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Local History

Blaenau Gwent is rich in local history. The Borough boasts ancient monuments, historical buildings and landscapes that reflect its unique archaeology and social history.

The Myth of Monmouthshire

Historically, the name "Gwent" applied to the district enclosed by the Usk, the Wye, the River Monnow and the sea - exactly the area currently administered by Monmouthshire County Council. This formed the ancient Welsh kingdom of Gwent. As there was a great forest, Coed Gwent (Wentwood), separating the low country and the upper regions, the kingdom was divided into two cantrefi or hundreds, Gwent Iscoed (“Gwent below the Wood”) and Gwent Uwchcoed (“Gwent above the Wood”). . .

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Justice Williams of Hafodafal

The Williamses of Hafodafal Farm

Hafodafal Farm is a Welsh long-house and barn dating to the 17th century standing on the mountain between Cwm and Cwm Beeg. The house is now almost entirely roofless and is largely in ruins.

Hafodafal (from Hafod-afael) means the summer holding or tenure and, in the late 18th century, there were "four delightful habitations and estates upon this delightful mountain; and among the rest, and beyond the rest, a house of Justice Williams, well built and delightful, and the air very wholesome about it". . .

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Eiddil Gwent's "History of Tredegar"

This is an abridged translation of Hanes Tredegar ("History of Tredegar") by David Morris (“Eiddil Gwent”) which won the main prize at the eisteddfod of the Tredegar Cymrodorion in 1862 and was published in 1868.

Tredegar

Tredegar is a very populous town of some 9,776 inhabitants. Its distance from London is 156 miles via Abergavenny; from Cardiff, 32 miles; from Abergavenny 12; from Newport 24 and from Merthyr 8 miles. Tredegar got its name from Tredegar Fawr, that is, the name of the mansion or seat of the old Morgans, who were descended from Cadifor the Great the son of Collwyn. . .

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History of Pont Gwaith yr Haearn

Eiddil Gwent's "History of Pont Gwaith yr Haearn"

This is an edited translation of Eiddil Gwent's essay Braslun o Hanes Pontgwaithyrhaiarn ("An Outline of the History of Pont Gwaith yr Haearn") which was published in 1868 as an appendix to the same author's Hanes Tredegar ("History of Tredegar") which had won the main prize at the eisteddfod of the Tredegar Cymrodorion in 1862.

In his memoirs published in the Welsh-language periodical Tarian y Gweithiwr ("The Worker's Shield") between August 1897 and September 1898 (and republished by the University of Wales Press in 1951 as Atgofion am Sirhywi a'r Cylch, pp.5-7), William Williams (Myfyr Wyn) gives a. . .

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Cholera in Tredegar

There were two major cholera epidemics in Tredegar, in 1832/3 and seventeen years later in 1849/50. A lesser outbreak is recorded in 1866.

Sometime during the outbreak, in 1832/33, a circular was issued proclaiming all graveyards "closed against those who died from cholera", this meant that an alternative burial ground had to be sought for the victims. The location was high on mountainside far from where people lived. . .

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3rd Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment in World War I

Prelude

The Monmouthshire Regiment had been formed in 1908 as the Territorial Army unit for the county and was made up of three Battalions drawn from different areas of the county. Abergavenny was the headquarters of the 3rd Battalion (“3rd Mons”) which included two companies from Abertillery, one each from Blaina, Sirhowy, Tredegar, Ebbw Vale and Cwm and one company from Abergavenny. . .

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