The People Who Lived Here - 1870's

1871 Wales Census – Glamorgan – Gelligaer – District 1Rhymney Railway button

The 1871 census saw an increase of over 35% in population, reaching a height of 434 in 77 households – an average household of 5.6. There were no empty properties at this time.

The majority of the increase can be attributed to a massive increase in the number of English residents – 99 were listed. So what caused them all to come to this community? It was the building of the London & North Western Railway from Rhymney which joined the Merthyr Tydfil to Abergavenny line near Rhymney Bridge. The census shows that almost 60 residents were working on the railways. The Iron industry had experienced resurgence with 74 employed against only 23 working in the Coal industry.

Llewellyn Thomas was now the publican at The Windsor Arms, and interestingly there was also a separate apartment listed at The Windsor Arms. Phoebe Davies was now a Greengrocer, possibly from her house (as we know that there has been various shops in the village). Other jobs listed include Midwife, Dressmaker, Shoemaker as well as a Farmer and Shepherd, emphasising the near rural  location of the village.

We now see 25 residents with the surname Young. Four of these family groups come from Pembrokeshire, however, John Young and his son also called John, were born in Somerset.

In 1875 the Board School opened at the end of Collins Row, where 2 houses were combined to create the school – these were demolished during the 20th century and so there is now a space, but the walled area next to St Aidan’s Church was the yard for the school.

The Rhymney Express

Cartoon of the Rhymney Express


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Bute Town

A community of 48 houses built  along Collins Row, Middle Row and Lower Row in the late 1820's.

© 2011. Can Do Team. Written by Kim Colebrook.