Vaynor is a
separate parish from that of Merthyr Tydfil. There are two river valleys
in Vaynor, the Taff Fechan and the Taff Fawr. The place name Vaynor is
derived from the Welsh word ‘Van’ meaning high or lofty. Other spellings
such as Faenor or Vainor are possibly of early Irish origins. The
original Vaynor Church was built in 874 or 714 but was burnt down during
the battle of Maesvaynor which took place in 1291, the church replacing
this very early one became dilapidated by 1867 and the Crawshays had a
new church built which was completed in 1870. The church is dedicated to
St Gwynno. There are lots of stories and legends about Vaynor, one is
that the church tower was often used as a temporary prison and that a
thief sleeping overnight there discovered 100s of skulls.
Mountain, derives from Irish origin and is supposed to be from Sannos,
one of the daughters of Brychan of Brecon. Cil is Irish for church and
so the meaning is church of Sannos.
One of the most
remarkable memorials in Vaynor Churchyard is the grave of Robert
Thompson Crawshay, known as the ‘Iron King’. It is a slab of stone of
immense size said to weigh 10 tons. He famously had the inscription ‘God
forgive me’ on his grave. This has been interpreted as meaning that he
was sorry for his actions ( closing the Cyfarthfa Works and making
hundreds of his workforce destitute and possibly also the way he behaved
towards his own family ), however, these words were a very common
inscription on Victorian tombstones.
Tydfil Board of Health gradually acquired land in Vaynor for various
essential purposes. A large cemetery was established in the 1850s ( Cefn
Coed ). The reservoirs for the growing industrial town of Merthyr Tydfil
were constructed in the Parish of Vaynor from the 1860s onwards. There
was once a large elegant house in rural Vaynor named Vaynor House but
today only photographs survive of this building.
purposes Vaynor was joined to nearby Penderyn and the secondary school
was the Vaynor and Penderyn Comprehensive School. This school was taken
over by Mid Glamorgan in 1974 and finally closed in 2005.
district ( Cefn Coed, Trefechan and Pontsticill ) became a part of the
Borough of Merthyr Tydfil in March 1974 as a result of local government
reorganisation. The main planning authority is the National Park as
this area is a part of the Brecon Beacons National Park and an area of