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Help and advice for Dowlais in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil

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Dowlais in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil

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"DOWLAIS, a chapelry in Merthyr-Tydvil parish, Glamorgan; on the Merthyr-Tydvil and Abergavenny railway, 2¼ miles NE of Merthyr-Tydvil. It contains Heolwermood and Garth;  ...  Dowlais House belonged formerly to Sir John Guest, Bart.; and is now the residence of G. Clarke, Esq. A vast iron establishment is here, including seventeen furnaces, and huge rolling-mills and forges. Great improvement was made in the sanitary and social condition of the work people by Sir John Guest;  ... The chapelry was constituted in 1837. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Llandaff. Value, £150.* Patron, the Marquis of Bute." [From John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)  on Vision of Britain]

"DOWLAIS, 2 miles north-east, [of Merthyr Tydfil] was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1837, and has stations on the Great Western and London and North Western railways, and also a station at Dowlais Top, on the former railway. ...The Oddfellows Hall buildings, in Upper Union street, built in 1878, comprise a spacious hall, assembly room and ante-rooms, conveniently arranged and licensed for dramatic performances; the large hall will seat 800 persons, and is used as a cinema hall. Horse and cattle fairs are held at Tynywain, Dowlais Top, on May 13th, the first Monday after Trinity, September 2nd and September 24th. The population of the ecclesiastical parish in 1911 was 18,112." More under Directories below [From  Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks]

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Bibliography

References to the town of Dowlais at

Bessborough, Earl of. Lady Charlotte Guest. Extracts from her journal 1833-1852. London, John Murray, 1950. A fascinating insight into the life of a quiet remarkable woman with particular reference to that period of her life as the wife of Sir John Guest of the Dowlais Iron Works. Here are substantial extracts from her Diaries.

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Cemeteries

See below under Directories

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Church History

Also see below under Directories

Pant Cemetery, Dowlais - three photographs of church and cemetery by Brian Wagstaffe

Hanes Eglwys y Methodistiad Calfiniaidd yn Hermon, Dowlais by Cunllo Davies, published 1905. Here is a name index by Brian Wagstaffe

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Dowlais, St John's Church
  • Bethania Chapel, Dowlais
  • Beulah Chapel, Dowlais
  • Caersalem Chapel, Dowlais
  • Elim Chapel, Dowlais
  • Hebron Chapel, Dowlais
  • Ivor Chapel, Dowlais
  • Wesley Chapel, Dowlais
  • Ebenezer Chapel, Dowlais in 1983
  • Moriah Chapel, Dowlais in 1983
  • Penywern Welsh Independent Chapel, Dowlais
  • Libanus Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Dowlais
  • "Program for Cymanfa at Bethania Chapel, Dowlais, Wales in 1944.
  • Gwernllwyn Chapel, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil
  • Penywern Welsh Independent Chapel, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil taken in 1983
  • Calfaria Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Dowlais. Built 1879. Demolished 1979
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Church Records

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

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

The town of Dowlais contains two Anglican churches :-

Christ Church

The church is dedicated to Christ Church, is in the Benefice of Dowlais, and diocese of Llandaff. Details of the present incumbent of this benefice can be found at the Church in Wales website. The church can be located at grid reference SO063092.

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
Baptisms Marriages Burials Banns Bishops Transcripts
1839-1946 1838-1982 1839-1855, 1881-1920 1895-1907, 1910-1940 1839-1853, 1862-1863
(Held at the National Library of Wales)

The following Religious Institutions are covered in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) :-

  • Dowlais, Christchurch - Christenings (BT's), 1839-1863

All Saints

The church is dedicated to All Saints, is in the Benefice of Dowlais, and diocese of Llandaff. Details of the present incumbent of this benefice can be found at the Church in Wales website.

Anglican Parish Registers
Baptisms Marriages Burials Banns Bishops Transcripts
No Registers have been deposited yet

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

  • Dowlais Ecclesiastical Parish records  " ...... including registers for St. Lukes Mission Church Gellifaelog, St Michaels Mission church Pengarnddu, St Marys Welsh Church and Dowlais Welsh church of baptisms, 1839-1946; marriages, 1838-1982; burials, 1839-1920; banns, 1895-1967; services, 1914-1962; confirmations, 1921-1964; church organisations, 1894; civil and miscellaneous records, 1858-1901; parish history, 1977"
    "Dowlais is a modern parish within the rural deanery of Merthyr Tydfil in the diocese of Llandaff. It is situated approximately 2 miles north-east on the outskirts of Merthyr Tydfil town. It was formed in to an ecclesiastical parish from Merthyr Tydfil ancient parish in 1837. The parish church is dedicated to St. John and was restored in 1894. There was also a church dedicated to St. Michael, situated in the village of Penngarnddu and erected in 1894; a church in the village of Pant, erected 1895; a Welsh church erected in 1871 by the Dowlais Iron Co.; and St. Luke's Mission Church in Gellifealog village, erected in 1903."
Non Conformist Registers Deposited
Chapel Baptisms Marriages Burials OS Map Ref Deposited/
Copies
Caersalem, Baptist 1828-1878 - 1828-1878 SO 06740774 NLW
Hermon, Calvinistic Methodist 1821(28?)
-1837
- - SO 06400761 PRO/
WGAS
Hermon, Calvinistic Methodist - 1900-1943 - SO 06400761 NLW
Bethania/Bethany, Congregational 1825-1837 - - SO 06560770 PRO/
WGAS
Bryn Seion, Congregational &
Bethel, Congregational
1829-1837 - - SO 06460775 PRO/
WGAS
English, Wesleyan 1857-1887, 1912-1929 1953-1962 - SO 06420761 GRO
Shiloh, Wesleyan 1837-1906 - - SO 06450758 NLW
Shiloh, Wesleyan 1906-1912 - - SO 06450758 WGAS

GRO - Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
NLW - National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
WGAS - West Glamorgan Archive Service
PRO - Public Record Office, London

The following Religious Institutions are covered in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) :-

  • Dowlais, Christchurch - Christenings (BT's), 1839-1863
  • Dowlais, Bethany Independent - Christenings, 1825-1837
  • Dowlais, Bryn Sion formerly Bethel Independent - Christenings, 1829-1837
  • Dowlais, Hermon Calvinistic Methodist - Christenings, 1828-1837
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Description and Travel

Dowlais on Alan George's site

Pantywaun on Alan George's site

ICI works on Alan George's site

Dowlais Railway - on the railscot site

Conservation Areas in Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmfelin, Cyfarthfa Park, Dowlais, Morgantown, Thomastown, Treharris

You can see pictures of Dowlais in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil which are provided by:

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Directories

From Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks

  • DOWLAIS, 2 miles north-east, [of Merthyr Tydfil] was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1837, and has stations on the Great Western and London and North Western railways, and also a station at Dowlais Top, on the former railway. The church of St. John, founded by the late Sir John Guest, was restored and enlarged in 1894 at a cost of £4500, under the direction of Mr. E. A. Johnson, architect, of Abergavenny, and is now a fine structure of Llancaiach blue pennant stone in the Gothic style, ... the new aisle was the gift of E. P. Martin esq. in memory of his father, for 25 years churchwarden; the expense of rebuilding the nave was borne by the first Baron Wimborne (d. 1914). There are several memorial windows and tablets to the Guest, Menelaus, Richards and Martin families; the pulpit was the gift of Mr. D. James: a new organ was provided in 1905 at a cost of £500: there are 800 sittings. The register dates from the year 1839. The living is a rectory, gross yearly value £350, in the gift of the Bishop of Landaff and the Board of Patronage, .... St. Michael's church, PENGARNDDU, erected in 1894, ... there are 200 sittings, and attached is a library and institute for working men. The church, at Pant, also erected in 1895,  ...  the chancel and memorial windows were erected at the sole cost of the sons and daughters of the late W. Jenkins esq. of Consett Hall, Durham; the site was the gift of Edward Davies esq. of Bassaleg, and the Dowlais Iron Co.: there are sittings for 350 persons. The Welsh church, erected in 1871 by the Dowlais Iron Company,  ... will seat I,000 persons. St. Luke's Mission church, Gellyfaelog, is an iron building, erected in 1903, and has sittings for 500 persons. The Catholic church, dedicated to St. Illtyd, and founded in 1846, by the Rev. James Carroll, was rebuilt in 1893 at a cost of £3,590, on the same site, ... it stands 27 feet in height, and cost over £300; the new church, .... was enlarged in 1921 at a cost of £8000: it now has sittings for 800 persons. The Presbyterian church is a stone building and affords 800 sittings. The cemetery, at Pant, opened in 1860, consists of about 21 acres, and is under the control of the Merthyr Tydfil Corporation. The Oddfellows Hall buildings, in Upper Union street, built in 1878, comprise a spacious hall, assembly room and ante-rooms, conveniently arranged and licensed for dramatic performances; the large hall will seat 800 persons, and is used as a cinema hall. Horse and cattle fairs are held at Tynywain, Dowlais Top, on May 13th, the first Monday after Trinity, September 2nd and September 24th. The population of the ecclesiastical parish in 1911 was 18,112.
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Gazetteers

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

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Dowlais in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.

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Historical Geography

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

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History

War Memorial, Pant (Dowlais) - on the Roll of Honour site

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Merthyr Tydfil, Guest Memorial Hall, Dowlais
  • Dowlais marketplace around 1875. It shows that the marketplace was also the place where the pit ponies were stabled.
  • The legal agreement between Henry Bessemer and the Dowlais Ironworks company, which led to them being amongst the first to use the Bessemer process
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Land and Property

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

  • Caeracca Building Club, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil records 1902-1921 "The object of the club was to erect buildings at Caeracca Farm, Dowlais, and the Trustees of the club were to hold this land plus any buildings erected upon it in trust for the club. Each member of the club was entitled to one house for each share held by him or her, and paid regular subscriptions to the Building Club. Once the houses were certified by Merthyr Tydfil Urban District Council as fit for occupation, each member of the club would take on responsibility for finding a tenant, dealing with rents, and paid any additional outgoings for the house and an increased subscription to the Trustees of the Club. The club was to be wound up once all monies expended have been paid by the trustees out of members subscriptions. It is not clear whether the membership book that forms part of this collection covers the entire period of the Club's operation (1902-1909)."
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Medical Records

This is part of correspondence on medical statistics in the area of ​​Merthyr and Dowlais works were included in 1860. This picture shows one of two that detail the necessary medical attention. - on the People's Collection Wales site

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Occupations

Dowlais - Hotels, Taverns, Inns and Public Houses 1800 - 1978. Contributed by Barrie Jones with additions by 'Josephine', 2001.

Various - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Dowlais Ironworks officials
  • This picture illustrates what Dowlais Ironworks looked like in the 1840s.
  • Limestone quarrymen for Dowlais Ironworks 1902
  • This picture shows the 'cwb' which was used by workers at the Dowlais works around 1875.
  • This shows a group of girls who worked in Dowlais Ironworks around the 1860 to 1966 period.
  • The hand-drawn map showing the shops as they were in the Dowlais Iron Works in January 1886
  • Dowlais Ironworks pig iron beds as they were in approximately 1890.
  • Blast furnaces 9 and 10 at Dowlais Ironworks, as they were in 1894.
  • A large group of workers at Dowlais Ironworks in the nineteenth century.
  • Cropping shears that were used with number 6 forge in the 1870s at Dowlais Ironworks.
  • This picture shows the Bessemer charging and blowing pit that was used in Dowlais Ironworks around the 1870s.
  • This slide shows the profits for Dowlais Ironworks between 1870 and 1894. It illustrates just how big a business it was in that period.
  • A typical group of Dowlais works workers in the 1890s. Note the lack of standard clothing, or any real form of protective geatatistics for Dowlais Ironworks in 1897 - giving details on the various blast furnaces, blast engines, cogging mills, etc
  • A line drawing of the Dowlais Ironworks blowing engine house, showing great detail, and including techincal details of the weights, diameter etc of the components.
  • An item listing a typical collier's weekly food requirements, and tgheir cost, for a collier who was working for Dowlais Ironworks in the nineteenth century.
  • The Goat Mill Steel Arch, Dowlais Works, 1912
  • This line drawing shows how closely intertwined Dowlais steelworks, and the town where the workers lived
  • This is a daguerreotype image of a tip girl, dated around 1860

 

Dowlais Ironworks - on Wikipedia

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

  • Dowlais Iron Company collection 1792-1955"The Dowlais Iron Company was founded in 1759 when an agreement of co-operation was signed by 9 parties, to build a furnace for the production of iron. In its first year the primitive furnace produced 500 tons of iron. In 1763, another 22 acres of land was leased from Lady Windsor, which enabled the company to build more furnaces, mills, forges and housing for the growing workforce. In 1767 John Guest of Broseley, Shropshire, was appointed manager, and in 1782 he became a partner. By 1851, the Guest family had managed to buy out all the remaining partners until the company was brought under the sole ownership of Josiah John Guest. Under the management of the Guest family the company rapidly expanded in the wake of the railway boom of the 1820s and the 1830s. By 1842 over 5,000 people were employed by the company in 17 blast furnaces. ........................................................"
  • ICI Chemicals and Polymers Ltd. Dowlais Ammonia Factory records 1942-1958
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Politics and Government

Dowlais Independent Labour Party
1901-04: minutes
[University of Swansea Library - Reference: p295]

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Schools

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Dowlais Central schools 1900
  • Letter from a teacher at Dowlais school in 1820
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Social life and Customs

Interesting Jewish Wedding, Oct 26 1895, Dowlais - from the Merthyr Express

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Dowlais Cottage Hospital 1880
  • Dowlais United Choir at a concert in the Queen's Hall, London, 1936
  • The Victoria Cinema, High Street, Dowlais, with manager Mr. W. H. Baker.
  • Bethania Welsh Independent Chapel, Dowlais. Concert Programme for Dowlais United Choir, 1944
  • A team photograph of Dowlais Cricket Club, taken in 1920 after they had won the Glamorgan League
  • Bethania Welsh Independent Chapel, Dowlais  A.F.C 1920-21
  • This is a short article talking about a tea party hosted in October 1849 by Lady Charlotte Guest and Mrs. Crawshay.