Bridgend: A Short History (1100 - 1950)

Dunraven Place, c.1880's.







c.1100 
The building of a stronghold at Coity had began. The building was carried out on the site of the earlier Welsh Court House of Morgan ap Meurig.  Morgan’s daughter later became the wife of Sir Payne de Turberville, who held the  Lordship of Coity. Thought to have been originally made of  timber, the stone construction was not completed until the time of Gilbert de Turberville.



1106
One of the first recorded references to Newcastle appears as a  confirmation by Henry I of grants by Robert FitzHamon to the Abbey of Tewkesbury includes a reference to “ECCLESIA DE NOVA CASTELLA” - It is thought that the ‘new’ castle existed 50years prior to the stone castle being built.



1116
Ogmore Castle is recorded to be in the possession of William de Londres  and the record confirms that the early castle had been built by this date. It was a motte and bailey type castle, which was made from timber. The stone castle was built soon after and it thought to have been completed by Maurice de Londres, the son of William.





1184 
According to Giraldus Cambresis, Arch Bishop Baldwin ‘passed by the little cell of Ewenni (Ewenny)’ - he did this on his pilgrimage through Wales. He was doing this to raise support for the crusades, and was making his way to stay at Margam.

1199
The first recorded reference to Nolton, a name found in several locations which in Old English meant an old farm/settlement.

c.1200
The Triangle Defence of Ogmore, Newcastle and Coity becomes the Ogmore Quadrilateral after fortification of Ewenny Priory.

1217
Newcastle is granted to Gilbert de Turberville (2nd Lord of Coity) through his marriage to one of the daughters of Morgan Gam. Morgan held the fee of Newcastle under King John.

1284
King Edward I stayed at Ewenny Priory in the December of 1284. He was on his way to Cardiff Castle.


Ewenny Priory

1322
The Lordship of Ogmore became part of the Honour of Lancaster.

1325
It is thought that St Marys Church, Coity was completed around this time.

1360
With the death of Richard Turberville the male line of Turberville Lordship of Coity ended.

1404/05
Coity Castle is attacked by the forces of Owain Glyndwr. The manorial mill at Ogmore was destroyed along with Newcastle Church and Castle being severely damaged. 

1411
The  death of Sir Lawrence Berkrolles arouses suspicion that he was poisoned by his wife.

c.1425
The Old Stone Bridge (Bridgend) is built.




1444
One of the Earliest references to Bridgend - given as “Bryggen Eynde“ . It refers to a small settlement that appeared at the eastern side of the bridge. I.e. Elder Street and Nolton Street.

1452
A further reference to Bridgend - given as “ BRUGEENDE-JUXTA-COYTIF” meaning “The Bridge near Coity”.

1534 
Dompmus Thomas, the last Prior of Ewenny signed a submission of King Henry VIII which led the monks being forced to leave.

1536
After the dissolution of the monasteries, the Rectory and tithes of Newcastle were sold to a Sir Rice Mansel. It remained pat of the Margam Estate until the redemption of the tithes.

1541
Sir Arnold Butler of Dunraven died, he was the last of the male Butler line. The Butler family had owned the manor since Arnold le Boteler (Butler) received it  from the de Londres family as a reward for protecting the castle of Ogmore while the Lord was away. 


1578 
Rhys Meurig included Bridgend in his list of “Seven Dangerous Places Sometime in Glamorgan”.

1584
On the 28th of September, 1584 the commission of Queen Elizabeth was held at Bridgend. The aim was to make inquiries into the ownership of the former Church lands.

1600/01
Evidence suggests that a woollen cloth was made and sold in Cardiff, Swansea and Bridgend. A complaint was made, the complaint being that the illegal use of an official seal on cloth made contrary to statue by the officer for the inspection of woollen cloth, his name was Hugh George.

1632
Court of Survey for the Lordship of Ogmore is held at the Court House situated in the Ogmore Castle grounds.

1645
Colonel Edward Carne of Ewenny Priory was made High Sheriff of Glamorgan by Oliver Cromwell.

1648
Royalist forces are defeated at the Battle of St Fagans.

1675 
A report from the Welsh Trust shows that twenty pupils enrolled at its Charity School in Bridgend.


1706/11
Michael Williams had a “flourishing” tannery in Bridgend.
(The location remains unknown.)

1723
Dr Richard Price is born at Tynton, Llangeinor.


1737
Two ships by the names of ‘Pye’ and ‘Priscilla’ were wrecked near Nash Point. They were both subsequently looted by gangs some thought to have been from Bridgend.

1741
Rev. Howell Harris stayed at Bridgend with Rev. Lewis Jons. Rev. Harris preached at ‘The Meeting House, Newcastle’. It is also thought that ‘The Meeting House, Newcastle’ is the burial place of Catherine Thomas (Nee Price) The Maid of Cefn Ydfa’s mother. We do not have any evidence to support this claim.



1750
David Munday, the earliest recorded Clock Maker in Bridgend, began his business.

c.1760
Walter Coffin the 2nd founded his tannery beside the river bridge at Sunnyside, Bridgend. His tannery became famous for it’s high quality leather. His leather was in great demand over a wide area.


1767
Richard Turbervill(e) of Ewenny Priory was returned as MP for Glamorgan at Bridgend.

1775
The Old Stone Bridge and its three main water arches were partially destroyed by a flood. The two arches nearest the west bank were carried away. The bridge was rebuilt soon afterwards.

1785
Dr William Morgan, FRS, of Bridgend publishes his paper on “Electrical Experiments Made To Ascertain the Non-Conduction Power of a Perfect Vacuum”.

1788
It is thought that the first Town Hall, Dunraven Place was erected in 1788.


1790
A ‘Spinning Jenny’ was acquired by the Glamorgan  Agricultural Society and was later installed in Bridgend.

1791
Dr Richard Price dies in 1791. He was buried at Bunhill Fields, London on the 26th April of that year.

1792
One of the earliest references to the Wyndham Arms Hotel. Recently evidence has come to light that there was actually a building of substantial importance on the same site during c.1500.


1795 
The Unitarian Chapel (The Meting House) was rebuilt.


1803
Dunraven Castle was built in place of Dunraven House on the same site.
The 4th Earl states that no professional architect was employed and that all of the plans for the work were drawn up by Mrs. Thomas Wyndham.





1808
The Ruhamah Welsh Baptist Chapel is erected at the top of Newcastle Hill, Bridgend.

1808
The Bridgend Woollen Mill was advertised for sale due to financial losses.

1810
Henry Verity founded a drapery shop in High Street (Dunraven Place), which was named ‘London House’.

1812
A National School movement was founded in Bridgend. Its aim was to help establish a school by voluntary subscription.

1814
Thomas Wyndham of Dunraven dies.

1822
Park Street was officially opened.















  
1826
John Thomas, harpist to Queen Victoria was born on St. David's Day, 1826!




1828
The Duffryn Llynvi and Porthcawl Railroad was opened. It was built to carry coal from the upper Llynvi Valley to the new dock at Porthcawl.

1834
A Cholera was rife in the Bridgend district. It was thought to have mainly affected the people who lived on/near the banks of the River Ogmore.

1835 
A new Chapel-of-Ease was constructed at Nolton, on the previous site of  the Medieval Chapel in which John Wesley had preached in 1769 and 1772.

1836
The Poor Law Union of Bridgend and Cowbridge was founded.

1837
A new Market Hall, which was largely open-air was opened in Bridgend on the Lady Day of that year.

1841
In 1841 the decision was made for Bridgend to become the Headquarters of the Newcastle and Ogmore Police District.

1842
A Wesleyan Sunday School was established in ‘The Rhiw’ with thirty pupils.

1845
Bridgend Town Hall was erected in 1845 on land donated by the Earl of Dunraven. The hall was handed over to the committee of trustees on the May the first of that year! The first committee was held at the hall on the 2nd of June 1845. The Earl of Dunraven instructed that the land was to be leased to the town for 999 years and any building that was erected there was not to be used for political use.




1847
The Bridgend Police Station at the Town Hall , was lit by gas for the first time.

1849
The north aisle was added to added to St. Illtyd’s Church, Newcastle. The Church was later reopened by the Bishop of Llandaff in the December of  1850.

1850
The Bridgend Railway Station was reported to have been fitted with gas lamps on the 3rd of August, 1850.

1853
London House was sold to a Mr Thomas Hughes.

1863
The South Wales Rail Company was absorbed by the Great Western Railway.

1867
It was reported that several thatched cottages at The Square, Newcastle Hill were destroyed by a fire.

1887 
A new mental Asylum was built at Parc Gwyllt, Coity. This was because of the high demand for further accommodation.

1893
The Chancel at St. Illtyd’s was reconstructed and a Vestry was added.

1897
The Pen-y-bont  Main Sewage Board was formed.

1902 
A branch of Lloyd’s Bank was opened in Bridgend.

1908
The ‘Convention for Wales’ was held at Bridgend which was hosted by the National Council of the Free Evangelical Churches.

1910 
A new Science Block was opened at Bridgend County School.

1921
The Cenotaph War Memorial,  Dunraven Place was unveiled on Armistice Day.



1921
The Mid Glamorgan Water Board was formed.

1935
The new Boys’ School County School was opened on the former site of                                                                      ‘Brynteg House’.


1939
Two hundred Arsenal workers went on strike.

1939
In the January of 1939 a local haulier was fined not displaying lights on his horse drawn cart.

1939
Due to the weather, a Bridgend Arsenal worker died of Sunstroke.

1941
The Diphtheria immunization campaign began.

1948
The Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales was held at Bridgend.









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