A Market Town During 1871.

Portraits of Bridgend Town's People - J Telling, Coity Street, 1870. 

I have come across an article entitled 'Some interesting Facts and Figures', I found this in the Glamorgan Gazette, which was written in the September of 1950. It talks about what the town was like 80 years before the article was written. (which would now make it 143 years ago.)

The article actually makes quite interesting reading - I have chosen a few bits to share with you.

(The Glamorgan Gazette uses the Post Office Directory of Monmouthshire and South Wales 1871 as their source.) 

The chief business concerns in the town at that time were a brewery, a tannery and an iron and brass foundry. Agricultural implements were also made locally and the lime stone, which our town is built on, was manufactured to a large extent. 

Bridgend is a small market and union town in the parishes of Coity and Newcastle; it is a polling place and place of election for the county of Glamorgan, and is in the hundred of Newcastle, Bridgend and Cowbridge Union and county court district. The town is not incorporated, but its affairs are administered by a local board of health - which consists of nine members, one third of whom retire annually but can be reelected; the board meet every alternate Friday. 

The town consists of several streets, containing some well-built houses, and has a very clean appearance; there is a handsome drinking fountain facing Caroline Street, which was erected by the Countess of Dunraven in memory of John Randall, Esq.  

The town hall, situated in Dunraven Place, is a large and handsome building, in which the petty sessions are held every Saturday, and the county court held alternately every month at Bridgend and Cowbridge: and the mechanics' institute reading room, supplied with daily and weekly newspapers and a well selected library.

The Gas Works, in Union Street are the property of Samuel Cox, Esq. The Savings Bank in Nolton Street, is open every Saturday from 11am to 12am. The market is held every Saturday. The fairs are held on February 25th, April 1st Holy Thursday and November 17th.

The Central Glamorgan Gazette is published every Friday, and has a very good circulation

Some of the public houses in Bridgend:
York Hotel
Three Horse Shoes
Red Lion
Joiner's Arms
Oldcastle Inn
Horse and Groom
Bear Inn
Tennis Court Inn
Mitre Inn
Lamb Inn
Coach and Horses Arms
Marquess Inn
Castle Hotel
Mason's Arms
Cambrian Inn
Star Inn
Red Cow
King's Head
Wyndham Arms
Welcome to Town
Talbot Arms

There were several schools in the town and one 'eating house'.  

Places of Worship

St. Mary's, Oldcastle (chapel of ease to Coity), is a plain stone edifice, erected in 1832 - it is a cruciform building, consisting of nave, chancel, north and south transepts, porch, and small bell turret with one bell. Rev. William Ware Harries, M.A:, is the curate.

The church of Newcastle, named in honour of St. Illtyd. It was (partly) rebuilt in 1850, and is a stone edifice in the Early Decorated style, consisting of a chancel, nave, north aisle, and square tower, with a peal of four bells. The register dates from the year 1760.The living is a vicarage (with Bettws, Laleston, and Tythegston annexed), yearly value about .£250, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held by the Venerable Henry Lynch Blosse, M.A., of Trinity College, Dublin, Archdeacon of Llandaff.

The parish church in Coity is a cruciform stone building, with chancel, nave, north and south transepts, porch and square tower rising for the centre - this is supported upon four arches and containing a peal of six bells.
A monument was dug up in the church some years back, having the effigies of a man and a woman in marble, which is supposed to be that of Sir Payne Turberville and his wife which bears a date - 1111. There are also monuments of the Gamage family: the chancel window is stained glass in memory of Rev. John Harding M.A rector of this parish. The registers are dated from the year 1713.

(Sources: Glamorgan Gazette - Historical Directories.)

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