Hirwaun Timeline

1203
Documentary reference to grazing rights at Hirwaun Common between the Monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Margam and the Monks of Llantarnam.

1256
Document gives the boundaries of Hirwaun Common from the Boi Brook to Rhigos.

1757
Hirwaun Iron Works opened by John Mayberry.

1784
Ty Mawr Mansion built by Anthony Bacon.

1800
Turnpike Road built from Glynneath via Hirwaun to Merthyr.

1818 
Hirwaun Iron Works bought by the Crawshay Family.

1820
4 new blast furnaces built at the Iron Works. Two work schools opened by Francis Crawshay.

1823
Nebo Chapel built on Merthyr Road. Bethel Chapel (old) built at Bethel Place.

1825
Ramoth Chapel built on Trevenock Place.

1831
The first raising of the red flag is believed to have taken place on Hirwaun Common as part of the Merthyr Rising which took place during May and June of this year.

1836
Nebo Chapel enlarged. Bethel Chapel (old) rebuilt.

1840
Ramoth Chapel rebuilt.

1848
Francis Crawshay built his famous Tower. A folly which overlooked the village.

1849
British School opened. Cholera epidemic in the village.

1851
Hirwaun Rail Station opened as part of the development of the Vale of Neath railway from Swansea to Aberdare. Nebo Chapel rebuilt.

1852
Brickworks opened by Allen and Younger.

1856
Bethel Chapel (old) rebuilt.

1858
St. Lleurwg’s Church opened.

1859
Crawshay Family closed the Iron Works.

1866
Mount Pleasant Chapel built on Harris Street.

1867
Ramoth Chapel rebuilt.

1875
Council School opened on Brecon Road.

1876
English Wesleyan Chapel opened on Penyard Road.

1882
Elizabeth Andrews – who became instrumental in the campaign for the introduction of pithead baths for Welsh collieries was born in Station Road.

1888
Explosion at Tower (Bute) Colliery killing three men.

C1890
Nebo Chapel renovated. Mission Room Chapel built on High Street.

1892
Gloucester Wagon and Carriage Works established.

1893
Bethel Chapel (old) enlarged.

1905
Hirwaun Iron Works finally closed.

1911
Discovery of Bronze and Early Iron Age artefacts in Llyn Fawr. These items are now on display in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

1912
Visit of Kink George V and Queen Mary to the village during their tour of South Wales.

1914
Bryn-y-Gaer cemetery opened.

1921
Local branch of St. John’s Ambulance formed

1924
Hirwaun War Memorial Clock Tower erected in honour of those members of the village who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War. The names of those who died during the Second World War were later added. The monument is now a Grade II listed building.

1926
Local children fed at Duffryn Hall during the General Strike of this year.

1935
Miners’ Welfare recreational grounds opened.

1939-1945
Second World War – Evacuees arrived from London and Birmingham. Royal Ordnance Factory opened near the village in 1941 as part of the war effort. German bombs believed  to be intended for this target were dropped on Brecon Road later that year.

1945
YMCA built.

C1950
Bethesda Chapel built on Hirwaun Road. Mission Room Chapel demolished.

1960s
The Tower and Beacons Flats built. Bethel Chapel (old) demolished. Bethesda Chapel demolished.

1962
Explosion at Tower Colliery killed nine miners.

1966
New Fire Station opened.

1968
New Juniors School opened.

1970/3
Battle to prevent LNG tanks being erected in the village successfully fought by local residents.

1973
Brickworks closed.

1974
(New) Bethel Chapel built on site of old chapel.

1978
Hirwaun Historical Society formed.

1994
Tower Colliery closed by British Coal. Ramoth Chapel refurbished. Miners take ownership of Tower Colliery.

1995
Village Hall opened.

2004
The Tower and Beacons flats demolished.

2008
Blue Plaque awarded to Ty Mawr Mansion to acknowledge the importance of the local Iron Works.