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Merthyr Tydfil

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27th October 1913




Edwardsville is the modern name of a small urban area near Treharris and Quakers Yard. The termination ‘-ville’ was very popular in the nineteenth century, suggesting ‘village’ as well as the French ‘ville’ (town) and, at the same time, indicating a new kind of  modern settlement. Another local name with this ending is Nixonville. Howard C Jones, Place Names in Glamorgan, p. 25, gives full details regarding the name. Mrs C M Williams of Grove House, Edwardsville, wrote: My late father, Mr A Clarke, was in the meeting held in the Long Room of the Great Western Hotel when Edwardsville was given its name. It was called this after the late Mr Edmund Edwards, who was chairman of the meeting and the proprietor of the Great Western Hotel. He later became the owner of many properties.

This meeting was held about 1900 and Edwardsville was first applied to a single street and then used generally to mean the district above Quakers Yard Railway Station.


The large quarry or gap on the summit of the mountain Daren y  Celyn, ( Holly Ridge ), popularly known as

the ‘Giant’s Bite’  supplied  stone for the Edwardsville Viaducts.  The small Quaker’s Yard Railway Station

on Brunel’s original Taff Vale Railway, 1841, is all that is left of an impressive railway complex in this area.

Until the mid 1970s,  2 derelict stone viaducts spanned the River Taff. The first, which  opened in 1858, 

carried the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway across the river, through a mountain tunnel to

Aberdare and the Cynon and Neath Valleys, an engineering triumph. The second viaduct opened in 1886.

It carried the joint G.W.R. and Rhymney Railway from Quaker’s Yard northward to Merthyr Tydfil on the

opposite side of the valley, along much of the route taken by the new A470 Trunk Road, 1985.


There were a number of important schools here, The Quakers Yard Grammar School  was opened here in 1922, the Mining Institute, 1929 and the Quakers Yard Technical School, 1937.  The early Grammar School, 1922, met the demand for secondary education after WWI. It was housed in 13 huts purchased by the Merthyr Tydfil C.B.C. from the army camp on Salisbury Plain for £1300. The Mining Institute

was financed by a levy of 1 penny per ton of coal dug by miners at the local colleries. A great number of miners and mining engineers attended classes at this institute for many years. Both the Quaker’s Yard Grammar School and the Technical School produced many able pupils, including John A. Owen, who was the last manager of the Dowlais Works. Both schools amalgamated  in 1956 into one school, which closed in 1967. The school was replaced by a modern comprehensive school in Troedyrhiw, Afon Taff. Here was also the so called ’Truant School’  or South Wales and Monmouthshire Training School. This was built in 1895 for young boys who were not attending school and had become a problem on the streets. The youths came here from a wide radius and it was something of an old fashioned borstal, although parents had to pay part of the cost of a boy staying here. There is now a modern and well thought of junior school near to the former site of these schools, Edwardsville Junior School.

Old maps gave the earlier farm at Edwardsville as Tir Ffawyddog, meaning ‘Beechy Land’. Hence the cemetery here is named Beechgrove which opened in 1888.   On 27th October 1913 a tornado struck the area and the farm, then called Beech Grove Farm, was badly damaged. One of the most interesting features in the area was an open air swimming pool built in  1937 to encourage fitness and fresh air, the Edwardsville Open-Air Baths. It was converted into a modern covered baths in 1986, but sadly suffered from subsidence in more recent years.



Edwardsville, Treharris

The main road to Merthyr in the 1960s

The Swimming Baths - 1926


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After the Tornado 27th October 1913

The Great Western Hotel




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Edwardsville from Cefn Glas

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Edwardsville - English Congregational Church


The Viaducts at Edwardsville

The one in the foreground is on the Vale Of Neath Railway connecting Quakers Yard High Level with Mountain Ash through the Cefn Glas Tunnel. The viaduct in the background is on the Rhymney Railway/Great Western Joint Line linking Quakers Yard High Level with Aberfan, Abercanaid and Merthyr. The lattice work in the arches of the viaduct was not by design.It was put in to prevent the viaducts collapsing because of mining subsidence from Deep Navigation workings underneath. Notice the track of the Penydarren Tramroad in the bottom right of the picture.

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Edwardsville Infants School - 1988c

Left Hand Teacher: Mrs Proudlove

Right Hand Teacher (Headteacher): Mrs Evans

(Photograph Courtesy of Rita Williams)


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Infants & Junior



Edwardsville - General View

(Photograph Courtesy of Gareth Evans)



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Edwardsville Viaducts

The Truant School.






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Truant School






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