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Antiquarian Column. THE CHESTER TO CARDIFF ROAD. I see it has been suggested that Bulla vaa in the itinerary given a fortnight ago is Bwichyfan. I understand this is a pass on & earner of the Beacon. Perhaps some of your readers in the I Taff-fawr Valley may give further particulars. >—'AjS HQ U A.BI aj* A HINT TO READERS. Sir,-Allow me, in the first place, to thank jctu for opening an "Antiquarian Column" in the "Merthyr Express." I feel certain it will be much appreciated by all your readers, and I trust that ail who from time to time come across any notes in the course of their readings or otherwise worthy of being placed on record in reference to the district will send them to the "Express" for insertion in this column. I notice that already the column is being ex- tenisvely read and even copied by a. daily con- temporary, the record from the old road-book in your last issue of the road from Chester to Cardiff being copied "in extenso. "-Yours, etc, ABC THE "BULLAVAN IHLLS." Slr,-Wlth regard to some of the nomos rrren- fSined in the old road-book referred to a fort- night ago, may I eay that "BulJaun Hills" */ould be "Bwylch-y-fan Hills," thai is, the bills that we know as the Beacons, near Bwlcfc- v-f&n Paas, on the old road from Brecon to Merthyr, just above the new Upper Neuadd Reservoir. In Speed's map, dated 1610, three hundred years ago, what we know as the Beacons is marked 'Monuchdeny HilF/' a cor- ruption of Ban-uch-Deni--tlie Beacon of Deni. Who Deni was is not known, but there is a Llandeni near Uek. With regard to the Beooon Hill. after passing Morlais Castle, coming I southward, and stated to be 19 miles from larecon, would not this be the hill just above Pentrebaoh, because just a little behind this hill, on the Cwmbargoed side, is a farm known 48 Begwns?—Yours truly, T L. THE FIRST MERTHYR ELECTION. Reverting to the very interesting list of namss of those who dined with the late Mr. J. J. Guest, M.P., on the occasion of hia first xefcurn to represent Merthyr in Parliament, I am to-day able to send you a few more notes in reference to some of the names given in the list to supplement the notes given by Mrs. Jones a fortnight ago. William Perkins, the solicitor, was for some time in partnership with Mr. C. H. James, the M.P. for Merthyr (1880- 1888), and Mr. A. P. James takes hie second Christian name from him. My informant tells ane that David Da vies was tne father of the wife of the late Dr. Davies, of Mountain Ash. Was William Stephens a brother of Thomae Stephens? I hope others will add to these notes, and will also supply us with some par- ticulars of the names in ths old Directory which you printed a few weeks. D. M. R. A ROYAL VISIT TO MERTtiYR. Sir,-It is interesting to note that Merthyr Tydfil has had in its time. the honour of at least one Royal visit, and that by the famous "Mal- leus Seotorum," Edwa.rd 1. It is said that the ill-fated Charles I. may have gazed from the Rhvmney Mountain on our town ae it nestled in its then wooded valley. However this may have been, during the Wlsh rebellion, ozie of the latter's Royal predecessors, in the person of Edward I., having reached Brecknock by way of Llywel from Cardigan and Caermar- thtn, came thence to Merthyr Tydfil. remained there during June 14th and 15th, 1295, return- ing to Brecon on the 16th of that month. To him at t'his time, Morgan—the leader of the men of Glamorgan against the king's son-in- law. Gilbert da Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Lord of Glamorgan- siirrendered and Glamor- gan was held by the Crown until the following autumn, when it was restored to Gilbert and Joan, his wife. Where the actual submission4 took pa(:e, I do not know, for much of what harn^ned during Morgan's rebellion is conjec- tural. It may, however, have taken i.vo at the CVntle of Morlais, which formerly be.!on~;d to Gilbert. At this time it was probably a Crown possession, confiscated with the sur- round iu! debatable land after the last trial in 12S1 of the Earls of Hereford and Gloucester. between whom it bad been a bone of conten- tion. At any Tate, it was held for the king in the early paxt of the sixteenth century. I am in doubt with regard to the exact route follow- ed by Edward from Brecon to Merthyr and back, and wou:d be grateful for any light th sreon. During Rhya ap Maredudd's Rebel- ion in 1287, there was-a rising of Bohun'a ten- ants in Brecon, and owing to the fact that Hereford was this time engaged in confront- ing Rhys on the upper Towy, the work of sub- duing the latter's tenanbry was, contrary to rn,a.re .h etiquette, entrusted to Earl Gilbert. During this period of repression, Clare had bodies of trained Forest of Dean woodmen em- ployed in cutting paths through the wooded mountains. By August 19th, one body had cut a path through from Glamorgan to Brecknock, by way of the Taff Ialley and Morlais. The number employed on this route rose at one time to 600, which seems to imply that the road described by "S." in last weak's "Exprees" had evidently fallen into a state of unfitness for use even if it ba assumed that they entirely renewed and wholly followed that ga«}« se^te. I would be thankful, as a student, to "S." for any further information regarding this question of route. L. C. S. A PICTURE OP MERTHYR IN 1800. Sir,—I have always been interested in studies which seek to recall former times in connection with local topography, and, if possible, to resuscitate certain incidences from oblivion. I therefore join your numerous readers who have expressed their gratification at your having in- troduced this feature in your widely-read jour- nal. Your correspondents thus far have dealt with matters of special inters to Merthyr, and having come across a few interesting facts rela- tive to the origin of a portion, at least, of the mining industry in that town, t-hev may not, perhaps, be unwelcome to some of your read- ers. After describing various towns, the writer is referring to the road from Pontypridd to Cardiff; and then, coming to Merthyr, thus proceeds:—"Nothing can be conceived more awfully grand than the descent on a dark night into the Vale of Merthyr, the numberless vol- canoes emitting vast sheets of flame and smoke, and the vivid light through every aperture from the furnaces below afford a lively idea of the palace of pandemonium; and what adda to the magniSoence and novelty of the scene io the perpetual din of immense hammers, wheels, rollings millsv and water works. The town of Merthyr is situated in a valley between two ranges of hills; the whole district where these minerals (ore, flux, limestone, and coals) abound extends about eight miles in length, and four in breadth. These mines were iinst discovered by a Mr. Bacon, who determined to work thz-m. This gentleman had a lease grant- ed him for 99 years, at the low rental of about £ 200 per annum. After acquiring immense riches about tbe year 1783, he disposed of the tract in leaaes. Cyfarthfa, being the largest portion, he let to Mr. Crawshay for the rent of £ 5,000 per annum; another part to Mr. Horn- fray, at £2.000 per annum; a. part to Messrs. Lewis and Taitt, and a fourth to Mr. Hill, of Cardiff. The iron works, under the direction of Mr. Crawshay, are incontestibly the largest in the kingdom; about 5,000 men are employed by this gentleman alone, and by the other mas- ters in proportion; so that the population of the p]ac. is estimated at 20,000. About the year 1800, an enormous overshot wheel was constructed by Watkin George and William Aubrey, under the auspices of Mr. Crawshay— upwards of 50 feet in diameter and six in braadth. formed entirely of cast iron, and cost 24,000, but is not at present worked. Night is assuredly the best time for the stranger, with proper guides, to view the infernal (a misprint evidently for 'internal') operations at the large blast furnaces, forgeries, and fineries." The writer next describee the origin of the name of Merthyr Tydfil, which is too well known to need reproduction, and then pro- oeeds "There is a church and a chapel-at-ease, ten dissenting meeting-hiousm and a theatre. This town contains three market-places, well supplied twioe a week. The fairs are held on May 13, Trinity Monday, September 3. and Deoembar 2, upon a mountain called the Waun, a mile above the-town, where is a large public-house and some cottages." In conclud- ing his description of the Merthyr district, the writer refers to the situation of the ancient castle of Morlais, and which was reported to have been the seat of the Princes of Breoon, and was demolished by the 'Parliamentary Army in the 17th century. I have reproduced the foregoing from a email book ,'The New Swansea Guide," which was published in that town in 1823, and believe it will prove of some interest to your Merthyr readers. There is one celebrated Welshman to whom I imagine it would be of paramount interest and concern—Mr. Lloyd George—who would readily adorn the tale of the origin of Merthvr's industries and their masters with a moral on the question of the unearned incre- ment of the land.—Yours truly, S. LOUIS HARRIS. 87, Queen Victoria-street, Tredegar. BULL BAITING. Referring to the interesting note in your last issue from the pen of "S. N. S. who, I hope, will be able to give some information re the "Bull-ring on the AberdaTe Mountain," the following note copied from the current (April) number of the "Selborne Magazine," re bull- baiting, although not of local interest, may be of sufficient interest to appear in your columns, as it tends to show that the (?) continued in Wales long aft-er it was given up in Eng- land. The bull-ring referred to here was in Fakenham, in Norfolk. The following is a oopy of the bill given in the hagaaine:—"Buli- haisfe. Positively the last time. By toe desire of the gentlemen of Fakenham and its vicinity. One day's sport will be shown with the Game Bull on Fakenham Heath on Monday, the 24th day of November, 1817. A silver collar will be given to the first dog that pins the bull and brings his noee to the ground, so as he is fairly Pin'd. Those gentlemen Who wish to have their Dogs run at the Bull are requested to have them enter'd between the hours of Ten and Twelve in the Morning as the Bull will be staked precisely at one oelock on account of the shortness of the Days. N.B.—Four of the pugilistic gentlemen will exhibit the same Evening, namely, T.B., H.H., W.E., E.P. An i ordinary will provided at the Bell Inn, Fakenham (aforesaid)., Stewardaon, Printer Faiwjiki«>' VA Mi Q








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