Garnant is a Welsh mining village in the valley of the River Amman in Carmarthenshire, north of Swansea. Like the neighbouring village of Glanamman it experienced a coal-mining boom in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the last big colliery closed in 1936 and coal has been extracted fitfully since then; the village has the only Commissioners' church built in southwest Wales, traditionally a Methodist region. The location of Garnant and Glanamman was known as Cwmamman. Mining appears to have started at Brynlloi in Glanamman in 1757 and small coal workings proliferated in the first half of the 19th century; the lease to "Garnant Colliery" was offered in an advert of 1830, at the border of Garnant and Gwaun-cae-gurwen near the main road. The arrival of the Llanelly Railway in 1840 meant that coal could be exported on an industrial scale through Llanelli docks; the railway's decision to build two stations at Garnant and Glanamman encouraged the two halves of Cwmamman to develop their own identity, as did the construction of Christchurch in Garnant at about the same time.
Taking its name from the emblem of the Dynevor family, the "Raven" colliery in Garnant was operating by 1854 and opened a new shaft in 1907. By World War I it was employing 450 men. However, the mines were dependent on the railway for transporting the coal, when in the early 1920s there was a rail strike this caused mass unemployment, as is recorded by Arthur Bullock, recruited to work at the Labour Exchange; the Raven colliery closed in 1936 after an industrial dispute. The site is now the Raven Industrial Park. Coal mining has continued sporadically since most notably at an open-cast mine which extracted 2,000 tons per week between 1988 and 1992; the site is now the Garnant Park golf club. Cwmamman, the old name for the location of Glanamman and Garnant, was revived for the modern urban council covering the two villages which now have much smaller populations than in their heyday at the turn of the 20th century. Garnant is in the unitary authority of Carmarthenshire. Rhodri Glyn Thomas of Plaid Cymru represents the village at the Welsh Assembly in the constituency of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.
He had a majority of 8,000 votes over Labour's Kevin Madge in the Welsh Assembly Elections 2007. The village is about 12 miles north of Swansea on the edge of the Black Mountain, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, it lies at the junction of three rivers, where the Rivers Pedol meet the River Amman. Garnant lies in the western part of the South Wales Coalfield, where the coal is high-quality anthracite; the effect of the mining boom can be seen in the expansion of Cwmamman parish from just over 3,000 in 1851 to over 11,000 in the early 20th century. The population of Garnant ward was 1,965 people at the 2001 census, increasing to 2,139 at the 2011 census. Glanamman is a similar size. Traditionally the economy was based on coal-mining with some dairy farming, but the mines have closed and farms have moved from milk production to beef-farming. Other industries sprang up in the valley during the 19th century, including the Amman Tinplate Works between 1883 and 1932, turned into Parc Golwg Yr Aman.
Since 1988 Cwmamman has been twinned in Brittany. The community is a stronghold of the Welsh language, with 58.5% of people speaking it in the 2011 census. The valley has been shaped by coal workings and their waste. Christchurch and the chapels are the main landmarks, along with the new school. A turnpike road was constructed along the valley in 1817; the Llanelly Railway and Dock Company built the Llanelly Railway to Garnant in 1840. It was taken over by the GWR on amalgamation in 1923, closed to passenger services by British Railways on 18 August 1958. Freight traffic continued until the closure of the Abernant Colliery in 1988; the Amman Valley Railway Society are seeking to restore the Abernant branch line as part of the Swansea 9 Lines project. Three local schools, Ysgol y Twyn, Ysgol Gynradd y Garnant and Ysgol Gynradd Glanaman, were merged to form Ysgol y Bedol at the confluence of the three rivers in Twyn; this primary school for ages 3-11 was opened in 2005. Ysgol y Bedol is Welsh medium school.
The nearest secondary school is Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford. The Welsh valleys were a stronghold of Nonconformism. Old Bethel Chapel known as The Old Meeting House, was built in 1773 high on the north side of the valley between Glanamman and Garnant. Pevsner describes the pulpit on a wine-glass stem as an "exceptional rarity". In 1875 it was superseded by the New Bethel Chapel on the main road at the west end of village. Christchurch, the only Commissioners' church in southwest Wales was built above the river junction in 1839-42; the interior was refitted in 1888 and it is surrounded by a large graveyard. Ammanford, a few miles down the valley, was a centre of the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival which saw thousands of new converts; the revival affected Garnant and it was said that young men abandoned gambling and burnt their playing cards. Garnant Park was part of Lord Dynevor's Glanrafon Farm estate, it is home to Amman United RFC, founded in 1903 and is a feeder club for the Scarlets regional team.
Players who have gone on to rugby at international level include Claude Davey, Tom Day and Trevor Evans of the British Lions. It is across the river from the old Amman Tinplate Work
Carmarthen is the county town of Carmarthenshire in Wales and a community. It lies on the River Towy 8 miles north of its estuary in Carmarthen Bay. Carmarthen has a claim to be the oldest town in Wales – Old Carmarthen and New Carmarthen became one borough in 1546. Carmarthen was the most populous borough in Wales in the 16th–18th centuries, described by William Camden as "the chief citie of the country". Growth was stagnating by the mid-19th century, as new economic centres developed in the South Wales coalfield; the population in 2011 was 14,185, down from 15,854 in 2001. Dyfed–Powys Police headquarters, Glangwili General Hospital and a campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are located in Carmarthen; when Britannia was a Roman province, Carmarthen was the civitas capital of the Demetae tribe, known as Moridunum. It is the oldest town in Wales, recorded by Ptolemy and in the Antonine Itinerary; the Roman fort is believed to date from about AD 75. A Roman coin hoard was found nearby in 2006.
Near the fort is one of seven surviving Roman amphitheatres in Britain and only two in Roman Wales. It was excavated in 1968; the arena itself is 50 by 30 yards. Veprauskas has argued for its identification as the Cair Guorthigirn listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britains. Evidence of the early Roman town has been investigated for a number of years, uncovering urban sites to date from the second century. During the Middle Ages, the settlement was known as Llanteulyddog and accounted one of the seven principal sees in Dyfed; the strategic importance of Carmarthen was such that the Norman William fitz Baldwin built a castle there about 1094. The current castle site is known to have been used since 1105; the castle itself was destroyed by Llywelyn the Great in 1215 but rebuilt in 1223, when permission was granted to build a town wall and crenellate the town, making it one of the first medieval walled towns in Wales. In 1405, the town was captured and the castle was sacked by Owain Glyndŵr.
The Black Book of Carmarthen, written about 1250, is associated with the town's Priory of SS John the Evangelist and Teulyddog. The Black Death of 1347–49 arrived in Carmarthen through the thriving river trade, it devastated villages such as Llanllwch. Local historians site the plague pit for the mass burial of the dead in the graveyard that adjoins the Maes-yr-Ysgol and Llys Model housing at the rear of St Catherine Street; the ancient Clas church of Llandeulyddog was an independent, pre-Norman religious community which became in 1110 the Benedictine Priory of St Peter, only to be replaced 15 years by the Augustianian Priory of St John the Evangelist and St Teulyddog. This stood at what is now Priory Street; the site is now a scheduled monument. During the 13th century, Franciscan Friars became established in the town, by 1284 had their own Friary buildings on Lammas Street, on a site now occupied by a shopping centre; the Franciscan emphasis on poverty and simplicity meant the Church was smaller and more austere than the older foundations, but this did not prevent the accumulation of treasures, it became a much sought after location for burial.
In 1456 Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond died of plague in Carmarthen, three months before the birth of his son, the future King Henry VII. Edmund was buried in a prominent tomb in the centre of the choir of the Grey Friars Church. Other notable burials were of Rhys ap Tudur Aled; the Friary was dissolved in 1538, many unsuccessful plans were made for the building. Before the friars had left, in 1536, William Barlow campaigned to have the cathedral moved into it, from St David's, where the tomb and remains of Edmund Tudor were moved after the Carmarthen buildings were deconsecrated. There were repeated abortive attempts to turn the buildings into a grammar school, they became ruined, although the church walls were still recognisable in the mid-18th century. By 1900 all the stonework had been stripped away and there were no traces above ground; the site remained undeveloped until the 1980s and 1990s, after extensive archaeological excavations of first the monastic buildings and the nave and chancel of the church.
These confirmed that the former presence of a church, a chapter house and a large cloister, with a smaller cloister and infirmary added subsequently. Over 200 graves were found in 60 around the friars' choir. According to some variants of the Arthurian legend, Merlin was born in a cave outside Carmarthen; the town's Welsh name, Caerfyrddin, is claimed to mean "Merlin's fort", but it is suggested the reality may be the other way around, that the name Merlin may have originated from the town's name in the anglicised form of Myrddin.. An alternative explanation is. Furthermore, many areas surrounding Carmarthen still allude to this, such as nearby Bryn Myrddin. Legend had it that if a particular tree called Merlin's Oak fell, it would be the downfall of the town. Translated from Welsh, it reads: "When Merlin's Oak comes tumbling down, down shall fall Carmarthen Town." To obstruct this, the tree was dug up when pieces of it remain in the town museum. The Black Book
Felinfoel is a small village and electoral ward on the River Lliedi on the northern border of Llanelli, West Wales, with a population of about 2,000. The Felinfoel Brewery, home of Double Dragon Ale, is the oldest in Wales, it was the first brewery outside the US to sell beer in cans. The village is renowned for its close community and ties with many famous names that have starred in past Llanelli RFC line-ups; the rugby union fly-half Phil Bennett, who played for Llanelli and the British Lions, is one of Felinfoel's most famous residents. Felinfoel is part of the Llanelli Rural community, it is considered a suburb of the town of Llanelli. Felinfoel has a butcher's, a bakery, a fish and chip shop, locally produced real ale from the historic Felinfoel Brewery and shop, a Co-op supermarket and a computer shop within the village, it is a small village with Nonconformist chapel. The Diplomat Hotel and Edens Health Spa and Gym health spa fall within the village's borders. To the north of the village and on the River Lliedi is a picturesque double reservoir which gives the Swiss Valley area its name.
Felinfoel's main Baptist chapel, plays a significant role in the history of that Nonconformist sect, as it is on the site of Ty Newydd, said by some to be the oldest Baptist settlement in Wales. The outlawed creed held its meetings in secret in Ogof Goetre Wen on the Morlais River some four miles away. Adulam's baptismal pool on the River Lleidi was in use for total immersions until the 1970s; the congregation would sit on the railway sleeper benches, on the bridge over the river, sing as the person was raised from the water. An electoral ward of the same name exists, sending councillors to Llanelli Rural Council and Carmarthenshire County Council; the population of this ward falls within the Llanelli Rural community. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 2,054. Felinfoel has good links with the M4 motorway which leads to Swansea and Cardiff to the east and Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire in the west; the village is linked by regular local bus services to Llanelli railway station.
Llanelli History Adulam Chapel Felinfoel Brewery Llanelli Community Heritage Felinfoel Brewery and the first British beer cans www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Felinfoel and surrounding area
Pen-y-groes is a village in Carmarthenshire, South Wales which developed as a settlement as a result of the anthracite coal trade. The main colliery was the Emlyn colliery, which opened in 1893 and closed in 1939; the village has a primary school. It has a Rugby Union club, affiliated to the Welsh Rugby Union, a cricket team which plays in the Carmarthenshire League; the village was well known as the headquarters of the Apostolic Church. The denomination hosted their International Convention in the village every year from 1916-2002; the church moved its main office to Swansea in 2002 but they still have their Bible college and substantial land in the locality
Llangunnor is a village and community located in Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is the southern suburb of Carmarthen town and consists of typical suburban housing which has expanded in recent years, it has two chapels, a church and a Primary School. It is made up of the villages and hamlets of Nantycaws, Pensarn and Pibwrlwyd; the parish church of Saint Ceinwr is the resting place of David Charles the famous Welsh hymn-writer. The oldest part of the present church building dates from the 14th century, But the site has been a holy place since the earliest years of Celtic Christianity; the church is a Grade II listed building. The vicars of St Ceinwr's can be traced back to at least 1661 and are recorded on the Incumbent board inside the church. A stone tablet inside the church commemorates the well-known essayist and politician Sir Richard Steele; the organ was a gift from the Francis family, installed in 1951, stood in the mansion at Deri Ormond, Betws Bledrws, Ceredigion. The parish has two nonconformist chapels - Babell, Methodist and Philadelphia, Independent.
Notable graves include those of hymn-writer David Charles and Sir Ewen Maclean. Llangunnor boasts a dual stream mixed County Primary School for day pupils aged 3 to 11 years; the present school buildings were opened in 1961 and accommodate the Junior Department, Welsh Nursery and English Infants. The Nursery and Welsh Infant Departments are accommodated in a section built in 1980; the school is sited in semi-rural surroundings south of the town of Carmarthen, close to the River Tywi. Llangunnor Community Council is represented by thirteen elected members; the Council meets on the third Thursday of every month at'Yr Aelwyd' and meeting are open to the general public. The community is bordered by the communities of: Abergwili. In recent years major developments in the area have affected Pensarn, a former residential area which saw many houses demolished in the early 1980s, to make way for the Southern bypass; the Belle Vue Hotel and the Square and Compass public house were demolished. The area was affected with the building of the Eastern bypass.
The area has attracted major national retailers which have helped to establish Pensarn as a major out of town shopping district for the local populace in Carmarthen and the surrounding area. In September 2014 Domino's Pizza and Dunelm Mill opened stores in the area. Jones, Major Francis. Llangunnor, A Contribution. Treharne, Cyril L; the History of Llangunnor Church, Llangunnor, ISBN 1871600022 Llangunnor Network The definitive website regarding the history of Llangunnor along with preserving the history of Llangunnor extensive work is done with promoting Llangunnor Llangunnor Community Council Website Llangunnor Primary School Website True Life in the Parish of Llangunnor
Betws is a small village and community on the River Amman, some 15 miles north of Swansea, Wales. The nearby mountain, at the western end of the Black Mountain, is named after the village, has a large area of common land; the name'Betws' is thought to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon'bed-hus' - a house of prayer, or oratory, means "chapel" in the Welsh language. Until the 19th century, when Ammanford developed extensively, Betws was the largest village in the area; until the 13th century, Betws was part of Gower, now known as the county of Swansea but the old commote border of the rivers Amman and Loughor moved south and Betws has since the Acts of Union been part of Welsh-speaking Carmarthenshire. Until 1817, when a road was built along the Amman valley, Betws was only accessible by roads crossing the mountain from Neath and Swansea; this inaccessibility is commemorated in a local saying, which refers to the division between Betws a'r Byd. There was a sign on the Amman bridge to this effect: the rest of the world that way.
The people of Betws like to make the distinction between themselves and those over the river in Ammanford. The road bridge between Betws and Ammanford on Park Street was completed in 1892 and rebuilt in 1990 by T Richard Jones Ltd. T. Richard Jones Ltd. is a major building contractor based in the village but now located on the Ammanford side of the river. The land for Betws Park was given to Ammanford district Council by Lord Dynevor in 1903, but the council used it as a rubbish dump until the early 1930s. After this, it was properly developed by local volunteers as a park with tennis courts. On 23 June 2007, Sensory Garden' was opened in the park. Betws Park Workshops are a collection of industrial units rented by various businesses; the workshops were opened in 1991, having been a screw manufacturing factory and a lightbulb factory. The parish church in the village is dedicated to St David, it dates to the 14th century but was renovated in 1872. Betws Primary School was built before 1846, extended in 1928 and refurbished in 1988.
The Caemawr housing estate was built in 1947, the Bwtrimawr estate in 1976. Ammanford No. 1 and No. 2 Collieries were at the north end of Betws. The Tycoch nightclub now occupies some Ammanford No. 1 buildings. Betws drift coal mine opened in 1976 and closed in 2003 and the land is being redeveloped as housing and industrial units, including LBS Builders Merchants. There are plans to build a wind farm on Betws Common.75.1% of residents of Betws and Pontamman said they had'knowledge of Welsh language' compared to 63.6% in Carmarthenshire and 28.4% in Wales. As of May 1, 2008, the Betws ward electorate was 1,450 and the County Councillor is Audrey Jones, replacing John Dorian Evans; the community is bordered by the communities of: Llanedi. Betws Rugby Club fields two rugby union teams: The first team finished 1st in WRU League Five South West in 2007-8 season and the second team finished bottom of Llanelli District Division 1. Ammanford football club have a ground at Rice Street, being reconstructed.
Balladeer, Donald Peers, was brought up in Heol-y-felin. Jim Griffiths, first Secretary of State for Wales and MP for Llanelli lived at the corner of Pentwyn Road and Park Street, where his father William was the village blacksmith, his elder brother David Rees Griffiths found fame as the poet Amanwy. Ivor Richard, Baron Richard attended Betws Primary School. Henry Grindell "Death Ray" Matthews had a laboratory on Betws mountain from 1934 until his death in 1941. Terry Magee, charity volunteer and former boxer. A wide variety of birds can be seen around Betws: Red kites, buzzards and sparrowhawks on the mountain. Betws, Carmarthenshire Historical data Parish website Betws Mas o'r Byd Carol Murphy & Chris Dixon, eds. Index only online. Website about Ammanford with much about Betws Betws community website Forlorn Britain - Exploring the remains of Betws Colliery www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Betws and surrounding area
Glanamman is a Welsh mining village in the valley of the River Amman in Carmarthenshire. Glanamman has long been a stronghold of the Welsh language. Like the neighbouring village of Garnant it experienced a coal-mining boom in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the last big colliery closed in 1947 and coal has been extracted fitfully since then; the location of Garnant and Glanamman was known as Cwmamman. Mining appears to have started at Brynlloi in 1757 and small coal workings proliferated in the first half of the 19th century; the arrival of the railway in 1840 meant that coal could be exported on an industrial scale through Llanelli docks, the construction of two stations at Glanamman and Garnant promoted a distinction between the two communities. Taking its name from the emblem of the Dynevor family, the "Raven" colliery in Garnant was operating by 1854. In 1891, the Gelliceidrim Collieries Company opened what became the largest of the coal mines at Glanamman, employing 632 men in 1932.
"The Gelly" was nationalised in 1947 and closed in 1957. Since the area has seen some small private mines come and go, such as a drift mine on Grenig Road in the 1970s. Cwmamman, the old name for the location of Glanamman and Garnant, was revived for the modern urban council covering the two villages which now have much smaller populations than in their heyday at the turn of the 20th century. Glanamman is in the unitary authority of Carmarthenshire. Rhodri Glyn Thomas of Plaid Cymru represents the village at the Welsh Assembly in the constituency of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, he had a majority of 8,000 votes over Labour's Kevin Madge in the Welsh Assembly Elections 2007. The village is about 13 miles north of Swansea on the edge of the Black Mountain, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park; the River Amman flows through the village. Glanamman lies in the western part of the South Wales Coalfield, where the coal is high-quality anthracite; the effect of the mining boom can be seen in the expansion of Cwmamman parish from just over 3,000 in 1851 to over 11,000 in the early 20th century.
The population had declined to 2,261 people at the 2001 census, increasing to 2,347 at the 2011 Census. Garnant is a similar size. Traditionally the economy was based on coal-mining with some dairy farming, but the mines have closed and farms such as Gelli Fanwen have moved from milk production to beef-farming; the Raven Tinplate Works were built on the site of the Cwmamman Brickworks in 1881. They operated until the early 1930s and were demolished after World War II. Since 1988 Cwmamman has been twinned in Brittany; the village is a stronghold of the Welsh language, with 81% of the population able to speak it. The first chain driven Bicycle in Wales and one of the first in the World was manufactured by the Defiance Cycle Company Glanamman and ridden to Swansea in 1885; this is commemorated on Easter Monday by retracing the same ride to Swansea. The valley has been shaped by coal workings and their waste. Brynseion Chapel's location at the corner of the High Street and the main road marks the centre of the village, but both it and Saint Margaret's Church are now closed.
A turnpike road was constructed along the valley in 1817. The Llanelly Railway and Dock Company built the Llanelly Railway to Garnant in 1840, it was taken over by the GWR on amalgamation in 1923, closed to passenger services by British Railways on 18 August 1958. Freight traffic continued until the closure of the Abernant Colliery in 1988; the Amman Valley Railway Society are seeking to restore the Abernant branch line as part of the Swansea 9 Lines project. Glanamman used to have a primary school which opened in 1884 and closed in 2005. Glanamman was a category A. Three local schools, Ysgol y Twyn, Ysgol Gynradd y Garnant and Ysgol Gynradd Glanaman, were merged to form Ysgol y Bedol on the north bank of the three rivers in Garnant; this primary school for ages 3-11 was opened in 2005. Ysgol y Bedol is a Welsh medium school; the nearest secondary school is Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford. The Welsh valleys have long been hotbeds of Nonconformism and Glanamman was no exception. Old Bethel Chapel known as The Old Meeting House, was built in 1773 high on the north side of the valley between Glanamman and Garnant.
The Tabernacle Calvinistic Methodist Chapel and the Bethesda Baptist Chapel followed in 1840 and 1882 respectively. The prosperity at the turn of the 20th century can be seen in the ornate facade of the Bethania Calvinistic Methodist Chapel on Brynlloi Road and in the large Gothic-tinged Brynseion Independent Chapel nearby. Ammanford, a few miles down the valley, was a centre of the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival which saw thousands of new converts. Anglicans worshipped at Christchurch in nearby Garnant during the 19th century but as with the Methodists they were prompted by the Revival to found a church in Glanamman itself. Saint Margaret's Church started in what is now the church hall, a corrugated iron building on Tirycoed Road, dedicated in 1907; the foundation stone of a new building was laid on 22 April 1933 and the church was dedicated on 1 November by the Lord Bishop of St. Davids. A lack of funds for essential repairs meant that the last regular service took place on Christmas Day 2008, but it is hoped