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"¡ Antiquarian Column.


"¡ Antiquarian Column. C,,vmy glo. -When Roger Williams was miDts- ter hero, he had connection also with two cL^roh-ee near Llandovery. I believe, and the question has often occurred to me—how was the ground covered? There were no roads, were there? Owen Rees was minister at Aber- dare, 1756-68, and for some years previously he was in charge of the two churches near Llan- dovery as well as Aberdare. He is known to have been in Aberdare in 1754- and he finally severed his connection with Iilandovery in 1756. What is the history of road-making in this I jveiThbourhood ?—S.N.S. Castell Deden was at Gefncoed, and known later as Laburnum House, where the Rev. Owen Evans lived for many years. The name Î8 a corruption of Tydien Castle, and Tydien is said to have boon, like Tydvil, a daughter of Brychan Brvel-iein -o_!z, who is said to have had S4 sons and 24 daughters. It is known that Castell Deden was originally a religious house, & kind of monastery or nunnery; and it is more than likely that the 48 reputed children ■of Brychan were heads of some kind of relig- ious brotherhoods and sisterhoods. Many of the r.mi es are connected with rivrre and brooks. "T'l-n Ifan, Tilter," waa a noted Merthyr tshart'.c r in the early part of last century. I have tried for many years to get some bio- igrapliical particulars of him, but with no suo- toess- He was, I believe, a frequent contributor 4o 'Seren Gomer," and author of a pamphlet of which I saw a copy some 50 years ago, the only one I have ever seen. He followed the occupation of "titter." whatever that may mean, at Cyfarthfa.—S.N.S. Rev. Daniel Davies. Perhaps you will (allow a few corrections and additions. Mr. Davies was ordained May 6th, 1785. He re- -si--ned towards tho end of 1810. In 1826-31 he was mimster at Watford, and 1832-7 at Cefn- tood. He died a. Pontypr;dd, Augrust 15th. EL853. aged 93.-(See "Hanes Eglwys Yaysgau," D. D. Williams.)—S.N.S. P.mc-y-Bwrlin, or more correotly, Pant-y- is a place of historical interest. It denotes a spot to tho south of Merthyr, not far from a farm known as Tai Mo.wr It derives its numn from the fact that bull-fights were held Itfcere in ancient times, the lnte probably taking ;place oarly in 1835, when Thomas, son of o'r Gno! was gored to death. Dur- ing the Parlaimentary session" of that year, an Act was passed to out an end to bull-fighting I in this country. Thomas's body was interred in the burying-trround of the Old Mpeting Houee, Cefncoed. In the s.%mc gray:" tho re- miains of his father, Edward Thomas Edward, a poet of some notfl were inferred in 1840, aged 80. Edward is credited with having formed an I underground ca.nal in the DyUas Colliery in 1795, for which William Evan Roes, gr^t- ■grandfathpr of DT. Bees Griffiths, of Cardiff, bti-ilt the boat, The Gnol is a farm-house on tb"" hill above Cwrnbacb, Aberdre,-N.S. Old Proverbs.—Mitch doubt seems to prevail I as to the present value of our old proverbs, And there may be an apparent reason for it. Still, at will be wel to remember that the old people, living more in the OP"TI than we do, w-Te more observant and spolci from experience. In order to justify th.5 truth of some of the proverb?, we must remember that the change commonly known as O S. into N.S. put many of them out of pear. Before 1752. the year beflran on March 25th, so when the transfer wis made March 25th, so when the transfer wAs made from that date to the 1st of January. 1751 was dep.-ived of January, February, and 24 days of I March, nearly the whole of its last three months: with the result that we must wait eleven days longer sometimes to give the pro- ) verb th:- semblance of truth. It is said the may Sower does nor, bloom until June; but it I did bsiora 1752.—6.N.S. RUINS OF CAPEL Y FFOREST. ¡ ,-ir,-Ob-,orvir,g your column on antiquarian subjects I believe it would bo interesting to aom; of your readers if their attention were caiie<! to the ruins of the old church called Caps! j Fforest, which are situated in a se- cluded hollow on top ot tho hill called Mynydd y Fforest, as near as possible in a due ea3t line jpf the Merthyr Vale Colliery. Some time ago being on the spot. I made a few observations of the old ruin. and found that the foundation walls ara still in a go state of preservation. The building measures about 39 ft. length by 24 ft. span. The corner quoins are intact, and the workmanship on the mason work indicates good craft. The mortpr is composed of lime mbred with earth of the nature of. the soil to be found on the spot. I placed my compass pn the lengthways of the building, and found ihe line of the walls bear exactly due fast aijd west, showing that who CVQf. laid t,ha foundation line of the building must have been acquaintecj with Ecclesiastical architecture. On the eWt end of the building there are diitinet traces if the foundation of boundary wall enclosing an Urea of grave yard which, no. doubt, contain human remains. On the south side there aro traces of two short walls, such as a porch en- trance. On the inside of the west end wall is *n opening set off with quions, which I take lo Ix? a fireplace opening. T shalj be pleased to know whether any of your readers have any oh. servations to make on the origin of this old ruin. I remember hearing from an old inhab- itant of the locality the traditipB thq^ lje bad beard that St. Tielo &ad other dlyinea from Llancarvan regularly rode on horseback to this old church to preach on Sunday mornings. It is also said that this old church is of more an- cient origin than the Merthyr Parish Church. —Yours, etc., ONE INTERESTED n¡ ANTIQOTTY. "THE CELEBRITIES OF OLD MERTHYR." Sir,—Many of your readers are, I take it, like myself, very interested in tho attention which has been paid lately in your columns to the history of our native town. History, like charity, should begin at home, and having made ourselves masters of the history of our town, we may then well proceed to study the history of the nation, the history of the British Empire, and the history of empires long since crumbled into dust. An important ana valu- able contribution to this local history was made at the last meeting of the Merthyr Cymreig- yddion Society by Mr. Ben Jones (Merthyrfab). Mr. Jones is a well-known ll figure, known to most people as an energetic postman, and known also to very many of us as a good poet and an ardent patriot—both local and national. "Merthyrfab," in the course of a very able paper, dealt with "The Poets of Merthyr and Distirict during the last three hundred years." Many of the persons of whom we read lately in the "Express'' were referred to and com- mented upon, and ono night was altogether too short to deal with the Tories of interesting matter which the industry of Mr. Jones had accumulated. The discussion which followed wa^ most enthusiastic, auo it was strongly urged that Mr. Jones should publish his paper in book-form. This, of course, is only one branch of the history of Merthyr, but all will agree that it is a most important branch, for in throwing light upon o!d Merthyr poets we also throw light upon some of the very best citizens of the old days. The lovers of literary matters in aur sister town—Aberdare—are very enthusiastic concerning the history of literature as it immediately affects their town, and it is to bo hoped that Mr. Jones will go on with the enterprise to which he has n urged, so that our neighbours may realize that we are citizens of no maar c. -that we have a past of which ity 0 all Merthyriana may feel proud.—Your?, etc., ''CYllBEXGYDD." THE OLD MILITARY ROAD FROM CHESTER TO CARDIFF The interesting excerpt sent by "Antiquar- ian" last week, descriptive of the ancient road from Chester via Brecon to Cardiff, sets one thinking about the difficulties, of communication through mountain tracts in those days. The road in question evidently is the old road wh-ch comes through the depression between the central and eastern peaks of the Beacons range into Taf-fechan, past the Neuadd down to the bridga, when it crosses t-be stream, and so on by Pentwyn to Capel Tai-fcchan and Pontsticill. Up .to this point the road is clear enough. On the high ground a* Pontsticill, however, there would be alternative routes through Vaynor to Cefncoed and Merthyr, or into the valley across the river, and up on the eastern side to Pantcadivor. The latter is obviously flie continuatiod from the names of places. The; ruins of Morlais Cattle are placed at one mile from Pontsticill. The next point marking distances is Beacon Hill. This ftlsc furnishes a clue to the route of the road, and it is a very crooked one. At Pant it turned at right angles, as to-day, and passed over the Bryni&u and Penbryn to Gwaelodygarth, and thence down into the present main road by tho Hospital. It continued along that road till just below the Theatre, where it tuTaed off to tho east, crossed tho Morlais by some bridge anterior to what was known years later as Waterloo Bridge, climbed the buLUsida to Pen- yard, and the nee on to losing Top, where it made a sharp turn to tha south, and continued on to Mountain Hare, where it joined the road from the Parish Church 61" Merthyr, through Twvnyrddyn, to Twynywadn. Just beyortd Mountain Hare, it went off the last-named road sfgain southwards for some distance, until a branch went off to Blaenbargoed, tho m^in track continuing a cours^eylong the summit of the mountain through ti>0. fdrm called Begwns, and thence down through Cefn Forest to Twyn- ygarreg—now Trcharris—into the road from Merthyr, now crossed by the. Great Western Railway. I haye no idea what hillet were called BulJavan Hills at the head of Tai-fcchan; but there can be no doubt that the Beacon Hill, five miles along the route from the ruins of Mortal's Castle, iq located by Des- moun- tain farm on the estate of Lord Plymouth, now in the occupation of Mr. Stephen Thomas. It is remarkable that although the route mdi- cated went for miles through the parish of Merthyr, yet there is no mention or the town- ship or village. IroAwpriks n coal love's were in operation on a, considerable sws. ft that period, and therefore the place was of some note and importance.—S. Several letters intended for jns^rtioq_ in this column 3r. h-] ever Until next week.