In the August of 1877, South Wales was subjected to highly destructive floods.
The St. Mary Hill Fair always had a reputation for being 'wet' - In the year of 1877, the fair fell on Monday the 27th of August and was met with torrential rain.
Bridgend was hit quite hard by the flooding with the lower parts of the town being hit the worst. The general area of Dunraven Place, Queen Street and the Wyndham Arms Hotel were submerged in at least seven feet of water. It is noted that the auctioneer's office and the house of Dr. Verity were completely washed out/destroyed. It is also recorded that at least 300 barrels of beer from the brewery were destroyed.
A local newspaper gives us an eye witness account of the towns flooding.
Mr J.Breese, of Park Street wrote to the paper telling of his views on the destruction caused by the flood.
"It is the largest flood that the oldest inhabitants of Bridgend ever witnessed. To see the destruction of the place is painful - £50,000 will not clear the damages. The water in the streets was about eight feet deep between one and two, when it was at its full height. At eight in the morning I crossed the street; it was from four to five feet deep, and it was fearful to see the shops that a few hours before looked so well, scarcely but what was spoilt. I am glad to say that there is no account of any lives lost, only a great many animals. The state of things look a deal better than it did a few hours ago but it will be some time before everything will be right."
- (The Cambrian News - 31st August, 1877)
A Town Meeting was called a few days later, on the 30th of August and a subscription list was opened but failed. At that time there was no statutory authority to cover the river defenses. Due to this, only certain measures such as building up parts of the embankments were undertaken by local volunteers.
(Sources: LLGC - BLHS)