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Coordinates: 51°36′57″N 3°25′03″W / 51.615938°N 3.417521°W / 51.615938; -3.417521

Rhondda

Valley
Valley
region

Map showing location of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
within Wales

Sovereign state United Kingdom

Constituent country Wales

County borough Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taf

Parliamentary constituency Rhondda

Area[1]

 • Total 38.59 sq mi (99.94 km2)

Highest elevation 1,935 ft (590 m)

Population (2011)

 • Total 62,545

 • Density 1,600/sq mi (630/km2)

Time zone Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time
(UTC+0)

 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time
British Summer Time
(UTC+1)

Postal code CF postcode area

Area code(s) 01443

Rhondda
Rhondda
/ˈrɒnðə/, or the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
(Welsh: Cwm Rhondda
Rhondda
[kʊm ˈr̥ɔnða]), is a former coal mining valley in Wales, formerly a local government district, consisting of 16 communities built around the River Rhondda. The area is, in fact, made up of two valleys: those of the larger Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr valley (mawr large) and the smaller Rhondda Fach valley (bach small). The singular term ' Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley' and the plural ' Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys' are both commonly used. In 2001 the Rhondda constituency of the National Assembly for Wales
Wales
had a population of 72,443;[2] while the National Office of Statistics described the Rhondda
Rhondda
urban area as having a population of 59,602.[3] Rhondda
Rhondda
is part of Rhondda Cynon Taf
Rhondda Cynon Taf
County Borough and is part of the South Wales
Wales
Valleys. The Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
is most notable for its historical link to the coal mining industry which was at its peak between 1840 and 1925. The Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys were home to a strong early Nonconformist
Nonconformist
Christian movement which manifested itself in the Baptist
Baptist
chapels which moulded Rhondda
Rhondda
values in the 19th and early 20th century. Rhondda
Rhondda
is also famous for strong masculine cultural ties within a social community which expressed itself outside industry in the form of male voice choirs, sport and politics.

Contents

1 Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr 2 Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach 3 Etymology 4 Early history

4.1 Prehistoric and Roman Rhondda: 8,000 BC – 410 AD

4.1.1 Mesolithic
Mesolithic
period 4.1.2 Neolithic
Neolithic
period 4.1.3 Bronze Age 4.1.4 Iron Age

4.2 Medieval Rhondda: 410–1550 AD

4.2.1 Settlements of medieval Rhondda

4.3 Post-medieval and pre-industrial Rhondda: 1550–1850

4.3.1 Settlements of post-medieval Rhondda

5 Industrial Rhondda
Rhondda
1850–1945

5.1 Industrial growth (1850–1914) 5.2 Population growth in the industrial period 5.3 Decline of coal and economic emigration (1914–1944) 5.4 Mining disasters

6 Modern Rhondda
Rhondda
1945–present 7 Religion 8 Political activism 9 Culture and recreation

9.1 Role of women 9.2 Sport

9.2.1 Rugby union 9.2.2 Football

9.3 Music

9.3.1 Male voice choirs 9.3.2 Brass bands

9.4 Culture and nationality

9.4.1 Language 9.4.2 Cadwgan Circle 9.4.3 National Eisteddfod 9.4.4 Communal activity

9.5 Media

10 Transport 11 Notable residents

11.1 Sport 11.2 Politics 11.3 Film and television 11.4 Literature 11.5 Visual arts 11.6 Science and social science

12 References 13 Bibliography 14 External links

Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr[edit]

A rough layout of the main villages of the Rhondda
Rhondda
shown along the two tributaries of the River Rhondda

The larger of the two valleys, the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr, extends from Porth and rises through the valley until it reaches Blaenrhondda, near Treherbert. The settlements that make up the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr are as follows:

Blaencwm
Blaencwm
a district of Treherbert. Blaenrhondda
Blaenrhondda
a district of Treherbert. Cwm Clydach a community. Cwmparc
Cwmparc
a district of Treorchy. Cymmer a district of Porth. Dinas Rhondda
Dinas Rhondda
a district of Penygraig. Edmondstown a district of Penygraig. Gelli a district of Ystrad Glynfach
Glynfach
a district of Cymmer Llwynypia
Llwynypia
a community. Pentre
Pentre
a community. Penygraig
Penygraig
a community Porth
Porth
a community that sees itself as the unofficial capital of the Rhondda, mainly due to its geographic location. Ton Pentre
Pentre
a district of Pentre. Tonypandy
Tonypandy
a community. Trealaw
Trealaw
a community. Trebanog
Trebanog
a district of Cymmer Trehafod
Trehafod
the most southernmost and smallest of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley communities. Treherbert
Treherbert
a community. Treorchy
Treorchy
the largest community in either of the valleys. Tynewydd
Tynewydd
a district of Treherbert Williamstown a district of Penygraig. Ynyswen
Ynyswen
a district of Treorchy. Ystrad a community.

Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach[edit] The Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach is celebrated in the 1971 David Alexander song 'If I could see the Rhondda'; the valley includes Wattstown, Ynyshir, Pontygwaith, Ferndale, Tylorstown
Tylorstown
and Maerdy. The settlements that make up the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach are as follows:

Blaenllechau
Blaenllechau
a district of Ferndale. Ferndale a community. Maerdy
Maerdy
a community. Penrhys
Penrhys
a district of Tylorstown. Pontygwaith a district of Tylorstown. Tylorstown
Tylorstown
a community. Stanleytown a district of Tylorstown. Wattstown
Wattstown
a district of Ynyshir. Ynyshir
Ynyshir
a community.

Etymology[edit]

River Rhondda
River Rhondda
in the Fawr Valley
Valley
near its source in Blaenrhondda

In the early Middle Ages, Glynrhondda was a commote of the cantref of Penychen in the kingdom of Morgannwg, a sparsely populated agricultural area. The spelling of the commote varied widely, and the Cardiff
Cardiff
Records shows the various spellings:[4]

Rhoddeni (1203) Rotheni (1213) Glyn Rhoddni (1268) Glenrotheney (1314) Glynroddne (1314)

 

Glynroddney (1348) Glynrotheney (1440) Glynrothnei (1567) Glynrhoddeney (1591) Glynronthey (1666)

 

Many sources state the meaning of Rhondda
Rhondda
as 'noisy', though this is a simplified translation without research. Sir Ifor Williams, in his work Enwau Lleoedd, suggests that the first syllable rhwadd is a form of the Welsh adrawdd or adrodd, as in 'recite, relate, recount', similar to the Old Irish rád; 'speech'.[4][5] The suggestion is that the river is speaking aloud, a comparison to the English expression 'a babbling brook'.[4] With the increase in population from the mid-19th century the area was officially recognised as the Ystradyfodwg
Ystradyfodwg
Local Government District, but was renamed in 1897 as the Rhondda
Rhondda
Urban District after the River Rhondda.[6] Residents of either valley rarely use the terms ' Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach' or ' Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr', referring instead to 'The Rhondda', or their specific village when relevant. Locals tend to refer to "The Rhondda" with the definite article, despite its non-usage on sign posts and maps. Early history[edit] Prehistoric and Roman Rhondda: 8,000 BC – 410 AD[edit] The Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
is located in the upland, or Blaenau, area of Glamorgan. The landscape of the Rhondda
Rhondda
was formed by glacial action during the last ice age, as slow moving glaciers gouged out the deep valleys that exist today. With the retreat of the ice sheet, around 8000 BC, the valleys were further modified by stream and river action. This left the two river valleys of the Rhondda
Rhondda
with narrow, steep sided slopes which would dictate the layout of settlements from early to modern times.[7] Mesolithic
Mesolithic
period[edit] The earliest evidence of the presence of man in these upper areas of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
was discovered in 1963 at Craig y Llyn. A small chipped stone tool found at the site, recorded as possibly being of 'Creswellian' type or at least from the early Mesolithic
Mesolithic
period, places human activity on the plateau above the valleys.[8] Many other Mesolithic
Mesolithic
items have been discovered in the Rhondda, predominantly in the upper areas around Blaenrhondda, Blaencwm
Blaencwm
and Maerdy, mainly stone age items relating to hunting, fishing and foraging which suggests seasonal nomadic activity. Though no definite Mesolithic
Mesolithic
settlements have been located in the area, the concentration of finds at the Craig y Llyn escarpment suggests the presence of a temporary campsite in the vicinity.[9] Neolithic
Neolithic
period[edit] The first structural relic of prehistoric man was excavated in 1973 at Cefn Glas near the watershed of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach river. The remains of a rectangular hut with traces of drystone wall foundations and postholes was discovered; while carbon dating of charcoal found at the site dated the structure as late Neolithic.[8] Bronze Age[edit]

Llyn Fawr
Llyn Fawr
Reservoir in 2008

Although little evidence of settlements has been found in the Rhondda that date between the Neolithic
Neolithic
and Bronze Age
Bronze Age
periods, several cairns and cists have been discovered throughout the length of both valleys. The best example of a round-cairn was found at Crug yr Afan, near the summit of Graig Fawr, west of Cwmparc. The cairn consisted of an earthen mound with a surrounding ditch 28 metres in circumference and over 2 metres tall.[10] Although most cairns discovered in the area are round, a ring cairn or cairn circle exists on Gelli Mountain. Known as the ' Rhondda
Rhondda
Stonehenge' the cairn consists of 10 upright stones no more than 60 cm in height encircling a central cist.[11] All the cairns found within the Rhondda
Rhondda
are located on high ground, many on ridgeways, and may have been used as waypoints.[11] In 1912 a hoard of 24 late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
weapons and tools was discovered during construction work at the Llyn Fawr
Llyn Fawr
reservoir, at the source of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr. The items did not originate from the Rhondda
Rhondda
and are thought to have been left at the site as a votive offering. Of particular interest were fragments of an iron sword which is the earliest iron object to be found in Wales
Wales
and the only 'C-type' Hallstatt sword recorded in Britain.[12] Iron Age[edit]

The ruins of the Hen Dre'r Mynydd settlement at the head of the Rhondda

With the exception of the Neolithic
Neolithic
settlement at Cefn Glas, there are three certain pre-Medieval settlement sites in the valley – Maendy Camp, Hen Dre'r Gelli and Hen Dre'r Mynydd. The earliest of these structures is Maendy Camp, a hillfort whose remains are situated between Ton Pentre
Pentre
and Cwmparc.[13] Although its defences would have been slight, the camp made good use of the natural slopes and rock outcrops to its north-east face. Maendy camp consisted of two earthworks, an inner and outer enclosure. When the site was excavated in 1901 several archaeological finds led to the camp being misidentified as Bronze Age. These finds, mainly pottery and flint knives, were excavated from a burial cairn discovered within the outer enclosure but the site has since been classified as from the Iron Age.[13] The settlement at Hen Dre'r Mynydd in Blaenrhondda
Blaenrhondda
was dated around the Roman period when the discovery of fragments of wheel-made Romano-British pottery were discovered at the location. The site is made up of a group of ruinous drystone roundhouses and enclosures and is thought to have been a sheep farming community.[14] The most definite example of a Roman site in the area is found above Blaenllechau
Blaenllechau
in Ferndale.[15] The settlement is one of a group of earthworks and indicates the presence of the Roman army during the 1st century AD. It was thought to be a military site or marching camp.[16] Medieval Rhondda: 410–1550 AD[edit] The 5th century saw the withdrawal of Imperial Roman support from Britain, and the succeeding centuries witnessed the emergence of a national identity and of kingdoms. The area which would become the Rhondda
Rhondda
lay within Glywysing, an area that incorporated the modern area of Glamorgan, ruled by a dynasty founded by Glywys.[17] This dynasty was later replaced by another founded by Meurig ap Tewdrig whose descendant Morgan ap Owain would give Glamorgan
Glamorgan
its Welsh name Morgannwg.[18] With the coming of the Norman overlords after the 1066 Battle of Hastings, south-east Wales
Wales
was divided into five cantrefi. The Rhondda
Rhondda
lay within Penychen, a narrow strip running between modern day Glyn Neath
Glyn Neath
and the coast between Cardiff
Cardiff
and Aberthaw. Each cantref was further divided into commotes, with Penychen made up of five such commotes, one being Glynrhondda.[19] Relics of the Dark Ages are uncommon within the Glamorgan
Glamorgan
area and secular monuments are still rarer. The few sites discovered from this period have been located in the Bro, or lowlands, leaving historians to believe that the Blaenau were sparsely inhabited, maybe only visited seasonally by pastoralists.[20] A few earthwork dykes are the only structural relics in the Rhondda
Rhondda
area from this period and no carved stones or crosses exist to indicate the presence of a Christian shrine. During the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
communities were split between bondmen and freemen. The bondmen lived in small villages centred on a court or llys of the local ruler to whom they paid dues; while the freemen, who enjoyed a higher status, lived in scattered homesteads. The most important village was the 'mayor's settlement' or maerdref. Maerdy
Maerdy
in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach has been identified as a maerdref, mainly on the strength of the name, though the village did not survive past the Middle Ages.[20] The largest concentration of dwellings from this time have been discovered around Gelli and Ystrad in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr, mainly platform houses. During the late 11th century, the Norman lord, Robert Fitzhamon entered Morgannwg
Morgannwg
in an attempt to gain control of the area, building many earth and timber castles in the lowlands.[21] In the early 12th century the Norman expansion continued with castles being founded around Neath, Kenfig
Kenfig
and Coity, while within the same period Bishop Urban established the Diocese of Llandaff
Diocese of Llandaff
under which Glynrhondda belonged to the large parish of Llantrisant.[22] Upon the death of William, Lord of Glamorgan, his extensive holdings were eventually granted to Gilbert de Clare in 1217.[23] The subjugation of Glamorgan, begun by Fitzhamon, was finally completed by the powerful De Clare family,[24] but although Gilbert de Clare had now become one of the great Marcher
Marcher
Lords the territory was far from settled. Hywel ap Maredudd, lord of Meisgyn captured his cousin Morgan ap Cadwallon and annexed Glynrhondda in an attempt to reunify the commotes under a single native ruler.[25] This conflict was unresolved by the time of De Clare's death and the area fell under Royal control. Settlements of medieval Rhondda[edit] Little evidence exists of settlements within the Rhondda
Rhondda
during the Norman period. Unlike the communal dwellings of the Iron Age
Iron Age
the remains of the Medieval buildings discovered in the area follow the pattern similar to modern farmsteads; with separate holdings spaced out around the hillsides. The evidence of Medieval Welsh farmers comes from the remains of their buildings, with the foundations of platform houses having been discovered spaced out throughout both valleys.[26] When the site of several platform houses at Gelligaer Common were excavated in the 1930s potsherds dating from the 13th-14th century were discovered.[27] The Rhondda
Rhondda
also has the remains of two Medieval castles. The older is Castell Nos[28] which is located at the head of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach overlooking Maerdy. The only recorded evidence of Castle Nos is a mention by John Leland who stated that "Castelle Nose is but a high stony creg in the top of an hille". The castle comprises a scarp and ditch forming a raised platform and on the north face is a ruined drystone building. Due to its location and form it does not appear to be of Norman design and is therefore thought to have been built by the Welsh as a border defence; and must therefore date before 1247 when Richard de Clare seized Glynrhondda.[29] The second castle is Ynysygrug, located close to what is now Tonypandy
Tonypandy
town centre. Little remains of this motte-and-bailey earthwork defence as much was destroyed when Tonypandy
Tonypandy
railway station was built in the 19th century.[30] Ynysygrug is dated around the 12th century or early 13th century[30] and has been misidentified by several historians, notably Owen Morgan
Owen Morgan
in his book 'History of Pontypridd
Pontypridd
and Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys' who recorded it as a druidic sacred mound[31] and Iolo Morganwg
Iolo Morganwg
who erroneously believed it to be the burial mound of king Rhys ap Tewdwr. This earliest Christian monument located in the Rhondda
Rhondda
is the shrine of St. Mary at Penrhys
Penrhys
whose holy well was mentioned by Rhisiart ap Rhys in the 15th century.[32] Post-medieval and pre-industrial Rhondda: 1550–1850[edit] In the mid-16th century the Rhondda, at that time known as the Vale of Rotheney, belonged to the large but sparsely inhabited parish of Ystradyfodwg, St. Tyfodwg's Vale. For administrative purposes the parish was divided into three hamlets: the Upper or Rhigos
Rhigos
Hamlet to the north, the Middle or Penrhys
Penrhys
Hamlet and the lower or Clydach Hamlet.[33] Throughout the post-Medieval period the Rhondda
Rhondda
was a heavily wooded area and its main economic staple was the rearing of sheep, horses and cattle. The historian Rice Merrick, in describing the upland area of the Vale of Glamorgan, stated that there "was always great breeding of cattle, horses and sheep; but in elder time therin grew but small store of corn, for in most places there the ground was not thereunto apt". While English cartographer John Speed described that the rearing of cattle was the "best means unto wealth that the Shire doth afford".[34] As there was no fair held in the Rhondda
Rhondda
the animals would be taken to neighbouring fairs and markets at Neath, Merthyr, Llantrisant, Ynysybwl
Ynysybwl
and Llandaff. However, to be self-supporting, the farmers of the area grew crops such as oats, corn and barley in small quantities. Crops were grown in the lower part of the Rhondda
Rhondda
on narrow meadows adjoining the riversides, though during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
scarce supplies forced the cultivation of the upland areas such as Carn-y-wiwer and Penrhys.[35] Merrick would describe the diet of the upland inhabitants as consisting of "bread made of wheat ... and ale and bear"[33] and over two hundred years later Benjamin Malkin showed how little the diet had changed when he wrote that the people still ate "Oatmeal bread, with a relish of miserable cheese; and the beer, where they have any, is worse than none".[36] In the first half of the 17th century a rising cost of consumable goods and a series of bad harvests brought about economic changes in Glamorgan.[33] Those with enough wealth were able to seize on opportunities created by these unsettled conditions and set about enlarging and enclosing farm lands. The enclosure of freehold lands that began in the later Middle Ages
Middle Ages
now gained momentum and farms that were once owned by individual farmers were now owned by small groups of wealthy landowners.[37] By the 19th century most of the Rhondda farms and estates were owned by absentee landlords, such as the Marquis of Bute, Earl of Dunraven, Crawshay Bailey of Merthyr
Merthyr
and the De Winton family of Brecon.[38] Settlements of post-medieval Rhondda[edit]

1735 Welsh (Powys) longhouse typical of those found in Medieval Rhondda.

Between the Acts of Union in the mid-16th century and the English Civil War in the mid-17th century, a period of great rebuilding took place in the Kingdom of England, of which Wales
Wales
was now annexed, and this is reflected in the structures that were built within the Rhondda Valley.[39] The fluctuating economic state of the late Tudor period resulted in farmers taking in more land, creating higher levels of surplus goods and therefore producing higher profits. This profit was reflected in the new farm houses built in the Rhondda
Rhondda
and for the first time an emphasis on domestic comfort became apparent in the design of the dwellings.[39] Many of the new farm buildings were simple structures consisting of two or three small rooms, though of a much sturdier and permanent quality than the Medieval platform houses. A popular style of building was the long-house, a building which combined the house and cowshed into a single building. By 1840, at least 160 farms existed in the Rhondda,[40] but most were destroyed with the growth of the mining industry. Of the few surviving buildings, those of note include Tynewydd
Tynewydd
('New House') in Blaenrhondda, a 17th-century house thought to have given its name to the neighbouring village of Tynewydd
Tynewydd
and Tyntyle in Ystrad dated around 1600. There were few industrial buildings pre-1850; those of note include the 17th-century blast furnace at Pontygwaith[41] which gave the village its name and the fulling mill established by Harri David in 1738, which in turn gave its name to Tonypandy.[42] Corn mills existed sparsely throughout the valleys as did early coal pits, with two early pits recorded as being opened in 1612 at Rhigos
Rhigos
and Cwmparc; though these would have mined from exposed rock in the hillside and not deep mined.[41] Industrial Rhondda
Rhondda
1850–1945[edit] Industrial growth (1850–1914)[edit] Further information: List of collieries in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys

Llwynypia
Llwynypia
looking north towards Llwynypia
Llwynypia
Hospital, (c. 1912)

The southern coalfield of Wales
Wales
is the largest continuous coalfield in Britain, extending some 113 kilometres (70 mi) from Pontypool
Pontypool
in the east to St Brides Bay
St Brides Bay
in the West, covering almost 2,600 square kilometres (1,000 sq mi).[43] This coalfield took in the majority of Glamorgan, and the entirety of the Rhondda
Rhondda
was situated within it. Although neighbouring areas such as Merthyr
Merthyr
and Aberdare had already sunk coal mines, it was not until Walter Coffin initiated the Dinas Lower Colliery in 1812 that coal was first exported from the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys on any sort of commercial scale.[24] This coal was originally taken by packhorse, before the extension of Dr. Griffiths' private tramline, to Pontypridd
Pontypridd
and then by the Glamorganshire Canal to the port at Cardiff. The lack of any transportation links was one of the main problems that curtailed exploitation of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley coal fields, along with the belief that the coalfields beneath the valley were thought to be too deep for economic working.[44] It was therefore seen as an expensive risk and deterred anyone looking for a quick profit. The exploration of the Rhondda
Rhondda
was undertaken by the Bute Trustees, agents of the third Marquess of Bute, who not only owned large tracts of valley farmland but also possessed a large financial interest in the Cardiff
Cardiff
Docks which would export the coal.[44] The trustees sank the Bute Merthyr
Merthyr
Colliery in October 1851, at the top of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr in what would become Treherbert. The Bute Merthyr
Merthyr
began producing coal in 1855, the first working steam coal colliery in the Rhondda.[24] In conjunction with the sinking of the first colliery at the head of the Rhondda, the second issue of transportation was being tackled at the same time with the extension of the Taff Vale Railway
Taff Vale Railway
(TVR) line. After Royal Assent was given to construct the railway in 1836,[45] the original line was laid from Cardiff
Cardiff
to Abercynon, and by 1841 a branch was opened to link Cardiff
Cardiff
with Dinas via Pontypridd. This would allow easier and faster transportation for Walter Coffin's Dinas mine, an unsurprising addition considering Coffin was a director of the TVR. In 1849 the TVR had extended into the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach and by 1856 the railway had reached the furthest areas of both the Fach and Fawr valleys at Maerdy
Maerdy
and Treherbert. For the first time the Rhondda Valley
Valley
was connected by a major transportation route to the rest of Wales[44] and the exploitation of its coalfields could begin. The TVR line would dominate the transportation of coal throughout the Rhondda's industrial history, and its monopoly was a point of contention, as with no rivals the colliery owners could not negotiate for haulage rates.[46] Several attempts were made to break the monopoly including the opening of the Rhondda
Rhondda
and Swansea Bay Railway, between 1885 and 1895,[47] which linked Blaenrhondda
Blaenrhondda
at the head of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr to the Prince of Wales
Wales
Dock. To achieve this rail link the Rhondda
Rhondda
Tunnel[48] was constructed through Mynydd Blaengwynfy to Blaengwynfi; at the time the longest railway tunnel in Wales. Initially the shallower pits at Aberdare
Aberdare
proved a bigger attraction for prospective mine owners, but once Aberdare
Aberdare
became fully worked by the 1860s the Rhondda
Rhondda
saw a rapid growth in development. During the 1860s–1870s 20 collieries opened in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys with the leading coalowner in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach being David Davis of Aberdare, and David Davies in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr.[44] In 1865 the output of coal from the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
was roughly one quarter of that of Aberdare; ten years later the Rhondda
Rhondda
was producing over two million tons, more than the Aberdare
Aberdare
Valleys. These figures would later be dwarfed by the massive excavation rates seen in the last quarter of the 19th century up to the beginning of the First World War. In 1913 it was recorded that the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley's output was 9.6 million tons.[49] By 1893 there were more than 75 collieries within the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys and although most were initially owned by a small group of private individuals[50] this trend changed towards the start of the 20th century as companies began buying up the existing collieries. The widespread adoption of limited liability status began a trend towards a concentration of ownership,[51] reducing some of the economic risks involved in coalmining: unstable coal prices, inflated acquisitions, geological difficulties, and large scale accidents.[52] The emerging companies were formed by the individuals and families who sank the original collieries; but by the start of the 20th century, they were no more than principal shareholders. These companies included the Davies's Ocean Coal Company, Archibald Hood's Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Coal Company and David Davis & Son. Population growth in the industrial period[edit]

Year Male Female Total

1801 265 277 542

1841 386 362 748

1851 493 458 951

1861 1669 1366 3035

1871 9559 7355 16914

1881 30877 24755 55632

1891 50174 38177 88351

1901 62315 51420 113735

1911 83209 69572 152781

1921 85351 77378 162729

source[53]

During the early to mid-19th century the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys were inhabited by small farming settlements. In 1841 the parish of Ystradyfodwg, which would later constitute most of the Rhondda Borough, was recorded as having a population of less than a thousand inhabitants.[24] With the discovery of massive deposits of high quality, accessible coal during the mid-19th century the Rhondda Valleys experienced a large influx of financial immigrants. The first immigrants came to the lower Rhondda
Rhondda
villages of Dinas, Eirw and Cymmer. Special
Special
sinkers came from Llansamlet, while the first miners were from Penderyn, Cwmgwrach
Cwmgwrach
and the neighbouring areas of Llantrisant
Llantrisant
and Llanharan.[54] The 1851 Census lists apprenticed paupers from Temple Cloud
Temple Cloud
in Somerset, some of the earliest English immigrants.[54] From a mere 951 in 1851, the population of Ystradyfodwg
Ystradyfodwg
parish grew to 16,914 in 1871 and by 1901 the Rhondda Urban District had a population of 113,735.[55] As more and more coal mines were sunk the population grew to fill the jobs needed to extract the coal. In the 1860s and 1870s the majority came from the neighbouring Welsh counties, but with the improving rail transportation and cheaper transport immigrants came from further afield. The 1890s recorded workers from the South West, places such as Gloucester and Devon, by the 1900s people came from North Wales, the lead mining area of Anglesey
Anglesey
and the depressed slate-quarrying villages of Bethesda, Ffestiniog
Ffestiniog
and Dinorwig.[56] Although there are records of Scottish workers, mainly centered on Archibald Hood's Llwynypia
Llwynypia
mines, there were only small numbers of Irish, less than 1,000 by 1911.[57] The low immigration levels of Irish workers is often blamed on the forcible ejection of the Irish who lived in Treherbert
Treherbert
during three days of rioting in 1857.[58] The population of the valleys peaked in 1924 at over 167,900 inhabitants.[24] The mass influx of immigrants during this period were almost totally English and Welsh;[59] the most notable exception being an immigrant nationality from outside the United Kingdom, the Italians. In the late 19th century a group of Italian immigrants, originally from the northern area of Italy, centred on the town of Bardi, were forced out of London by an over-saturation of the market. These immigrants set up a network of cafés, ice cream parlours and fish & chip shops throughout South Wales
Wales
and these businesses became iconic landmarks in the villages they served and they and subsequent generations became Welsh Italians. Particular to the Rhondda, the shops ran by the Italian immigrants, were known as 'Bracchis', believed to have been named after Angelo Bracchi who opened the first café in the Rhondda in the early 1890s.[60] By the early 21st century several of the original Bracchis were still open for business in the Rhondda. Decline of coal and economic emigration (1914–1944)[edit] See also: Great Depression in the United Kingdom

Commemorative statue to the "Mining Communities of Rhondda" Robert Thomas (1926-1999)

At the start of the First World War, the economic prospects in South Wales
Wales
were good. Although production fell after the 1913 high, demand was still strong enough to push the coalfields to their limit.[61] In February 1917 coal mining came under government control and demand increased as the war intensified, ensuring a market for sufficient supplies of coal.[61] After the war the picture began to change. Initially the British coal industry was buoyed by a series of fortuitous economic events, such as the American coal miners' strike, and by 1924, unemployment for miners was below the national average. But the belief that the mining industry would experience a permanent demand for coal was shattered by the Depression, and the Rhondda experienced a massive upturn in unemployment.[62] The situation worsened in 1926 when, in response to coalowners reducing pay and lengthening working hours of miners,[63] the TUC called a general strike in defence of the miners who had been locked out following A. J. Cook's call "not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day".[64] The TUC called off the strike just nine days later, without resolving the miners' cut in wages. The miners disagreed and stayed on strike for a further seven months until they were starved into surrendering. The Rhondda
Rhondda
saw many schemes set up by miners to aid their plight, such as soup kitchens and fêtes and 'joy' days to support them;[65] while in Maerdy
Maerdy
the local miners set up a rationing system.[64] By the time the miners returned to work there was little desire for further action through strikes, which saw a decline in the popularity of 'The Fed'[64] and greater emphasis on solving problems through political and parliamentary means.[66] With the advent of the Great Depression, employment within the Rhondda Valleys continued to fall. This in turn led to a decline in public and social services, as people struggled to pay rates and rents.[67] One of the outcomes of a lack of funds was a fall in health provisions, which in Rhondda
Rhondda
lead to a lack of medical and nursing staff,[68] a failure to provide adequate sewage works and a rise in deaths from tuberculosis.[69] By 1932 the long-term unemployment figure in the Rhondda
Rhondda
was recorded at 63%,[70] and in Ferndale the unemployment figure for adult males rose as high as 72.85%.[62] With little other employment available in the Rhondda[71] the only solution appeared to be emigration. Between 1924 and 1939, 50,000 people left the Rhondda. During this time life was difficult for communities built solely around a singular industry, especially as most families were on a single wage. The start of the Second World War
Second World War
saw a complete turnaround in the employment figures, and by 1944 unemployment figures in the Rhondda ranged from 1% in Treorchy
Treorchy
to 3.7% at Tonypandy.[72] Mining disasters[edit]

The Lewis Merthyr
Merthyr
Colliery, now part of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Heritage Park

As with any heavy industry, the possibility of serious injury or death was an everyday risk for the mine workers of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley. The most notorious form of colliery disaster was the gas explosion,[73] caused by either a buildup of methane gas or coal dust. As the mines became deeper and ventilation become more difficult to control the risk increased. The worst single incident in the Rhondda
Rhondda
was the 1867 Ferndale disaster in which an explosion saw the loss of 178 lives. However, the major disasters only accounted for roughly 20% of overall fatalities, with individual accidents accounting for the bulk of deaths.[74] The list below shows mining disasters which saw the loss of five or more lives during a single incident.

Mining disasters in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
1850–1965

Colliery Location Date Year Death toll cause

Dinas Colliery Dinas 1 January 1844 12 gas explosion[75]

Cymmer Colliery Cymmer 15 July 1856 112 gas explosion

Ferndale No. 1 Pit Blaenllechau 8 November 1867 178 gas explosion[76]

Ferndale No. 1 Pit Blaenllechau 10 June 1869 53 gas explosion[77]

Pentre
Pentre
Colliery Pentre 24 February 1871 38 gas explosion[78]

Tynewydd
Tynewydd
Colliery Porth 11 April 1877 5 flooding

Dinas Middle Colliery Dinas 13 January 1879 63 gas explosion

Naval Colliery Penygraig 10 December 1880 101 gas explosion

Gelli Colliery Gelli 21 August 1883 5 gas explosion

Naval Colliery Penygraig 27 January 1884 14 gas explosion

Maerdy
Maerdy
Colliery Maerdy 23–24 December 1885 81 gas explosion[79]

National Colliery Wattstown 18 February 1887 39 gas explosion

Tylorstown
Tylorstown
Colliery Tylorstown 27 January 1896 57 gas explosion[80]

National Colliery Wattstown 11 July 1905 120 gas explosion

Cambrian Colliery No.1 Clydach Vale 10 March 1905 34 gas explosion

Naval Colliery Penygraig 27 August 1909 6 cage fall

Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Colliery Llwynypia 25 January 1932 11 firedamp

Blaenclydach Colliery Clydach Vale 25 November 1941 7 runaway trolly

Lewis Merthyr
Merthyr
Colliery Trehafod 22 November 1956 9 gas explosion

Cambrian Colliery Clydach Vale 17 May 1965 31 gas explosion

Modern Rhondda
Rhondda
1945–present[edit]

Cwmparc
Cwmparc
leading into Treorchy
Treorchy
in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr

The coal mining industry of the Rhondda
Rhondda
was artificially buoyed throughout the war years, though there were expectations of a return to the pre-1939 industrial collapse after the end of the Second World War. There was a sense of salvation when the government announced the nationalisation of the British coal mines in 1947; but the following decades saw a continual reduction in the output from the Rhondda mines. From 15,000 miners in 1947, Rhondda
Rhondda
had just a single pit within the valleys producing coal in 1984, located at Maerdy.[62] The decline in the mining of coal after World War II was a country wide issue, but South Wales
Wales
and Rhondda
Rhondda
were affected to a higher degree than other areas of Britain. Oil had superseded coal as the fuel of choice in many industries and there was political pressure influencing the supply of oil.[81] Of the few industries that were still reliant on coal, the demand was for quality coals, especially coking coal which was required by the steel industry. Fifty percent of Glamorgan coal was now supplied to steelworks,[82] with the second biggest market being domestic heating, which the 'smokeless' coal of the Rhondda
Rhondda
became once again fashionable after the publication of the Clean Air Act.[83] These two markets now controlled the fate of the mines in the Rhondda, and as demand fell from both sectors the knock-on effect on the mining industry was further contraction. In addition exports to other areas of Europe, traditionally France, Italy and the Low Countries, experienced a massive decline; from 33 per cent around the start of the 20th century to roughly 5 per cent by 1980.[83] The other major factors in the decline of coal were related to the massive under-investment in Rhondda
Rhondda
mines over the past decades. Most of the mines in the valleys were sunk between the 1850s and 1880s, which, as a consequence, meant they were far smaller than most modern mines.[84] The Rhondda
Rhondda
mines were in comparison antiquated, with methods of ventilation, coal-preparation and power supply all of a poor standard.[84] In 1945 the British coal industry cut 72 per cent of their output mechanically, whereas in South Wales
Wales
the figure was just 22 per cent.[84] The only way to ensure the financial survival of the mines in the valleys was massive investment from the NCB, but the 'Plan for Coal' paper drawn up in 1950 was overly optimistic in the future demand for coal,[85] which was drastically reduced following an industrial recession in 1956 and an increased availability of oil.[81] The British government and Welsh employment bodies funded and subsidized external businesses to locate new ventures within the valleys to replace the vanishing heavy industries. The first attempt to bring in business not connected to the coal mining industry began in the 1920s when David Jones, Town Clerk to the Rhondda
Rhondda
Urban Council, gained government support in attracting outside businesses to the area.[86] Companies included Alfred Polikoff's clothing factory,[87] Messers Jacob Beatus, manufacturing cardboard boxes and Electrical and Musical Industries Ltd.[87] Following the end of the Second World War, 23 companies were set up in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys, eighteen of them sponsored by the Board of Trade. Most companies had periods of growth and collapse, notably Thorn EMI
EMI
in the 1970s and Burberry[88] in the 2000s. The Rhondda
Rhondda
Heritage Park, a museum commemorating Rhondda's industrial past, is situated just south of Porth
Porth
in the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery in the small former mining village of Trehafod. Religion[edit]

Statue to "Our Lady", the pilgrimage site at Penrhys

The commote of Glynrhondda was coterminous with the earlier parish of Ystradyfodwg, but little is known of the Celtic saint Tyfodwg, or Dyfodwg after whom the parish is named. Saint Tyfodwg is thought to have existed around 600 AD, and although the parish bears his name there are now no religious monuments or places of worship named after him within the Rhondda
Rhondda
boundaries.[38] There are two churches in South Wales
Wales
outside the area named after the saint; Y Tre Sant in Llantrisant
Llantrisant
and Saint Tyfodwg’s in Ogmore Vale. The earliest known religious monument is the Catholic holy well in Penrhys
Penrhys
first mentioned in the 15th century, though it may have been a place of pagan worship before this.[89] This pilgrimage site was identified as a 'manor' belonging to the Cistercian Abbey of Llantarnam[89] and was seen as one of the most important religious sites in Wales, because of its Marian shrine.[89] This holy site was the main reason people would pass through the commote; it was even thought to be the main reason why the first bridges were built over the River Rhondda.[90]

St Peter's Church, Pentre, 'The Cathedral of the Rhondda'

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
the Parish church
Parish church
of Ystradyfodwg
Ystradyfodwg
near the bank of the River Rhondda
River Rhondda
served the parishioners of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr,[91] while the families of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach attended Llanwynno church. The inhabitants of the lower Rhondda, in the vicinity of Porth
Porth
and Dinas, would need to trek to Llantrisant
Llantrisant
to hear a service.[38] Despite the importance of the Anglican Church
Anglican Church
in the lives of the parishioners the growing strength of Nonconformity would make itself felt in the 18th century. In 1738 the Reverend Henry Davies formed the Independent Cause in Cymmer and five years later a "Ty Cwrdd" or meeting house was opened there.[38] Although attracting families from as far away as Merthyr
Merthyr
and the parish of Eglwysilan, there were no other Nonconformist
Nonconformist
Causes until David Williams began preaching in the Rhondda
Rhondda
in 1784. In 1785 six people were baptised in the river near Melin-yr-Om and in 1786 "Ynysfach" was opened in Ystrad and was "a new house for religious services".[92] This was the first Baptist
Baptist
chapel in the Rhondda
Rhondda
and later became known as Nebo, Ystrad Rhondda.[93] Cymmer and Ynysfach chapel would be the forerunners in a new religious movement in the valley for the next 150 years. In the early 19th century there were only three places of worship in the Rhondda; the parish church (now dedicated to St. John the Baptist), Cymmer and Ynysfach chapels. This changed rapidly after 1855 as the coal mining industry brought in an influx of population and by 1905 there were 151 chapels in the valley.[94] Chapel
Chapel
life was central to valley life throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but as with many communities throughout Britain, the post wars saw a decline in regular membership. To some extent, as the population declined the number of places of worship also declined, but this was exacerbated in the Rhondda
Rhondda
by a process of linguistic change which saw a severe decline in the number of Welsh speakers. As a result, it was the Welsh language
Welsh language
chapels, in particular, that saw a severe drop in membership from the 1950s, and the next half-century saw many chapels close. By 1990 the Rhondda
Rhondda
had less than 50 places of worship, and many of the buildings had been demolished.[95] Political activism[edit]

Lodge banner depicting Unionist A.J. Cook

Political activism in the Rhondda
Rhondda
has a deep link with trade unions and the socialist movement but was initially slow to develop. In the 1870s the Amalgamated Association of Miners won support, but was destroyed by employer hostility. The Cambrian Miners' Association was more successful and the creation of the South Wales
Wales
Miners' Federation after the 1898 coal strike, gave the South Wales
Wales
miners a reputation for militancy, in which the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
played its part.[96] As part of the Redistribution Act of 1885 the Rhondda
Rhondda
was granted its first seat in Parliament which was won by the moderate trade union leader William Abraham, who was notably the only working-class member elected in Wales.[97] Socialism
Socialism
and syndicalism ideals grew throughout the 20th century and industrial struggle reached a crescendo in the 1910–11 Tonypandy
Tonypandy
Riots.[98] A year later Tonypandy
Tonypandy
saw the publication of Noah Ablett's pamphlet "The Miners' Next Step". Tonypandy
Tonypandy
was at the centre of further public disorder when, on 11 June 1936 at Dewinton Field, a large group of people gathered to confront the open-air address by Tommy Moran, propaganda officer of the British Union of Fascists. The crowd, recorded as between 2,000 and 6,000 strong, turned violent and police were forced to protect Moran's Blackshirt bodyguard.[99] Seven local people were arrested. The Rhondda
Rhondda
also has a strong history of communist sympathy, with the Rhondda
Rhondda
Socialist Society being a key element in the coalition that founded the Communist Party of Great Britain.[62] By 1936 there were seven Communists on the Rhondda
Rhondda
Urban District Council and was publishing its own Communist newspaper The Vanguard.[100] In the 1930s Maerdy
Maerdy
became such a hotspot of Communist support it was known as "Little Moscow"[101] producing left wing activists such as Merthyr born Arthur Horner and Marxist writer Lewis Jones.[100] The Rhondda miners were also active in socialist activities outside the valleys. In the 1920s and 1930s the Rhondda
Rhondda
and the surrounding valleys provided the principal support of some of the largest hunger marches, while in 1936 more Rhondda
Rhondda
Federation members were serving in Spain as part of the International Brigades
International Brigades
than the total number of volunteers from all the English coalfields.[66] In 1979, Rhondda
Rhondda
councillor Annie Powell became Wales' only communist mayor.[102] Culture and recreation[edit] Role of women[edit] With an economy fundamentally dependent upon a single industry, there was a scarcity of paid employment for women in Rhondda's coalmining heyday. The Encyclopaedia of Wales
Wales
notes that the image of the Welsh Mam, a wife and mother constantly at home and exalted as the queen of the household, was essentially a Rhondda
Rhondda
creation.[24] However the Rhondda
Rhondda
did produce the suffragette and social reformer Elizabeth Andrews,[24] one of only nine women among a list of a hundred greatest Welsh heroes chosen by ballot in 2004.[103] Sport[edit] Social amenities were rudimentary even before the formation of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Urban District Council in 1897. Due to the geographic layout of the valleys, land was a scarce resource, and therefore leisure activities that took up little space, time and money were sought. This saw the popularity of activities such as greyhound races, cockfighting, open air handball courts (often attached to a public house), boxing booths, foot racing and rugby union.[104]

Dai 'Tarw' Jones

Rugby union[edit] During the mid-19th century the influx of immigrants from the older mining towns, such as Aberdare
Aberdare
and Merthyr, brought with them the game of rugby. At Treherbert
Treherbert
it took a five-month lockout in 1875 to see the game establish itself at the various collieries where the Amalgamated Association of Miners held their meetings.[105] In 1877 Penygraig
Penygraig
Rugby Football Club was formed, followed by Treherbert
Treherbert
in 1879, Ferndale in 1882, Treorchy
Treorchy
in 1886 and Tylorstown
Tylorstown
in 1903. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the ' Rhondda
Rhondda
forward' was a key player in many Wales
Wales
teams.[106] The heavy industrial worker was a prime aggressive attack figure in early Welsh packs, typified by the likes of Treherbert's Dai 'Tarw' (bull) Jones who at 6-foot 1 inch (185.5 cm) and 16 stone (100 kg) in weight[107] was seen as an animal of a man. Due to the lack of playing fields in the valleys, many rugby teams would share grounds, travel every week to away grounds or even play on inappropriate (e.g. sloping) pitches. The valley clubs also had no clubhouses, with most teams meeting, and changing, in the closest local public house.[108] Many more clubs, built around colliery and pub teams, appeared and disbanded but many of the clubs survive to this day. Football[edit] Due to the dominance of rugby union there have been few football teams of note in the history of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys. Several teams were formed around the end of the 19th century, but most folded during the depression, including Cwmparc
Cwmparc
F.C. in 1926[109] and Mid- Rhondda
Rhondda
in 1928.[109] The most successful club from the area is Ton Pentre
Pentre
F.C.. Music[edit] The temperance movement, which had been absorbed into the moralistic system of the Nonconformist
Nonconformist
chapels, caused a shift in social attitudes in the mid- to late-19th- and early-20th century Rhondda. Alcohol was looked down upon and so were the increasingly violent sports such as rugby,[110] so young men looked for different and more acceptable pastimes. Voice choirs were a natural progression from chapel society, and brass bands would eventually gain acceptance by the movement. Male voice choirs[edit] A phenomenon of Welsh industrial communities was the appearance of male voice choirs, believed to have been formed from glee clubs. The Rhondda
Rhondda
produced several choirs of note, including the Rhondda
Rhondda
Glee Society, who represented Wales
Wales
at the World Fair eisteddfod.[111] The rival Treorchy
Treorchy
Male Voice Choir also enjoyed considerable success at eisteddfodau and in 1895, the original Treorky Male Choir sang before Queen Victoria.[111] Many choirs still exist today including the Cambrian Male voice choir, situated in Tonypandy. Brass bands[edit] In the mid-19th century brass bands had a poor relationship with the Nonconformist
Nonconformist
chapels, mainly due to the heavy social drinking that came hand in hand with being a member of a band.[112] This changed towards the end of the 19th century, and as well as becoming more respectable, many bands had actually joined the temperance movement. Two Rhondda
Rhondda
brass bands who both started as temperance bands are the Cory Band
Cory Band
from Ton Pentre, who started life as Ton Temperance in 1884;[113] and the Parc and Dare Band, formerly the Cwmparc
Cwmparc
Drum and Fife Temperance Band.[114] The oldest brass band in Rhondda
Rhondda
is the Lewis- Merthyr
Merthyr
Band, formerly Cymmer Colliery Band, who were founded as the Cymmer Military Band in or before 1876[115] As the temperance movement faded the bands found new benefactors in the colliery owners, and many bands took on the names of specific collieries. A memorable image of the connection between the collieries and brass bands came in 1985, when the Maerdy
Maerdy
miners were filmed returning to work after the miners' strike, marching behind the village band.[112] Culture and nationality[edit] Language[edit] For the majority of its history the area now recognised as the Rhondda Valley
Valley
was an exclusively Welsh speaking area. It was only in the early 20th century that English began to supplant Welsh as the first language of social intercourse.[116] In 1803, English historian Benjamin Heath Malkin
Benjamin Heath Malkin
mentioned while travelling through Ystradyfodwg, that he had only met one person with whom he could talk, and then with the help of an interpreter.[116] This situation was repeated with John George Wood, who on his visit to the area complained of the awkwardness of understanding the particular dialects and idioms used by the native speakers, which were on times difficult for other Welsh speakers to understand.[117] This dialect was once called 'tafodiaith gwŷr y Gloran' ('the dialect of the men of Gloran'). As the industrialisation of the valleys began there was little shift in the use of Welsh as a first language. Initial immigrants were Welsh and it was not until the 1900s that English workers began settling in any great numbers, but it was not these new workers who changed the language; the erosion of Welsh had already begun in the 1860s in the school classrooms. The educational philosophy accepted by schoolmasters and governmental administrators was that English was the language of scholars, and that Welsh was a barrier to moral and commercial prosperity.[118] In 1901 35.4% of Rhondda
Rhondda
workers spoke only English but by 1911 this had risen to 43.1%, while Welsh speaking monoglots had dropped from 11.4% to 4.4% in the same period.[119] The true Anglicization of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys took place from 1900 to 1950. Improved transport and communications facilitated the spread of new cultural influences, along with dealings with outside companies with no understanding of Welsh, trade union meetings held in English, the coming of radio, cinema and then television and cheap English newspapers and paperback books; all were factors in the absorption of the English language.[120] Cadwgan Circle[edit] Though the population of the Rhondda
Rhondda
was embracing English as its first language, during the 1940s a literary and intellectual movement formed in the Rhondda
Rhondda
that would produce an influential group of Welsh language writers. Formed during the Second World War
Second World War
by Egyptologist J. Gwyn Griffiths
J. Gwyn Griffiths
and his German wife Käte Bosse-Griffiths, the group was known as the Cadwgan Circle (Cylch Cadwgan), and met at the Griffiths' house in Pentre. The Welsh writers who made up the movement included Pennar Davies, Rhydwen Williams, James Kitchener Davies and Gareth Alban Davies.

Treorchy
Treorchy
Gorsedd Stones

National Eisteddfod[edit] The Rhondda
Rhondda
has hosted the National Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
on only one occasion, in 1928 at Treorchy. The Gorsedd stones
Gorsedd stones
that were placed to commemorate the event still stand on the Maindy hillside overlooking Treorchy
Treorchy
and Cwmparc. In 1947 Treorchy
Treorchy
held the Urdd National Eisteddfod, the Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
for children and young adults.[121] Communal activity[edit] Rhondda
Rhondda
had a strong tradition of communal activity, exemplified by workmen's halls, miners' institutes and trade unions.[122] Miners began to contribute to the building and running of institutes - such as the Parc and Dare Hall
Parc and Dare Hall
in Treorchy
Treorchy
– from the 1890s onwards, and they were centres of both entertainment and self-improvement with billiards halls, libraries and reading rooms.[123] Media[edit] In 1884 the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley
Valley
was served by local newspaper the Rhondda Chronicle[124] which became the Rhondda
Rhondda
Gazette and General Advertiser of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach and Ogmore Valleys in 1891. In 1899, the Rhondda Valley
Valley
was served by the Pontypridd
Pontypridd
and Rhondda
Rhondda
Weekly Post while Rhondda
Rhondda
Post was also in circulation in 1898. The Rhondda Leader one of the more familiar local papers of the region, was first published in 1899[125] and nine years later became the Rhondda
Rhondda
Leader, Maesteg, Garw and Ogmore Telegraph. The Porth Gazette was published from 1900 to 1944[126] and during that period there was a newspaper called the Rhondda
Rhondda
Socialist. Rhondda
Rhondda
Gazette was in circulation from 1913 to 1919 while the Rhondda
Rhondda
Clarion was available in the late 1930s. The Porth
Porth
Gazette and Rhondda Leader was published from 1944 to 1967 while also published in Pontypridd
Pontypridd
during those years was the Rhondda Fach Leader and Gazette. In more recent years the Rhondda Leader and Pontypridd
Pontypridd
& Llantrisant
Llantrisant
Observer combined before the Rhondda Leader became a separate edition once more.[127] In August 1952 the BBC transmitter at Wenvoe began broadcasting allowing the Rhondda
Rhondda
to receive television pictures for the first time.[128] This was followed in January 1958 with Commercial Television provided by Television Wales
Wales
and the West (TWW), giving the viewers of the Rhondda
Rhondda
a choice of two television channels.[129] Transport[edit]

The A4061
A4061
Bwlch-y-Clawdd road was built in 1928. It connected the Rhondda
Rhondda
to Nantymoel
Nantymoel
and Abergwynfi and made a lasting impression on the landscape to be featured in National Geographic.[130]

Due to the geological layout of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley, transport links are fairly restrictive. The original road layout followed the valleys with few connections between them. In the 1920s, a major unemployment relief programme for out of work miners was created to build mountain roads connecting communities together. The mountain roads had a lasting effect and transformed the valleys from being dead-end communities.[131][132] In the late 20th and early 21st century, new road projects such as the Rhondda by-pass
Rhondda by-pass
have been created out of former railway lines.[133] Two main roads service the area, the A4058
A4058
runs through the Rhondda Fawr and the A4233 services the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach. The A4058
A4058
starts at Pontypridd
Pontypridd
runs through Porth
Porth
before ending at Treorchy, where it joins the A4061
A4061
to Hirwaun. The A4233 begins outside Rhondda
Rhondda
at Tonyrefail, heading north through Porth
Porth
and through the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach to Maerdy, where the road eventually links up with the A4059
A4059
at Aberdare. Two other A roads service the area; the A4119
A4119
is a relief road, known as the Tonypandy
Tonypandy
Bypass and the other is the A4061
A4061
which links Treorchy
Treorchy
to the Ogmore Vale
Ogmore Vale
before reaching Bridgend. There is a single rail link to the Rhondda, the Rhondda
Rhondda
Line, based around the old Taff Vale Railway
Taff Vale Railway
which serviced both the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach and Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr. The Rhondda Line
Rhondda Line
runs through the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr, linking Rhondda
Rhondda
to Cardiff
Cardiff
Central. The railway stations that once populated the Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach were all closed after the Beeching Axe. The railway line serves ten Rhondda
Rhondda
stations with the villages not directly linked connected through bus services. British Rail
British Rail
reopened some of the closed stations such as Ystrad Rhondda
Rhondda
railway station in 1986.[134] Notable residents[edit] See also: Category:People from Rhondda Due to the scarcity of inhabitants in the Rhondda
Rhondda
prior to industrialisation, there are few residents of note before the valleys became a coal mining area. The earliest individuals to come to the fore were linked with the coal industry and the people; physical men who found a way out of the Rhondda
Rhondda
through sport; charismatic orators who led the miners through unions or political and religious leaders who tended to the deeply religious chapel going public. Sport[edit]

Boxer, Jimmy Wilde

The two main sports with which the Rhondda
Rhondda
appeared to produce quality participants were rugby union and boxing. One of the first true rugby stars to come from the Rhondda
Rhondda
was Willie Llewellyn, who not only gained 20 caps for Wales
Wales
scoring 48 points, but was also the first Rhondda
Rhondda
born member of the British Lions. Such was Llewellyn's fame that during the Tonypandy
Tonypandy
Riots, his pharmacy was left unscathed by the crowds due to his past sporting duties. Many players came through the Rhondda
Rhondda
to gain international duty, and after the split between amateur rugby union and the professional Northern League, many were also tempted to the North of England to earn a wage for their abilities. Amongst the new league players was Jack Rhapps, Aberaman born, but living in the Rhondda
Rhondda
when he 'Went North', eventually becoming the world's first dual-code international rugby player. The most famous rugby player from the Rhondda
Rhondda
of the later half of the 20th century is Cliff Morgan. Morgan was born in Trebanog, and gained 29 caps for Wales, four for the British Lions and was one of the inaugural inductees of the International Rugby Hall of Fame. Another notable player is Billy Cleaver from Treorchy, a member of the 1950 Grand Slam winning team. During the 20th century The Rhondda
Rhondda
also supplied a steady stream of championship boxers. Percy Jones was not only the first World Champion from the Rhondda, but was the first Welshman to hold a World Title when he won the Flyweight belt in 1914. After Jones came the Rhondda's most notable boxer, Jimmy Wilde
Jimmy Wilde
also known as the "Mighty Atom", who took the IBU world flyweight title in 1916. British Champions from the valleys include Tommy Farr
Tommy Farr
who held the British and Empire heavyweight belt and Llew Edwards who took the British featherweight title. Although association football was not as popular as rugby in the Rhondda
Rhondda
in the early 20th century, after the 1920s several notable players had emerged from the area. Two of the most important players both came from the village of Ton Pentre; Jimmy Murphy was capped 15 times for Wales, and in 1958 managed both the Welsh national team and Manchester United. Roy Paul, also from Ton Pentre, led Manchester City to two successive FA Cup
FA Cup
finals in 1955 and 1956 and gained 33 Welsh caps. Alan Curtis, who was best known for representing Swansea City and Cardiff
Cardiff
City, came from the neighbouring village of Pentre, and in an 11-year international career won 35 caps for Wales
Wales
scoring 6 goals. The Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys have also produced two world class darts players. In 1975 Alan Evans from Ferndale won the Winmau World Masters, a feat repeated in 1994 by Richie Burnett from Cwmparc. Burnett surpassed Evans when he also became BDO World Darts Champion winning the tournament in 1995. Politics[edit]

Leanne Wood, from Penygraig

Despite neither being born in the Rhondda, the two most notable political figures to emerge from the area are William Abraham, known as Mabon, and George Thomas, Viscount Tonypandy. Abraham, best known as a trade unionist was the first Member of Parliament of the Rhondda and the leader of the South Wales
Wales
Miners' Federation. A strong negotiator in the early years of valleys' unionism, as a moderate he lost ground to more radical leaders in his later years. Thomas was the born in Port Talbot but raised in Trealaw
Trealaw
near Tonypandy. He was a Member of Parliament for Cardiff
Cardiff
for 38 years and Speaker of the House of Commons (1976–1983). On his retirement from politics he was made Viscount Tonypandy. Leanne Wood, current leader of Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru
is from the Rhondda. Film and television[edit] The most well known actors to have been born in the Rhondda
Rhondda
are Sir Stanley Baker
Stanley Baker
and brothers Donald and Glyn Houston. Baker was born in Ferndale and starred in films such as The Cruel Sea (1953) and Richard III (1955), though it was as actor/producer of the 1964 film Zulu that his legacy endures.[135] The Houston brothers were both born in Tonypandy, with Donald gaining better success as a film actor, with memorable roles in The Blue Lagoon (1949) and Ealing's Dance Hall (1950).[136] Glyn Houston acted primarily in British B-Movies, and was better known as a television actor.[136] Literature[edit] Of the Cadwgan Circle, the most notable of their number is Rhydwen Williams, the winner of the Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
Crown on two occasions who used the landscape of the industrial valleys as a basis for much of his work. Writing in the English language
English language
Peter George was born in Treorchy
Treorchy
and is best known as the Oscar nominated screenwriter of Dr. Strangelove, based on his book Red Alert. Reflecting the lives of the residents of the Rhondda, both Gwyn Thomas and Ron Berry brought a realism to the industrial valleys which was missing in the more rose-tinted writings of Richard Llewellyn. Visual arts[edit] The area has not produced as notable a group of visual artists as it has writers, though in the 1950s a small group of students, brought together through a daily commute by train to the Cardiff
Cardiff
College of Art, came to prominence and are known as the ' Rhondda
Rhondda
Group'.[137] Although they did not set up a school or have a manifesto; the group, which included Charles Burton, Ceri Barclay, Glyn Morgan, Thomas Hughes, Gwyn Evans, Nigel Flower, David Mainwaring, Ernest Zobole
Ernest Zobole
and Robert Thomas, were an important artistic movement in 20th-century Welsh art. The most notable members of the group include Ernest Zobole, a painter from Ystrad, whose expressionist work was deeply rooted in the juxtaposition of the industrialised buildings of the valleys set against the green hills that surround them.[138] Also from the Rhondda Fawr was sculptor Robert Thomas;[139] born in Cwmparc, his heavy cast statues have become icons of contemporary Wales, with many of his works publicly displayed in Cardiff.[140] Science and social science[edit] In sciences and social sciences the Rhondda
Rhondda
has provided important academics within the aspects of Wales
Wales
and on the World stage. Donald Davies, born in Treorchy
Treorchy
in 1924 was the co-inventor of packet switching, a process which enabled the exchange of information between computers, a feature which enabled the Internet.[141] In the social sciences, the Rhondda
Rhondda
has produced Welsh historian John Davies, an important voice on Welsh affairs, who was one of the most recognised faces and voices of 21st century Welsh history, and was also one of the main authors of The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. The Rhondda
Rhondda
has also produced J. Gwyn Griffiths, an eminent Egyptologist, who was also a member of the Cadwgan Circle. Griffiths and his wife Käte Bosse-Griffiths
Käte Bosse-Griffiths
were influential writers and curators in the history of Egyptian lore. References[edit]

^ The Encyclopedia of Wales
Wales
(2008) does not give the area of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley, but gives the hectares for each of the 16 communities as of 2001. Clydach (487 ha), Cymmer (355 ha), Ferndale (380 ha), Llwynypia
Llwynypia
(258), Maerdy
Maerdy
(1064 ha), Pentre
Pentre
(581 ha), Penygraig
Penygraig
(481 ha), Porth
Porth
(370 ha), Tonypandy
Tonypandy
(337), Trealaw
Trealaw
(286 ha), Trehafod
Trehafod
(164 ha), Treherbert
Treherbert
(2156 ha), Treorchy
Treorchy
(1330 ha), Tylorstown
Tylorstown
(590 ha), Ynyshir
Ynyshir
(441 ha), Ystrad (714 ha). Total 9994 ha ^ "2001 Census of Population" (PDF). National Assembly of Wales. April 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2010.  ^ "Key Statistics for urban areas in England and Wales" (PDF). National Assembly of Wales. Retrieved 12 September 2010.  ^ a b c Hopkins (1975), p. 222 ^ Gwefen Cymru-Catalonia Kimkat.org ^ " Rhondda
Rhondda
Urban District Council records". Archives Network Wales. Retrieved 19 February 2009.  ^ Davis (1989), p. 5 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 7 ^ Williams, Glanmor, ed. (1984). Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume II, Early Glamorgan: pre-history and early history. Cardiff: Glamorgan History Trust. p. 57. ISBN 0-904730-04-2.  ^ Davis (1989), p. 11 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 12 ^ Davis (1989), p. 9 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 14 ^ Davis (1989), p. 15 ^ Davis (1989), p. 16 ^ Nash-Williams, V.E. (1959). The Roman frontier in Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press.  ^ Davis (1989), p. 17 ^ Davis, Wendy (1982). Wales
Wales
in the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
(Studies in the Early History of Britain), Leicester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7185-1235-4, p. 102 ^ Rees, William (1951). An Historical Atlas of Wales
Wales
from Early to Modern Times; Faber & Faber ISBN 0-571-09976-9 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 18 ^ Davis (1989), p. 19 ^ Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments (in Wales), HMSO Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Inventories, Vol 3, part 2 ^ Pugh, T.B. (1971). Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume III, The Middle Ages: The Marcher
Marcher
Lordships of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
and Morgannwg
Morgannwg
and Gower and Kilvey from the Norman Conquest to the Act of Union of England and Wales. University of Wales
Wales
Press. p. 39.  ^ a b c d e f g Davies (2008), p. 746 ^ Pugh, T.B. (1971). Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume III, The Middle Ages: The Marcher
Marcher
Lordships of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
and Morgannwg
Morgannwg
and Gower and Kilvey from the Norman Conquest to the Act of Union of England and Wales. University of Wales
Wales
Press. p. 47.  ^ Davis (1989), p. 22 ^ Aileen Fox (1939). Early Welsh Homesteads on Gelligaer Common, Glamorgan. Excavations in 1938. Glamorganshire. 94. Archaeologia Cambrensis. pp. 163–199.  ^ Rhondda Cynon Taf
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Library Service, Digital Archive Picture of the remains of Castell Nos ^ Davis (1989), p. 25 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 26 ^ Davis (1989), p. 26, "Morgen not only misidentifies the height of the 30 ft. mound as 100ft. but states that '... all these sacred mounds were reared in this country ... when Druidism was the established religion', but gives no historic proof. The book also has an illustration of the castle which the artist has added a moat and several druids, neither of which are factual." ^ John Ward (1914). 'Our Lady of Penrhys', Glamorganshire. 69. Archaeologia Cambrensis. pp. 395–405.  ^ a b c Davis (1989), p. 29 ^ Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume IV, Early Modern Glamorgan
Glamorgan
from the Act of Union to the Industrial Revolution, Glanmor Williams, pp. 2-3. University of Wales
Wales
Press (1974) ^ Lewis (1959), pp. 18-20 ^ Malkin, Benjamin (1807). The Scenery, Antiquities & Biography of south Wales, Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme ^ Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume IV, Early Modern Glamorgan
Glamorgan
from the Act of Union to the Industrial Revolution, Glanmor Williams, p. 26 University of Wales
Wales
Press (1974) ^ a b c d Davis (1989), p. 31 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 38 ^ Davis (1989), p. 40 ^ a b Davis (1989), p. 34 ^ Davis (1989), p. 35 ^ Davies (2008), p. 153 ^ a b c d John (1980), p. 182 ^ Barrie, D.S.M. "The Taff Vale Railway". trackbed.com. Retrieved 12 September 2010.  ^ John (1980), p. 454 ^ Awdry (1990), p 41 ^ John (1980), p. 455 ^ John (1980), p. 183 ^ John (1980), p. 192 ^ John (1980), p. 193 ^ John (1980), pp. 192-193 ^ John (1980), p. 342 ^ a b Hopkins (1975), p. 112 ^ Williams (1996), p.15 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 113 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 114 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 206 ^ 1911 Census, of those who answered: Welsh 90.28%, English 8.23%, Irish & Scottish 0.92%%, Rest of World 0.58% ^ Davies (2008), p. 408 ^ a b John (1980), p. 519 ^ a b c d Davies (2008), p. 748 ^ Morgan (1988), p. 100 ^ a b c Morgan (1988), p. 101 ^ Wales
Wales
in the Twentieth Century World: Family on the Dole 1919-1939; Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County Council Education Department (1994) pp. 3–4 ^ a b Morgan (1988), p. 102 ^ John (1980), p. 541 ^ John (1980), p. 542 ^ John (1980), p. 543 ^ John (1980), p. 539 ^ John (1980), p. 518 ^ John (1980), p. 563 ^ Davies (2008), p. 160 ^ Davies (2008), p. 161 ^ Cornwall, John (1987). Rhondda
Rhondda
Collieries, Volume 1, Number 4 in the Coalfield Series. Cowbridge: D. Brown and Sons Ltd. p. 8. ISBN 0-905928-82-2.  ^ Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taff library services - Ferndale History ^ Hopkins (1975), p. ix ^ "BBC Coalhouse - Pentre
Pentre
Colliery". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 12 September 2010.  ^ Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taff library services - Maerdy
Maerdy
History ^ - Rhondda
Rhondda
Cynon Taff library services - Tylorstown
Tylorstown
History ^ a b John (1980), p. 590 ^ John (1980), p. 595 ^ a b John (1980), p. 596 ^ a b c John (1980), p. 588 ^ John (1980), p. 589 ^ "A Look back to the glory days". Rhondda
Rhondda
Leader. Wales
Wales
Online. 29 March 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2008.  ^ a b John (1980), p. 572 ^ " Burberry
Burberry
defends factory closure", BBC Online, 27 February 2007 ^ a b c Davis (1989), p. 27 ^ Tobin, Patrick; J. Davies (1981). The Bridge and the Song, Some Chapters in the Story of Pontypridd. Mid Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County Libraries. ISBN 1-872430-05-8.  ^ Carlisle, Nicholas (1811). A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales. W. Bulmer and co.  ^ Davis (1989), p. 32 ^ "Pillars of Faith". Retrieved 21 January 2014.  ^ Morgan (1988), p. 252 ^ " Rhondda
Rhondda
Places of Worship". LSJ Services [Wales] Ltd. TheRhondda.co.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2011.  ^ Lewis (1959), pp. 172–173 ^ Davies (2008), p. 650 ^ Morgan (1988), p. 62 ^ "Moseley 1936: British fascism: Routed on the streets". permanentrevolution.net. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2011.  ^ a b Hopkins (1975), p. 70 ^ Davies (2008), p. 749 ^ " Annie Powell (obituary)", New York Times, 29 August 1986 ^ 100 Welsh Heroes Ranked at number 100. ^ Smith (1980), p. 103 ^ Smith (1980), p. 102 ^ David Parry-Jones (1999). Prince Gwyn, Gwyn Nicholls and the First Golden Era of Welsh Rugby (1999). seren. p. 36.  ^ Smith (1980), p. 136 ^ Morgan (1988), p. 393 ^ a b Morgan (1988), p. 396 ^ Smith (1980), p. 120 ^ a b Morgan (1988), p. 374 ^ a b Davies (2008), p. 80 ^ Blue Plaque Scheme Announced Rhondda Cynon Taf
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Council website ^ Harries, Lawrence. "A History of the Parc and Dare Band". brassbands.co.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2011.  ^ [http://www.lewismerthyrband.com/about.htm Lewis- Merthyr
Merthyr
Band website ^ a b Hopkins (1975), p. 179 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 180 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 212 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 209 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 213 ^ Hopkins (1975), p. 19 ^ Davies (2008), p. 747 ^ Davies (2008), p. 558 ^ Welsh Newspapers Cardiff
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University information services ^ " Rhondda
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Leader". British Newspapers Online. Retrieved 12 September 2010.  ^ Newspapers and Publications TheRhondda.co.uk ^ Dave Edwards (4 September 2008). "Paper talk". Rhondda
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Leader. Retrieved 25 February 2009.  ^ May, (2003), p. 50 ^ May, (2003), p. 54 ^ Parker, Mike (2013). Mapping The Roads. AA Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-749-57435-2.  ^ " Glamorgan
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Road". Hansard. 22 May 1928. Retrieved 5 August 2015.  ^ "Expediting Traffic in Wales". Commercial Motor. 19 November 1929. Retrieved 5 August 2015.  ^ "Morgan opens £98m Rhondda
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by-pass". BBC News. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2017.  ^ Hutton, John (2006). The Taff Vale Railway, vol. 2. Silver Link. ISBN 978-1-85794-250-7.  ^ Davies (2008) p. 47 ^ a b Davies (2008) p. 378 ^ "Walesart, Ernest Zobole". BBC Wales
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online. Retrieved 2 April 2010.  ^ Obituary: Ernest Zobole, Independent.co.uk, 7 December 1999 ^ Stephens, Meic; Obituary: Robert Thomas independent.co.uk, 21 May 1999. ^ Stephens, Meic (28 May 1999). "Obituary: Robert Thomas". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2017.  ^ "Donald W. Davies CBE, FRS". The History of Computing Project. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063. CN 8983.  Carpenter, David J. (2000). Rhondda
Rhondda
Collieries. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-1730-4.  Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.  Davis, Paul R. (1989). Historic Rhondda. Ynyshir: Hackman. ISBN 0-9508556-3-4.  Hopkins, K.S. (1975). Rhondda
Rhondda
Past and Future. Ferndale: Rhondda Borough Council.  John, Arthur H. (1980). Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume V, Industrial Glamorgan
Glamorgan
from 1700 to 1970. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press.  Lewis, E.D. (1959). The Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys. London: Phoenix House.  May, John (2003). Rhondda
Rhondda
1203 - 2003: The Story of the Two Valleys. Caerphilly: Castle Publications. ISBN 1-871354-09-9.  Morgan, Prys (1988). Glamorgan
Glamorgan
County History, Volume VI, Glamorgan Society 1780 to 1980. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press. ISBN 0-904730-05-0.  Smith, David (1980). Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3.  Williams, Chris (1996). Democratic Rhondda: politics and Society 1885-1951. Cardiff: University of Wales
Wales
Press. 

External links[edit]

Rhondda
Rhondda
Valleys Information and History — The history of the Rhondda Valleys with high resolution mining photographs.

v t e

Villages and towns of the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley

Rhondda
Rhondda
Fawr

Blaencwm Blaenrhondda Cwm Clydach Cwmparc Cymmer Dinas Rhondda Gelli Glynfach Llwyncelyn Llwynypia Pentre Penygraig Pen-yr-englyn Porth Ton Pentre Tonypandy Trealaw Trebanog Trehafod Treherbert Treorchy Tynewydd Williamstown Ynyswen Ystrad Rhondda

Rhondda
Rhondda
Fach

Blaenllechau Ferndale Maerdy Penrhys Pontygwaith Tylorstown Stanleytown

.