Map Page
Page Index
What's New
Contact Us


The Town Hall

and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Merthyr Tydfil



Go to:




Click Here for the

Incorporation of the







By Carl Llewellyn


During the Coronation year of King Edwards VII (1902) the Merthyr Urban Council were in discussion what would be a worthy tribute to commemorate H.M. Edward VII’s Coronation by the citizens of Merthyr. The proposal suggested for an installation of a clock below the Town Hall’s turret, after some consultation and debate it was approved by the council, this would be Merthyr’s commemoration of the coronation of his Majesty King Edward VII ascension to the British Throne, 9th August 1902. The architectural alterations would be required to be implemented under the turret of the Town Hall. Tenders were received for lighting the clock as follows: - Merthyr Gas Company, fixtures £5 and lighting "10.10s per annum or by meter; Merthyr Electric traction Co., fittings £26 7s 6d, lighting not exceeding £10 0s per annum. It was stated that the Gas Company were paid on the average £19 13s 7d a year for lighting the Old Parish church clock. After discussion it was agreed seeing the gas would be useful to the clockwork in the winter rime to accept the Gas Company's tender


By February 7th 1903 it was reported the turret of the Town Hall had been cut away in order to make room for the clock, but there was a danger of damage being done, there was concern the structure might have collapsed if the work had not been stopped. At the time Mr V.A. Wills said that inasmuch as Mr Johnson was the architect of the building and knew every screw and bolt in the turret, he would move that he be engaged to supervise the erection of the clock. MR T.E. MORGAN seconded, MR W. LEWIS moved that the Mr Harvey Surveyor do the work and said that in his opinion all work undertaken by the Council was carried out on the highest scale of expense. Mr F.S. SIMONS said that if Mr Harvey was architect, surveyor and everything else, he would be worth £5,000 a year. The Surveyor had his own work to attend to. On a division voted 8 voted for engaging Mr Johnson and 7 against and the motion was carried.


On the 25th April 1903 upon the conclusion of the business of the Council, the Chairman Mr Gwilym C. James invited council members to accompany him to the turret of the Town Hall. Where he had arranged that he should set the new town clock, The councillors made their way into the tower accompanied by Mr C.H. Flooks, jeweller, Pontmorlais and High Street who was entrusted with the order and carried it out with every satisfaction in the presence of Mr Johnson, architect of the Town Hall. The next few moments proved a most exciting time, every gentleman from the smallest to the stout and robust member made use of a long ladder going into the heart of the works. On descending the Chairman of the Council Mr Gwilym C. James at the invitation of Mr Flooks took hold of a long silken chord attached to the lever in the clock, pulled it down about six inches and let go suddenly.  This occurred exactly 16 minutes past 4 and Merthyr's miniature "Big Ben" began to work in real earnest. It is an English turrets striking clock, showing the time on four illuminated dials, each dial being 4ft in diameter. The clock is lighted at night by gas, the light being automatically turned on and lowered by mechanism. It is fitted with a double three legged gravity escapement the invention of Lord Grimthorpe and as a compensating pendulum. The escapement it will be interesting to many to know is built on the same lines as that of the great "Big Ben" at Westminster Abbey. The hour struck on a ball which weighs two cwt, and cast in its sides are the words "Made Coronation year of H.M Edward VII 1902". The bell is a sweet tone and can be heard for a considerable distance. The whole clock and fittings weighed more than a ton, the mechanism is beautifully finished in every way, the wheels and pinions being cut out of a solid metal. The driving weights weigh about two cwt., each. Outside, the clock fills a long-felt want and the townspeople are already proud of it. Should it keep good time as the one at the General Hospital, which was presented to the governors by Mr C. H. Flooks in the year 1885, Mr Flooks and the Council are gratified that the work has been so successfully carried out. The cost of the clock itself exclusive of alteration to the turret was £135.       


In 1961 the pendulum mechanism which had driven the old Town Hall clock was replaced by an electric one.


On Saturday 1st March 2014 St. David’s Day the Old Town Hall “Hen Neuadd y Dref” was given a new branding which is now called “THE REDHOUSE” the official opening commenced on the stroke of 12 noon when Richard Harrington, star of S4C and BBC Wales hit drama Hinterland/Y Gwyll, restarted the Old Town Hall’s iconic clock, which has lain dormant for 30 years. Unlike the original, the restored clock will be fitted with a night silencer.

The bell won’t ring between 11pm and 8am




Building of the Town Hall   Architect E. A. Johnson.



Town Hall early 1900’s


Carnegie Free Library and Town Hall

(Postcard courtesy of Gill Thomas, West Grove)


Merthyr Tydfil Town Hall

(Photograph Courtesy of Robert Haines)


The Town Hall and High Street

(Postcard Courtesy of Malcolm Johnson)

MerthyrTydfil_Town_HighStreet_TownHall_MalcolmJohnson.JPG (153096 bytes)


Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council - 1905

(Photograph Courtesy of Graham Simons, From the Merthyr Express)


Mayor Daniel William Jones and Mayoress Mrs Jones and the first Borough Commission of Peace. 1908.

Back Row:- T.A. Rees (Town Clerk), D. Davies, C.M. Jones, A.J. Howfield, A. Daniel.

Third Row:- Dr. Brennan,J. Morgan, R. Davies, W.W. Green, E. Morrell, J. Davies, T. Andrews, R. Evans, W.R. Thomas, S. Sandbrook, T. Rich, D.C. Evans.

Second Row:- W.L. Daniel, A.W. Houlsen, Mrs. T. Jones (Mayoress), D.W. Jones (Mayor), Dr. C. Biddle.

Front Row:- T Jones, D.R. Lewis (Magistrates Clerk), G.L. Thomas.


Mayor Ald. J. M. Berry reading the proclamation of the visit of King George V to the town in 1912. With him are the mace bearer, the Town Clerk

and other council members

(From the Merthyr Express)


Charles J. Griffiths Pictured with Viscount Kelmsley and Dr. Jones?

The occasion is thought to be Viscount Kelmsley's Freedom of the Borough Presentation.

(Photograph Courtesy of Joyce Sergeant)

Lloyd George Outside the Town Hall - May 12th 1934

Freedom of the Borough Presented to Clement Atlee by Merthyr Mayor S.O. Davies

On the occasion of the presentation of the 'Freeman of the Borough' to Viscount Kemsley. April 23rd 1955


Town Hall Staff - In the 60's

Pictured are two former treasurers of the town: John Pugsley and Bill Thomas.

The four women in the front row left to right are Muriel Davies, Maureen ???, Ann Newby & Meryl Powell. Back row this on the left is David Jenkins.

(Thanks to Clive Davies & Phil Lewis for the Information)

£10 Presentation to the Mayor


HB 1

Austin Princess purchased in 1962 and kept for around 20 years.

(Photograph Courtesy of Martin James)


Mayor's Car and Chauffeur at Queens Road

Mayor's Car (HB1) and Chauffeur


Town Hall Darts Team - NALGO South Wales Area Winners - Early 1970's

Back Row L-R:  David Simpson, John Baldwin, Graham Puddey & Peter Davies.

Front Row L-R: Selwyn Jones, Peter ?, Mike Morgan, David Davies, David Thomas & Malcolm Evans.

(Photograph Courtesy of Peter Davies)

Mayor Albert John with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. 1970.


Town Hall - Mayoral Installation - 1970's

(Photograph Courtesy of Colin Markham)


Magistrates Bench at the old Town Hall 1970-71

(Photograph Courtesy of Glenys & Leighton Jones)


A Special Ceremony held at the Town Hall, to mark the last Quarter Sessions Court held in the borough. 1972.

L - R:- ?, ?, (Seated) Mr Phillip Loscombe Wintringham Owen Q.C., ?, Selwyn Jones (Town Clerk), Tom long, ?.

(Photograph from the Merthyr Express)

Queen Elizabeth II signing the visitors book on her visit to Merthyr Tydfil, March 1973


Quar Ladies at the Town Hall - 17th July 1980

(Photograph From the Merthyr Express)

Council Computer Room - Situated Opposite the Library


Town Hall Staff - 1983

Showing off the t-shirts for the first ever Half Marathon in Merthyr Tydfil.

(Photograph Courtesy of Lynne Rees)


Merthyr Tydfil's Mayors

Click Here to see a full list of Merthyr Tydfil's Mayors



of the Borough

Click Here to see a full list of Merthyr Tydfil's Fremen





Go to:


Do you have any photographs or information relating to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council or the Town Hall, Merthyr Tydfil?

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


To the

High Street