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Rhondda History Page

Image: The Rhondda

Well, it looks like the history pages are taking
much longer to rebuild than at first imagined.

Meanwhile, the best Rhondda History
collection is at Treorchy library:

Treorchy Library
Station Road
CF42 6NN

'phone (01443) 773204/773592

Fax (01443) 777047

Email Treorchy.Library@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk

Most people have heard of the Rhondda - its coal
having once powered the UK's huge fleets - yet
few know what it means to Wales. Even the true
meaning of its name is unknown by most, & badly
misguided "histories" of the area, misinform...

The name "Yr Rhondda" means "the Good Way"
(literally, "the good trail") and it, perhaps,
reflects the fact that hundreds of years ago
a mysterious friar was commissioned to make
the whole of the greater Rhondda (Ystrad y
Fodwg) as given to God in law.

Certainly the Rhondda, with a unique Shrine
at its centre - Penrhys - was known for years
before coal, as a place where the traveller
could always pass through in peace & safety.

More, to be written here on this, 'God willing',
but in the meantime, here's a list of the Rhondda
collieries, as it's the single item most requested
...across the world.

LIST OF RHONDDA COLLIERIES, with opening dates;

(kindly compiled by Ceri Thompson, Curator,
Big Pit: Wales' National Coal Museum.)

Dinas Levels (Dinas) 1806
Dinas Lower Pit (Dinas) 1812
Dinas Middle Pit (Dinas) 1832
Gwaun yr Eirw Level (Hafod) 1835
Gelliwion Level (near Pontypridd) 1838
Brithweunydd Level (Trealaw) 1839
South Cymmer Level (Porth) 1841
Nythbran Level (Porth) 1844
Cymmer Level (Porth) 1844
Gellifaelog Colliery (Tonypandy) 1845
Newbridge Colliery (Gelliwion) 1845
Porth Colliery (Porth) 1845
Troedyrhiw Colliery (Porth) 1845
Ynyshir / Jones Navigation (Ynyshir) 1845
Perch Level (Blaenclydach) c.1847
Cymmer Old Colliery (Porth) 1847
Ty Mawr (Hopkinstown) 1848
Bute Merthyr Colliery (Treherbert) 1850
Coedcae (Trehafod) 1850 - 1929
Hafod Colliery (Trehafod) 1850
Llwyncelyn (Porth) 1851 - 1895
Upper Cymmer Colliery (Porth) 1851
Glynfach Colliery (Porth) 1851
Gyfeillion Colliery (Hopkinstown) 1851
Tynewydd Colliery (Porth) 1852
New Cymmer Colliery (Porth) 1855
Ellis Level (Porth) 1855
Ynysfeio Colliery (Treherbert) 1854
Gelligaled Level (Ystrad) 1854
Tylacoch Colliery (Treorchy) 1855
Dunraven Levels (Blaen y Cwm) 1856
Gelligaled Colliery (Ystrad) 1856
Tyntyla Level (Ystrad) 1856
Bodringallt Level (Ystrad) 1856
Church Level (Pentre 1857
Ferndale Colliery No.1 (Ferndale) 1857
Pentre Level (Pentre) 1857
Penygraig Drift (Penygraig) 1857
Dunraven Level (Blaenycwm) 1858
Graig Level (Blaenycwm) 1858
Penygraig Level (Penygraig) 1858
Pontygwaith Colliery (Pontygwaith) 1858
Ynysfeio Colliery (Treherbert) 1859
Llwynypia Level (Llwynypia) 1859
Abergorchy Level (Treorchy) 1859
Glyncoli level (Treorchy) 1860
Bwllfa Level ((Ton Pentre) 1862
Brithweunydd Level (Trealaw) 1862
Llwynypia Colliery/Glamorgan Colliery (Llwynypia) 1863
Blaenclydach Colliery (Blaenclydach) 1863
Pentre Colliery (Pentre) 1864
Bodringallt/Ferndale No 4 Colliery (Ystrad) 1864
Tydraw (Blaenycwm) 1865 - 1959
Tynewydd Colliery (Treherbert) 1865
Abergorchy Colliery (Treorchy) 1865
Maendy Colliery (Ton Pentre) 1865
ParcColliery (Cwmparc) 1865
Adare Colliery (Penygraig) 1866
Ynyswen Level (Treorchy) 1869
Dinas Colliery (Dinas) 1869
Blaenrhondda Colliery (Blaenrhondda) 1869
Ferndale No.4 Colliery (Ferndale) 1874
Gelli Colliery (Gelli) 1870
Dare Colliery (Cwmparc) 1870
Trealaw Colliery (Trealaw) 1872
Glynmoch Colliery (Treorchy) 1872
Fernhill Colliery (Blaenrhondda) 1872
Clydach Vale Colliery No.1/Cambrian Colliery (Clydach Vale) 1872
Llwynypia Nos. 4 & 5 Colliery 1872
Clydach Vale Colliery No.2/Cambrian Colliery (Clydach Vale) 1872
Maerdy No 1 Colliery (Maerdy) 1875
Maerdy No 2 Colliery (Maerdy) 1876
Ynyshir Steam Colieries/Standard 1 and 2) (Ynyshir) 1876
Lady Margaret (Treherbert) 1877
Cymmer Colliery (Porth) 1877
Pandy Colliery (Tonypandy) 1879
Ely Colliery (Penygraig) 1880
Dinas Colliery (Dinas) 1881
National No.1 &2 Collieries (Wattstown) 1881
Bertie, Trefor, Hafod Collieries/Lewis Merthyr Colliery (Trehafod) 1881
Clydach Vale No.3/Cambrian Colliery (Clydach Vale) 1891
Nantgwyn Colliery/Naval Colliery (Penygraig) 1892
Lady Lewis Colliery (Ynyshir) 1904
Anthony Colliery/Naval Colliery (Tonypandy) 1910

As we all change and grow... making life whole,
we hope you like this song, "The Rhonddas' Soul"!

Who or what is the Rhondda? An impassioned vocal
by Poet, with Richard Gould's sizzling original music
and Efran Kaye's magic touch on bass, mouth organ
shaker and keyboard.

"Who Killed Dai Rhondda?" by Poet & Efran Kaye.

"The Rhonddas Soul" was written a few years back,
just after Poet had sold poetry door-to-door all
over South Wales, and was told by some, that the
Rhondda was crumbling a bit, but still had spirit.

Then, as the killing of the coal industry took hold,
with the Rhondda losing 36,000 jobs out of a total
population of 72,000, some were starting to say
"The Rhondda is dying" & one person said "Let it!"

In 2010, the landlord of what used to be a welcoming
(and famous) Club, in Treorchy, told Poet that
he was "on another planet", if he thought he
could put on a Benefit Show for the Rhondda...
as the Rhondda, as the landlord put it, was "dead".

So Poet went home and wrote this song, refusing
to accept that the spirit of the Rhondda could
ever die, as so many all over the planet hold
its living Spirit in their hearts:- NOT "dead"!!!

Now, there's a new mood of optimism, centred on
community activities around the Rugby Clubs...

and some "new" forms of community enterprise!!!

Long Live Dai Rhondda!

Perhaps the Rhonddas' history is just starting!

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