness for my parents’ move..........................................."


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Gwauncaegurwen in the Parish of Llangiwg has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Evans, Jonah. Hen Gymeriadau Cwmgors a'r Waun o'r flwyddyn 1840   [Old Characters of Cwmgors and Gwauncaegurwen from the year 1840], 1907. Index and translation by Jenni Hyatt

A history of Caegurwen.  Now also included here.  This is an overall summary of items that relate to the GCG/Cwmgors area from the book "The History of Pontardawe and District " by John Henry Davies. [see Around Pontardawe; The Second Selection; which has a feature on John Henry Davies, who was brought up in Cwmgors where his father William was a cobbler.].

A JOURNEY THROUGH THE WAUN OF MY CHILDHOOD  Article by John Phillips (March 2009). Now also included here

Articles by Tommy Vaughan, Gwauncaegurwen©


Land and Property

The Manor of Caegurwen, a description, from "The History of Pontardawe and District " by John Henry Davies. Now also included here

Farms, a selection of census entries and historical snippets,  Now also included here


Military History

Gwaun-cae-gurwen War Memorial. By Bernard Garland, 2001

Gwaun Cae Gurwen War Memorial  - on the People's Collection Wales site


Names, Geographical

  • Gwauncaegurwen - what's in a name ? - from the excellent place-name etymology site by Deric John
  • Sources;
  • Many believe that GWAUNCAEGURWEN contains the elements GWAUN and CAE plus the personal name CURWEN or GURWEN.
  • The earlier forms however suggest a different etymology of GWAUN plus CEGER and WEN (feminine and mutated form of GWYN).
  • CEGER is the Glamorgan form of CEGYR / CEGID meaning HEMLOCK. (see Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru)
  • The significance of ceger wen was lost and the name was rationalised to cae gurwen.
  • The village is also called Y Waun, while some refer to it as GCG. Perhaps
  • GCG should change to a more etymologically correct GCW - Gwaun Ceger Wen.
  • And this note from John Phillips (Dec 2008)

"Gwauncaegurwen, yn ol pob tebyg, yw gwaun-cegyrwen.  Math o flodyn gwyn yw cegyrwen (water hemlock) a oedd yn tyfu un amser ar y comyn.  Ceir yr un elfen yn yr enw Banwen = pan waun.  Ceir 'pan' yn y gair 'pannu' , y broses o lanhau gwlan, ac yn pandy ( fulling mill). Felly mwy na thebyg darn o dir a blodau gwyn oedd yma hefyd.  'Pan oeddwn yn blentyn rwy'n cofio Mr.William Thomas, a oedd yn byw yn Clifton, yn dangos blodyn bach gwyn ac yn dweud wrthyf mai hwn oedd wedi rhoi ei enw i'r pentref."



Extracts from newspapers - local items of interest



See under Coal Mining and Farms on the Cwmgors/Waun site

Steer Pit, East Pit & Maerdy Pit, Gwaun-cae-gurwen  on the Welsh Coal Mines site

Davies, Ifor. History of Coal Mining in the Amman Valley . Bi-lingual. Published by the author, 2001. A list of chapter headings and photographs by Gareth Hicks.

Evans, William John. Pit Memories [Up and Under].1989. Indexes by Gareth Hicks. Index of Photographs - Index of Chapter Headings

Reynolds, Paul R.  The 1838 Gwaun-cae-Gurwen railway : an abandoned  feeder to the Swansea canal.  Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 32:7 (1998), 500-505. Publisher: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISSN 00338834.  Full article with content regarding coalmining    Now included here as well

Pwllywrach Woollen factory, Gwauncaegurwen - 1869 to 1918   This history has been compiled by Gareth Morgan of GCG who is descended from the factory's proprietors.   Now included here



Gwauncaegurwen Schools   Now included here

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Gwauncaegurwen School Log Books           "Gwaun Cae Gurwen Primary School was established as a British School in 1867." 
    "Log books of Gwaun Cae Gurwen Primary School, 1867-1936."

Social life and Customs

CROSSIN Y WAUN A translation by Wyn Evans of an amusing 'local interest' poem by his uncle, Oli Devereaux.  Also now included here