Local History

R.A.F.A Club

The age of the building is difficult to date exactly. Most certainly some of the original beams in the bar of the club have been dated as 1640's. It has also been established that the building was part of the Lewis estate that founded Lewis School for Boys in 1729 in neighbouring Gelligaer.

Rumours abound that the building is haunted, most certainly two people can claim that it is haunted by the Queen of Diamonds.

Four members sat down to play cards and sat in the middle of the cellar room on an iron table on a concrete floor when a card dropped. No matter how they searched and they were the only four people in the room they could not find that missing card. After checking the pack they found the missing card was the Queen of Diamonds so perhaps the house is haunted by a malevolent Roundhead soldier!!! Sadly only two members of that card school survive.

In modern times older people in the town remember the building as the centre of a working farm, with beast houses bordering on to Ruth Street and a stables running up Park Drive on to the school fields in Heol Fargoed. It then became briefly a doctor's surgery and houses were built on the north side of Park Drive for Police, and private bungalows on the southern side of Park Drive. Incidentally the old parish boundary between Gelligaer and Gilfach Parish and the parish of Bargoed and Brithdir with Deri appears to run straight down the middle of Park Drive. →

Rumours also claim that there is an underground tunnel linking the building to either a sympathetic dwelling in Gelligaer or even to Llancaiach Fawr to enable victims of religious persecution to flee in safety from one dwelling place to the other. There is no evidence, however of a priest hole or tunnel in Gilfach Fargoed Fawr, and if the date of the building is 1640's it was after the major religious persecutions of the 16th century between Catholics and Protestants, but it was at the time of the Civil War between the Cromwellian Roundheads and Charles' Cavaliers.

R.A.F.A. Club

The RAFA moved into the premises in 1968 from their old premises in Bristol Terrace. The RAFA were successful in obtaining a grant to renovate the outside of the building so that this impressive building will give a striking welcome to visitors coming into Bargoed from the south via Cardiff Road.


 

Bargoed Colliery

Operations in Bargoed Colliery started in 1897 when the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company started to sink the shaft. In 1901, the Ras Las nine-foot seam was discovered at a depth of 625 yards. The North and South shafts were completed in November 1903, Sir Alfred Thomas, M.P. for East Glamorgan, started the engines to raise the first four trams of coal. →

Bargoed Colliery

By 1910, the pit was employing 1,943 miners and was the largest coalmine in the Rhymney Valley. On 10 December 1908 it broke the world record for production when a ten-hour shift produced 3,562 tons of coal. It further broke its own record on 23 April 1909 when 4,020 tons were raised in a ten-hour shift. The colliery consisted of three shafts, the North and the South. It continued to grow in terms of size and production and by 1947 included a large power station and eighty-six coke ovens on the site.

Mr Ken Turner worked down the mines and can recall his first day. "I started a few months after I was 14 years old in 1923. I left the house at 6.30 am just imagine me, a young lad of only about five feet four inches tall, walking one and a half miles to work down past the ash tip, hearing the rats squealing, over the bridge, down by the river and the railway. The rabbits were running and jumping and I was half crying”.

Aberbargoed contained the largest ever man made colliery waste tip in Europe this has now been developed into a nature park. Bargoed Colliery closed on 4 June 1977. By this time only 360 men were employed there


 

Greater Bargoed History

Where the Bargoed River (known now as the Deri River) joins the Rhymney River that flows down the Rhymney valley a small hamlet named Pont Aberbargoed was formed.
In 1851 the census recorded the population of this hamlet to be 351. The hamlet straddled the Rhymney River and therefore was both in Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire.

In this small hamlet were five inns, the Quarry Arms, the Smiths Arms, the Travellers Rest, the Greyhound and the Old Mill Inn. In modern times only the Travellers Rest (now a residential house) and the Old Mill Inn (now a pub called the Goldmine) are still there.

During this time, Pont Aberbargoed was mainly a collection of farms, namely:

  • Gilfach Fargoed Fawr
  • Gilfach Fargoed Fach
  • Gwerthonor Ganol
  • Gwerthonor Isha
  • Pen Cae Drain
  • Pen-y-Cerrig
  • Hoelddu
  • Heolddu Isaf
  • Coed-y-brain
  • Neuaddwen
  • Cwrt Coch (site of modern-day Aberbargoed)
  • Pant-Afallen
  • Ty-Newydd
  • Tir-fry
  • Ty Llwyd
  • Ty'r Graig
Old Bargoed

Gilfach Fargoed Fawr farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings still in the area.
In 1858 a railway station was built in Pont Aberbargoed. The sign writers at the time decided that this name was too cumbersome and so named the station "Bargoed". This was the death knell of Pont Aberbargoed and the start of two areas, Bargoed and Aberbargoed. Bargoed now stood on the Glamorganshire side of the river and Aberbargoed on the Monmouthshire side of the river.


 

History Photo Gallery

A collection of Old Photographs of Greater Bargoed dating back to early part of the 19th Century.