is a ‘classic’ coal mining community, a settlement in this district
is recorded archaeologically from very early times. In the Gelligaer
and Merthyr Common area, there is evidence of bronze age man, a
Roman road and fort, four standing stones of pagan and early
Christian origins and the remains of medieval homesteads. However,
the agriculturally better lands around Bedlinog Farm were well
farmed from the middle ages and there are no archaeological
The name Bedlinog
has long been held to be derived from 'Bedd Llwynog' - the grave of
the foxes. This is especially likely since the nearby stream is Nant
Llwynog - brook of the foxes.
interpretation has been to trace the name from Bedw Llwyn' - the
grove of the birches.
This area was in
the old hamlet of Garth Gynydd. There were several farms here,
Bedlinog Uchaf, Bedlinog Isaf, Llan Isaf and Uchaf; as well as the
mill and the land at Cwmfelin. Bedlinog Uchaf was the major farm
here, a typical long house. There were a number of old cottages
around the farmhouse in the early nineteenth century, occupied by
farm labourers but also a tailor and a butcher. These cottages
became ruins and were unoccupied from the mid nineteenth century
once industrialisation was underway. Although there were some houses
here in 1850, most of the area was farmland. The field names were
Cae Evan, Cevan y Cae Llwyd, Cevan y cae draw and Cevan y cae draw
ucha. Gradually the fields became the site of Bedlinog Colliery,
with its associated buildings, and a tramway ran down hill to the
main railway line. Bedlinog grew from an existing centre - that of
the mill and cottages of Cwmfelin. The Dowlais Works sunk the
Nantwen Colliery in the early 1870s including the No.8 level
and the "6" Colly Levels, sinking for the Bedlinog Collieries (Pits)
was started in 1874 and completed in 1883.
sinking of the Taff Merthyr Colliery and the subsequent opening of
new levels had an impact on the area.
There is still some
evidence of the quarry. The whole area of the colliery has now been
reclaimed. During the 1960s this was the site of a 'burning tip'
which gained notoriety as giving off smoke and gasses. However, the
whole area was grassed over forming a football ground and a