Who is Buried Here? - The Unitarian Chapel, Newcastle Hill.

Bridgend Unitarian Chapel, Newcastle Hill. 

Those who live in Bridgend will have walked passed this old chapel at least once in their lives.With it's smashed/boarded up windows and doors it is obvious why the building is seen as a dilapidated eyesore. Although the present chapel was erected in 1795, its predecessor was one of the first Dissenting centres in South Wales and goes back to the origins of the movement.  It is actually thought to be one of the oldest Dissenting Chapels/Meeting Houses in Wales. Towards the end of the chapels life, it was used as Elim Pentecostal Chapel. (read more)

Unfortunately, due to private ownership and it's current state, the chapel (including the chapelyard) is off limits to the public. If you peer through the ironclad gate, you will see that there are dozens of monuments to people of Bridgend's past propped up against the walls. I have often wondered to myself, who are they? So, I decided to find out!

Some Interesting Facts.

Earliest Inscription: 1708
Latest Inscription: 1891 in the chapelyard (1908 inside the chapel) 
Condition of the graveyard: All under tarmac with some monuments propped up against the walls. 
Condition of the monuments: Dismantled, headstones broken and very worn inscriptions.   
Occupations Recorded: Cordwainer - Clothiers - Surgeon 
Places: Brn-y-coed, Cardiff, Coity, Llandaff, Pyle, Surrey, Austraila, Brickville. 

Below are transcriptions of the 1903 recordings of the monuments in the chapel yard of the Unitarian Chapel. 

1: In memory of Walter Coffin, of this Parish,who died July 5th, 1812 aged 81,
And of Anne, his wife, who died at Llandaff, July 28th, 1823, aged 71,
And of Mary, their daughter,Born Feb. 23rd. 1786 Died Sept. 23rd. 1842.
And of John, their son,Born Sept. 8th. 1782 Died Oct. 19th.1842.
Sarah Coffin, daughter of  Walter and Anne Coffin, Born 1791, died 1854
Also William, son of the aforesaid Walter and Anne Coffin, Born Aug. 14th 1790, died Nov. 22nd. 1863. And also of Walter Coffin, son of the aforesaid Walter and Anne Coffin, Born June 7th. 1784,  died Feb. 15th. 1867,Aged 82 years.
2: In memory of William Llewellyn, surgeon of Pyle who departed this life on the 7th  of August 1828 Aged 63. 
'I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course
I have kept the faith'
Also Catherine wife of the above, who died May 10th 1852 aged 80 years. 
3: Sacred to the memory of Ann wife of David Jones Cwmyrisca in the parish of Langonoyd died the 8th March 1801 Aged 67 years. 
Also Reynold Jones, son of the above named who died March 22nd 1857 Aged 88 years. 
Also David Thomas, Cwmyrisca, who died Dec 2nd 1868. Aged 70 years. 
Caroline wife of the above David Thomas who died Dec 27 1890. Aged 84 years.
4: Sacred to the memory of Rees, son of Thomas Jenkins by Mary his wife who died after a short illness at Brickville, Lawrence County in the States of Alabama North America March 17th 1836 Aged 28 years. 
The above named Mary wife of Thomas Jenkins died Septr 30 1843 Aged 74 years. 
Also the aforesaid Thomas Jenkins who died Oct 22 1850 Aged 80 years.
 In memory of Thomas son of Thomas and Mary Jenkins who died 5th of May 1810 Aged 10 years. 
5: Sacred to the memory of Rees Jenkins who died Nov 8th 1834 aged 58 years.
 Also two of his daughters by Mary his wife who died in their infancy.  
Also Elizabeth Longdon their daughter died Sept 13th 1865 aged 45 years. 
Also Thomas Longdon her son died Dec 5th 1867 Aged 17 years. 
Also to the memory of (Mary relict of) the aforesaid Rees Jenkins who died Nov 4th 1863/53 Aged 73 years. 
Also Mary Jenkins daughter of the above who died Dec 2nd 1879 Aged 70 years. 
Also Catherine Jenkins Born Dec 4th 1814 died June 4th 1891.
6: Here lieth the body of Mary the wife of Rees Howell, who dy'd the 11th day of January 1768 aged 43 years. 
Also the body of Mary their daughter who died Febry the 3rd 1768 Aged 2 years. 
Also the above named Rees Howell of the town of Neath who died  the 28th of October 1805 Aged 46.

Drawing of the Chapel Yard - 1993. (Glamorgan Family History Society) 

6a : Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth eldest daughter of the late Rev. Samuel Price by Mary his wife who died Dec 13th 1847 Aged 60 years. 
6b: In memory of Mary of (sic) James Moody Richmond, Surry Esqr who died Oct 1 1866 Aged 73 years. Also the above James Moody who died Jany 15th 1867 Aged 76.
7: Here lieth the body of Catherine Willm granddaughter of the said William David who departed this life August 10th 1760 Aged 52. 
Here lieth the body of William David, cordwainer of this town who died the 5th day of April 1806 Aged 78. 
8: In memory of Hector Ingart (?) who died April 10th 1814 Aged 19 years.
9: A small headstone behind a tree – Hop James who died June 4, 1795 Aged 33.
10: In memory of Catherine wife of Thos Richards who died Oct 28th 1747 aged 33. 
Also of Christopher David who died Jany 10th (should be 16th) 1811 Aged 77. 
Also Margaret relict of the above said Christopher David who died Nov 13th 1819 Aged 84.
11: Here lieth the body of Annie Lewis widow of Richard Lewis of the parish of Saint Bride Minor who died the 26th day of May 1818 Aged 78 years. 
12: Here lieth the body of John Evans who departed this life the 30th day of August 1757 Aged 84. Here lieth the body of Mary the wife of Owen Williams who died 11th of February 1770 Aged 60 years. Also the body of the said Owen Williams who died the 23rd of March 1780 Aged 70.
13: Here lieth the body of Thomas Morgan son of Joshua Morgan who departed this life 6th day of September 1740 Aged nine years. Also Joan Morgan died February the 19th 1773 aged 63.
'Here I lie to take a nap
In my mother's common lap
Until I hear the bridegroom say
Awake my lover & Come away'
14: In memory of Rees Jenkins. He died Augst 20th 1780 Aged 12 years. 
15: F. R. E ye body of Morgan.... who … day of February 1765 aged 42.
16: Here lieth the body of Thomas the son of Thomas Jenkins by Mary his wife who died the 6th day of May 1810 aged 10 years. 
17: In memory of Joan the daughter of Evan Thomas by Catherine his wife who died July 2nd 1796 aged 9 years. 
18: Sarah Thomas died March 31st 1759 aged 36.
19: In memory of Evan son of Edward Thomas died October 9th 1782 aged 9months. 
Also the above said Edward Thomas who died July 9th (should be 29th) 1811 Aged 70.  
Also Sarah relict of the above said Edward Thomas who died Jany 29th 1827 Aged 72.
20: Here lieth the body of Jennet the wife of Thos Harry died Jany 24th 1783 Aged 58 (also) Here lie the bodies of Thos & Mary their children died infants. 
Here lieth the body of William Harry son of Thomas Harry by Jennet his wife who died August 11th 1824 Aged 9 years. 
21: Here lieth the body of Catherine, daughter of Hopkin Evans by Catherine his wife who died May 26th 1797 aged 11. 
Also the body of Thomas Harry who died January 5th 1826 Aged 78.
22: Here lieth the body of Thomas David, son of Hopkin David, who died Sept the 6th..
23: Here lieth the body of Morgan Williams who died February the 15th 1763 Aged 74.
Also the body of Thos David who died Dec 12th 1796 – Aged 69. 
Also the body of Elizabeth wife of the above Thos David died March 18th 1802 Aged 76.
24: Here lieth ye boddie of Jenkin Lewis who died December 11th 1708 Aged 70. 
25: In memory of Owen so of Morgan Howell and Gwellian his wife of this parish died Nov 15th 1851 Aged 4 years. 
26: In memory of Martha the beloved wife of Abraham Williams who died Feby 12th 1887 Aged 51 years.
Also of the aforesaid Abraham Williams died Aug 20 1888 Aged 61 years. 
27:  In memory of William Morgan of this town who died Oct 11 1873 Aged 62 years. 
Also Phebe Ann daughter of the above by Hannah his wife who died June 21 1885 Aged 23 years. 
'Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. 
For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.'
Also William James son of the said William and Hannah Morgan who died Feb 2nd 1891 Aged 26.
'We asked life and he granted a long life even for ever.'

28 : In memory of John Thomas of this town who died March 24th 1883 Aged 86. 
Also Pheobe wife of the above who died March 28th 1883 Aged 85. 
Also William Morgan son of the aforesaid who died May 18th 1884 Aged 60 years. 
'Hen afon yr Iorddonen rhaid I mi groesi hon
Wrth feddwl am ei dyfnder mae Dy-dan fynnnon 
Os caf fi wir adnabod fy mod I dan mod 
Af dwyddi'n dawrl ddigon a'r gwaelod dan fy whroed.'
29: Here lieth the body of Lewes Llewelin who died January 17 1758 Aged 91 
 Also Howell his son died June 4th 1758 Aged 31. 
Here also lieth the body of Jennet the widow of the above Lewes Llewelin who died Dec 2nd 1776 aged 60.
30: Two gravestones with no inscriptions. 
31: Here lieth the body of John Rice who died March 4th 1810 Aged 77.
32: Here lieth the body of Edward Lewis who departed this life March the 12th 1721 Aged 59.
Here lieth the body of Thomas Lewellin who died September the 1 1772 Aged 19. 

North side of the tomb lie the body (sic) of the children of the said Thomas Lewellin and Charlotte his wife. 
33: Here lieth the body of two sons of Howell Llewellin by Mary his wife died at …..
33a: In memory of William Jenkins of Bryn y coed in the parish of..... 
33b: Here lieth the bodie of Ann the daughter of Thos David by Catherine his wife died June 23rd 1860 Aged 6 months. 
Also the above Thos David who died March 23rd 1853 aged 81.
34: Underneath lieth the body of William son of James Jarvis by Margaret his wife who died March 20th 1795 aged 1 year and 7 months. 
Also the above named James Jarvis who died Oct 12 in the year (….) aged 37 years.
35: In memory of Edward Turberville of the parish of Coity who departed this life March 1st 1796 Aged 49 years.
  Also Susanna the wife of the above named died April 18th  1831 Aged 75 years.
36: In memory of Rachel the daughter of William Wickworth (?) died …..(illegible) 
37: In memory of Eleanor wife of Wm Gronow died Jany 2nd 1796. Aged 50 years. 
38: In memory of Mary the wife of William Gibbon late of this parish who died Jan 22, 1855 aged 32 years. 
Also the above named William Gibbon who died at Melbourne Australia May 20 1861 Aged 38 years. Also two of their children who died in infancy.
39: Er cof am Mary Williams gent digol or plwyf hwn bu fawr 
Medi yr 23 ain yn y flwyd yn 1850 yn ei 23 oed.

(Sources: GFHS - Howard Llewellyn - Dr. Randall - Janet Hearle) 


  1. Great article... very interesting.. thank you!

  2. Great article... very interesting.. thank you!

  3. A few of my cousins mentioned there...
    I wonder who owns the building and what their intentions are?


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