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Quakers Yard

Merthyr Tydfil


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Quakers’ Yard  (Welsh: Mynwent y Crynwyr) was originally known as   'Rhyd y Grug' or 'The Ford of the Rustling Waters' . A Quaker burial ground was opened here by William Howe of Bristol in 1665 on a piece of land on the Pantannas Estate owned by Mary Chapman. In her will of 1700, Lydia Fell left the burial ground or ‘yard’ as it was known locally to the Quakers (  a name given to members of the Religious Society of Friends  who refused to join the Established Church ). George Fox must have inspired the Quakers during his visit to Merthyr  and Quaker’s Yard. George Borrow described the area in 1854 in his book Wild Wales;  ‘The rays of the descending sun gilded the Quakers’ burial ground. A lovely resting place … and quite in keeping with the character of the quiet Christian people who sleep within it’.

 There was a rural village here in pre-industrial times and a part of Quakers’ Yard was in the Parish of Llanfabon. A mill here was called Melin Caeach or Melincaiach.  As well as a corn mill, there was also a small woollen factory and flannel was manufactured at Quakers’ Yard on the banks of the Bargoed Taff. The place was known as The Factory or Melin Caeach, although there is now nothing remaining since most of the buildings have been converted into dwellings. A mill water wheel was said to have been visible on the property until the 1980s.

 Quaker's Yard was at the junction of the Great Western and Taff Vale Railways.  The Quakers’ Yard Railway Station opened in 1858. The Quakers’ Yard Inn is probably the oldest building here, although the Glantaff Inn is also late 18th century.

The Anglican Church was St. Cynon’s Church and many marriages took place here in the 1950s and 60s, but the Church has now been demolished. There was also a Welsh Congregational Chapel here called Libanus Chapel which was built in the 1850s and lasted until 1994, when the roof was damaged and then removed.

One of the most famous British boxers of all time, Jimmy Wilde (1892 - 1969) was born in Quakers’ Yard in a cottage belonging to his grandparents. He was known as 'The ghost with the hammer in his hand' and of his 864 fights there were only 4 occasions when he did not win the contest.   He was Flyweight Champion of the World from 1916 to 1921 and an exceptional  boxer.

As the village grew so schools were built here or in the surrounding area. The Woodlands Junior School was built along the river Taff in 1906 and 70 years later the building was used for a Welsh Medium Junior School, Ysgol Cymraeg  Rhyd y Grug.

After WWI  Merthyr Tydfil acquired some  prefab buildings for a new secondary school and  on the 2nd May 1922  Quakers’ Yard Grammar School officially opened by Mayor David Davies. Alan Osborne, the Welsh playwright, was educated at Quakers Yard Grammar School. The school established a reputation for rugby and drama ( in 1951  The ‘Queens’ ). When Afon Taf School opened in September 1967 pupils from Quakers Yard Grammar School transferred to this new school. The school's first headmaster was David W. Howells, who was previously headmaster at Quaker's Yard Grammar School.

At Quaker's Yard the Taff Trail passes along a back lane, Roderick's Terrace,  with the river Taff downhill on the right. Passing the end of the path from Quakers’ Yard Station the route follows that of Trevithick's locomotive which ran near here from the Penydarren Ironworks to the Glamorgan Canal at Abercynon. The new bridge here was opened in 1925/26. A nearby community is Fiddler’s Elbow , which is located on a sharp bend, it is thought to have been named after the shape of a fiddler playing the violin; although there are also other theories .


General View Quakers Yard and Treharris


General View, Quakers yard & Treharris.

(Postcard courtesy of Geoff Matsell)


Quakers Yard

Showing Old Mill Road, the large building in the centre is The Glantaff Inn.

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Evans)

General View


The Potholes - Quakers Yard

(Photograph Courtesy of Christine Crosby)


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Quakers Yard

Grammar School


The Weir, Quakers Yard

(Postcard courtesy of The Leo Davies Collection.)

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Quakers Yard - early 1900's

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Quakers Yard Bridge - 1897

The Quakers burial ground can be seen on the lower right hand side.

(Photograph courtesy of Judith Jones)


The River Taff at Quakers Yard

Treharris can be seen in the top left of this photograph.



Quaker's Yard - 1985

(Photograph Courtesy of Morton 'Bill' Thomas)


Woodland's School (Quakers Yard) - 2nd Class - April 1927

(Photograph Courtesy of Dick Edwards)

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More Photographs


Woodland's School

Quakers Yard, Treharris

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Quakers Yard - 1966

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Berthllwyd Chapel, Quaker's Yard.

(Photograph Courtesy of Steve Brewer)


Milk Delivery at the Quakers Yard Inn

Mike Stokes tells us: Another photograph which shows William Miles, the great, great grandfather of my brother-in-law, on his milk round (according to indistinct writing on rear). Which one is William though we have no idea.

(Photograph Courtesy of Mike Stokes)

David Ifor Miles in Quakers Yard

Mike Stokes tells us: David is the one on the left and is the father of my brother-in-law. I think he was born in 1912 (or 14). No idea where the house is but I suspect one of the regular viewers to your site might recognise it.

(Photograph Courtesy of Mike Stokes)

1st August 2012, Stuart emailed saying "The house is on the road from Quakers yard to nelson, it is on the corner of the entrance to berth llwyd farm! The white farm looking over Quakers yard!"



 Bridge House at the bottom of Mill Street, Quakers Yard

Photograph taken on 7th June 1976. This bridge house was demolished a short time later after falling into disrepair.

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Evans)

Penydarren Tram Road Toll House

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Quakers Yard, The Prefabs, just built - 6th July 1946

(Photograph from The Merthyr Express)


Glantaff Inn 1951.

(Photograph courtesy of Ron Davies)


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