Historical Notes



Cynon Valley History Society has, since its inception in 1971, regarded publishing as an integral part of its programmes.


Its main publication has been the highly regarded Journal “Old Aberdare”. Running to eleven volumes the books contain reprints of early parish histories, articles by professional historians and carefully researched original works by local authors.


The Society has been particularly proud to print reproductions of pencil drawings of local views made by Emma and Lucy Bacon of Aberaman House during the years 1827 and 1828. These charming and interesting sketches can be seen on the Rhondda Cynon Tâf Libraries online Digital Archive.


This is a list of our publications:

Haydn Contact

* in print



Further Details of some Publications:


2. The CVHS 40th Anniversary Publication.

Fortieth Volume

The Land Your Fathers Possessed

Edited by David Leslie Davies & Geoffrey Evans

  • Foreword by Lord Aberdare, President of The CVHS
  • Acknowledgements
  • Cyflwyniad/Introduction D.L. Davies and Geoffrey Evans
  • List of illustrations
  • Notes on the cover illustration
  • From ‘A Luxuriant and Beautiful Vale’ to ‘A trough of Human Beings’ and ‘A Place of Honour’: pen-portraits of the Cynon Valley through the eyes of observers, 1536-1938. Selected and edited by D.L. Davies MA and Geoffrey Evans BA
  • A Touch of Salt: The Story of Dafydd Williams, 1775-1857, by D.L. Davies MA
  • Notes Historical by The Rev. Rees Jenkin Jones MA
  • Cynon Valley History Society: The First Forty Years by Geoffrey Evans BA
  • A Comprehensive List of the Publications of The CVHS, 1971-2011.

“…Last week I bought a fascinating book on the mezzanine of the Gadlys Ironworks. …I’ve never read a history book quite like this. …Instead of engaging a writer to research the facts and weave them into a narrative, the editors have collected eye-witness impressions of Aberdare written by people who visited the place at various periods, starting in 1536, and recorded their personal impressions while they were still fresh in their minds.”

Elaine Morgan in The Western Mail, 10 June 2011.

“…The bringing together of this varied selection of ‘Pen Portraits’ relating to the Cynon Valley gives them a strong collective impact and the reader an enjoyable ‘time travel’ experience.
The editors of the anthology have taken possession of the Cynon Valley’s history with affection, pride and authority to produce an engagingly informative book with a range of well-chosen illustrations. There is much to celebrate in its pages.”

Hilary M. Thomas in ‘Morgannwg’.

The book was formally launched at a function which took place on Friday, 3rd June 2011, in the Parry Suite of the Cynon Valley Museum, Aberdare. The guest speaker was the Society’s new Vice President, Mrs Tydfil Thomas, OBE, JP, MA. The meeting was very well attended, and after the formal part of the meeting, refreshments were served while members had the opportunity to purchase the new volume.

The book may be purchased by post from Mr Haydn Williams - contact details below. Cost £10 plus £2.50 p&p 1st Class, £2.20 p&p 2nd class in the UK.

3. A Digital Archive of Hanes, the newsletter of the Society, plus more!

Hanes DVD Disc

The Hanes Disc

The disc contains the following:

  • Copies of Hanes Nos.1 to 56, (July 1984- Autumn 2011)
  • A reprint of A Descriptive Account of Aberdare, Illustrated. (published in 1892)
  • Children of the Mines in the Cynon Valley (published in 1987 and 1999)
  • Two portfolios of Sketches of the Cynon Valley in 1827-1828, (published in 1972 and 1974)
  • A Timeline of the history of the Cynon Valley, in English and Welsh, (the versions are not identical). The timelines shown are those which were current on the website in 2011.

The disc is supplied in a slim-line DVD case as illustrated. Please note, the disc does not contain any audio or video.

This disc is designed to be used only with a computer equipped to read DVD datadiscs, using Adobe Reader software. Virtually all modern computers will be capable of reading the disc. It will not work with a domestic DVD player designed for use with a TV.

The disc can be purchased for £5 at Society meetings.
It is also available by mail order for £6, including postage and packing from Mr Haydn Williams, contact details below:

Haydn Contact



4. Churches of the Cynon Valley / Eglwysi Cwm Cynon.

Churches Cover

front Cover

Churches Sample

Sample Page
(click on page for larger image)

A new book written and published by CVHS member
Alan Vernon Jones


  • Foreword — The Most Rev. Dr. Barry Cennydd Morgan, Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff
  • Introduction — Rev. Mark J. Rowles (Roman Catholic Churches)
  • Introduction — Alan Vernon Jones

1.   St. Gwynno, Llanwonno
2.   Christ Church, Ynysybwl
3.   St. Donat, Abercynon
4.   St. Gwynno, Abercynon
5.   All Saints, Ynysboeth
6.   St. Winifred, Penrhiwceiber
7.   St. John the Baptist, Miskin
8.   St. Teilo, Miskin
9.   St. Dyfrig, Newtown
10. St. David, Mountain Ash
11. St. Margaret, Mountain Ash
12. St. Illtyd, Cefnpennar
13. St. Peter, Abercwmboi
14. St. Joseph, Cwmaman
15. St. Margaret, Aberaman
16. St. Barnabas, Aberaman
17. St. Mary Magdalene, Cwmbach
18. St. Elvan, Aberdare
19. St. John The Baptist, Aberdare
20. St. Mair, Aberdare
21. St. Matthew, Abernant
22. St. John The Evangelist, Robertstown
23. St. Fagan, Trecynon
24. St. Luke, Cwmdare
25. St. James, Llwydcoed
26. St. Winifred, Penywaun
27. St. Lleurwg, Hirwaun
28. St. Cynog, Penderyn
29. St. Thomas R.C. Church, Abercynon
30. Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church, Mountain Ash
31. St. Joseph R.C. Church, Aberdare
32. St. Therese of Lisieux R.C. Church, Hirwaun

    A Map of Cynon Valley showing location of the Churches
    B List and Summary of the Churches
    C The Church Architects. Their Role and Design Work in the Cynon Valley
    D Abbreviations and their meanings
  • Bibliography and further recommended reading
  • Index

Pages: 279, plus 15 front matter.
Size: 280mm x 210mm (11 x 8 inches).
ISBN: 978 0 9517081 1 8

The book can be purchased for £20 at the Aberdare Central Library,
and at the Cynon Valley Museum & Gallery, Gadlys, Aberdare.
It is available by mail order for £26, including postage and packing, only from the author
Mr A.V. Jones, 3 Holly Drive, Aberdare, CF44 8PB.
Tel: 01685 879731

Dust Jacket Notes
Churches of the Cynon Valley contains the history of thirty two churches in our locality from Llanwonno in the south to Penderyn in the north. The history dates from the founding of the first churches in the sixth century and spans those still in existence between the late twelfth century primarily up to the Victorian period. The book includes church and local history, art, and the architecture of our splendid churches.

Sumptuously illustrated with over three hundred photographs most of them in colour, the author tells the fascinating stories of these familiar and holy places, and of the religious activity and Christian worship faithfully witnessed here over the past fourteen hundred years. Also included is a brief history of the towns and villages from the earliest days up to the opening and consecration of each church

The book is a companion volume and sequel to the author’s book — Chapels of the Cynon Valley — covering one hundred and eighty nonconformist chapels in the locality and published by the Cynon Valley History Society in 2004. It is hoped this new volume, published by the author, will appeal to those living in the district and also to others residing elsewhere who may have roots or connections with the Cynon Valley.

“…This lavishly illustrated and well prepared book is a comprehensive history of the churches in the Cynon Valley.  I would suggest that it should be a must for any residents of the Cynon who have an interest not only in the church buildings themselves but in the local history of the communities which they serve.”
“… It is guaranteed to appeal not just to those who live in or have connections with the valley but to a much wider range of people.”

Nigel Spinks in ‘Croeso’, Petertide 2013



Hanes Logo 

In 1984 the Society introduced a periodical newsletter Hanes. To date, there have been more than 90 editions and it is now published regularly on a quarterly basis. It is free to all members.
Click here for some previous editions.


In addition to the above list individual members of the Society have published various titles.



“The Society is to be congratulated on a book which should be bought by all interested in the history of the South Wales Coalfield” (Welsh History Review of Cynon Coal).

“…..A veritable gem of a book. A treasure trove of detail and analysis” (Morgannwg on Cynon Coal)

“A remarkable book, probably a unique one”,  (Capel, Spring 2005, on Chapels of the Cynon Valley)

“A beautiful book…..a model reference work…..reliably informative” (H.G.A.Hughes on Chapels of the Cynon Valley)


Latest publications

Old Aberdare XI

Old Aberdare
Volume XI


Ironworks Book

A History of the
Aberdare Valley Ironworks


Aberdare Park History

Aberdare Park:
a guide and short history

 Published by
The Friends of Aberdare Park