Map Page
Page Index
What's New
Contact Us


The Labour Club

Court Street, Twynyrodyn.


The Labour Club


Together with  St Tydfil’s Church, Merthyr’s oldest building was the Court House, which is now part of the town’s Labour Club (although both have been rebuilt many times).  The site of the present Labour Club has an interesting history. It is said to be the site of the 12th century court of Ivor Bach. The ancient manor house is now just one wing of the large Labour Social Club. In the 1970s, a time when the Triangle was demolished, this building too was threatened with demolition, although parts of it go back to Norman times and has connections with Welsh chieftains living in the area from the 12th century onwards. There is a story that in the 18th century when the Court House was being renovated a secret walled room was discovered. Inside the room was an ancient oak bedside bearing the letters MCL – The Roman numerals for 1150, an important date in the history of Merthyr Tydfil! The legend runs that the rebel Llewellyn, son of Ifor Bach lived at the Court House ( Clark’s History of Merthyr Tydfil ).  In the 16th century the house was owned by Edward Lewis who left it to build a manor house at Van near Caerphilly The present structure was built in 1717.  The house was built of local stone, enlarged and had new windows built. Three plain collar-beamed roof – trusses survive intact, although mainly boxed in. A description of the building in 1787 described it as looking like a large farmhouse and at one time it was certainly surrounded by green fields.  In the Victorian period a cross-wing was built onto the south of the house and the old building refurbished. Much of the house was reshaped when it became the Labour Club and the roof must have been replaced and renewed many times. On the main front a porch was added in a Tudor style. While Merthyr was still a rural community it was in the hands of the Rees family, although only for a century.  Doctor Thomas became the owner after purchasing it in 1827 and he lived here with a large family   ( Doctor Thomas of the Court, Squire of Merthyr Tydfil, Wilf Owen ).

The Merthyr Express of the 20th March 1880 contained an obituary for Mr Edward Davies, Court House, surgeon for the Cyfarthfa Works. After his day it was rented by Trystan Edwards and converted into a private school for young ladies run by the Misses Edwards. There is a picture of the very elegant dining room in The Illustrated Merthyr Tydfil. There have been recent rumours of the ghost of a former headmistress haunting the building. Despite its attractive double gabled front with porch and bay windows; it is hard to think that it was once a country residence set in formal gardens;

its present open tarmac car park to the front gives it a modern aspect.

 The Merthyr Express for the 21st June 1947 contained a front page story and photograph of the Garden of Remembrance opened at the Merthyr Labour Club and Institute in memory of the club members who were killed in the Second World War.

Although there was a church here before there was the Court, the Labour Club can quite rightly be regarded as being the oldest building in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil.

The wonderful old former front door, now no longer used, and the great early fireplaces at the top of the building make it well worth viewing.




MerthyrTydfil_The Court.JPG (162531 bytes)

The photograph is from the time that the Court House was used as a girls' school.


Twynyrodyn - The Court House


In this Enumeration Book from the 1911 census, the Court House is described as

"The Workman's Home" with the person in charge named James Pilton

(Photograph courtesy of Bob Gamble)



Merthyr Cooperative Society Women's Guild. 1927.

Taken at the Labour Club.

(Photograph courtesy of Sheila Pettigrew)


Group Photograph at the Labour Club 1950.

Back Row L-R:- ?, ?, ?, George King, ?, ?.

Middle Row L-R:- ?, Bryn Isaacs, ?, ?, ?. ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?.

Front Row L-R:- Tim Clifford, Ron Phillips - Landlord of the Farmers Arms (The Spite) 1957-1971, ?, ?, ?. ?, ?, Phillip Davies, ?, Les Jones.

(Photograph courtesy of Carol & Keith Watts)


Labour Club, Boxing Club - 1960's



All Winners - 1970's

Any information and names on this photograph would be appreciated


Do you have any photographs or information for this page?

If so, please email us, by clicking the 'Contact Us' button.

To Twynyrodyn

Page 2