Welsh: Cilfynydd

 Cilfynydd shown within Rhondda Cynon Taf
Population 2,855 (2011 Ward)[1]
Principal areaRhondda Cynon Taf
Ceremonial countyMid Glamorgan
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town Pontypridd
Postcode district CF37
Police South Wales
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK ParliamentCynon Valley
List of places
Rhondda Cynon Taf

Coordinates: 51°37′30″N 3°19′12″W / 51.625°N 3.32°W / 51.625; -3.32

Cilfynydd is a village in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, a mile from the South Wales Valleys town of Pontypridd, and 13 miles north of the capital city, Cardiff.


Situated on the banks of the River Taff, the village was named after the farm that was situated on the east side of the valley, Cilfynydd Farm farmed by the Lloyd family most recently Gwun and Lewis now both deceased. Cilfynydd was originally a farming hamlet, consisting of some cottages built along the Glamorganshire Canal, surrounded by a few scattered farms. These properties, according to the 1881 census, housed about 100 people, but this all changed over the next two decades.[2]

Albion Colliery

Main article: Albion Colliery

Sinking of Albion Colliery began in August 1884 on the site of Ynyscaedudwg Farm. It was owned by the Albion Steam Coal Company and opened in August 1887. It was served by the Llancaiach Branch line of the Taff Vale Railway. Production at the colliery quickly began to prosper and its average weekly output soon reached around 12,000 tons. This was an extreme amount of tonnage for a single shaft coal-winding colliery and one of the largest in South Wales. By 1893, 1,500 men and boys were employed at the Albion. The colliery's early years were relatively free of serious incidents.[3]

Albion was the scene of the second worst disaster in the South Wales Coalfield, after the later disaster at the Universal Colliery at Senghenydd in 1913. At four o'clock on Saturday 23 June 1894, a massive explosion caused by the ignition of coal dust following an explosion of firedamp killed 290 men and boys. Of the 125 horses, only 2 survived. Many of the bodies brought to the surface were so badly mutilated that identification was virtually impossible, and there was several instances of corpses being carried to the wrong houses. Almost everyone in the community lost someone in the disaster, with one family in Howell Street lost 11 members: father, four sons, six lodgers were all killed.[4]

A nine-day inquiry concluded that the deceased had lost their lives through a gas explosion at the Albion colliery, which was augmented by coal dust. However the jury were not able to come to an agreement over the exact origin over the explosion.[5]

Having been taken over in the 1930s by Powell Duffryn, before being nationalised by National Coal Board in 1947, when at that time there were 991 men employed. The mine closed in 1966,[4] but with the tips threatening a disaster similar to Aberfan, a two-phased scheme to reduce the steep gradient of the spoil began in 1974, completed two years later.[2]

Tornado of October 1913

On 27 October 1913, two weeks after the Albion Colliery disaster a severe thunderstorm produced tornadoes with touchdowns reported in South Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire. The tornado measured T6 on the TORRO scale. Three people were killed, one from Cilfynydd, the worst confirmed death-toll for a recent UK tornado. In Richard Street, nearly all the shop fronts were blown in and the goods on sale scattered in the street. The corrugated iron roof of the Co-operation Stores was blown clean away and two roofs on houses in Park Place were stripped. Damage to property across the area where the storm struck was estimated at £40,000 in terms of repairs required - a considerable sum equivalent to around £2.5 million today. [6]

The Village

The village was named after the farm that was situated on the east side of the valley, Cilfynydd Farm. The development of the village occurred around and as a result of the development of the Albion Colliery, to provide housing for the workforce.

Typically of the time, the houses were terraced, built along a parallel track to the Cardiff to Merthyr road. It is said that the original terrace streets in Cilfynydd were named after the sons and daughters of the developer: Howell Street, Ann Street, William Street, John Street, Richard Street and Mary Street.

The majority of Cilfynydd's housing and public buildings were built between 1884 and 1910, with this fast development necessary, as by 1891 the population had increased fivefold to over 500. The following decade witnessed an even greater rate of increase, as the 1901 census shows the population totalled 3,500 people.[2] By this point, the village also had: four chapels, three public houses, a school, a church, a post office, and a workman's hall.[2]The War Memorial is located at the north end of the village and lists the names of the 65 men who fell from Cilfyndd during The Great War and the names of 26 men who fell during World War 2. One individual whose name is listed under those of the Great War casualties was awarded the Military Medal for valour. [7]

The villiage now has a permanent memorial dedicated to all those who lost their lives at the Albion Colliery. Coedylan Comprehensive resides on the on the location of the former pit, the capped mine shafts are still visible today. [8]


Originally situated on a drover's trail along the route of the River Taff, it was on the natural route of the Glamorganshire Canal.

Due to the development of the Albion Colliery the Llancaiach Branch of the Taff Vale Railway was constructed adjacent to the village, with through passenger services from Pontypridd to Nelson by TVR railmotor serving Cilfynydd Station from 1 June 1900 until 12 September 1932.[9]

The main road through Cilfynydd was once the main route between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil, before the building of the A470 road dual carriageway on the route of the Llancaiach Branch.

A tram service began on 6 March 1905, running from Cilfynydd through Pontypridd to Treforest. It was replaced on 18 September 1930 by trolleybuses, which today are replaced by buses which replicate an almost exact route.[2]


  1. "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Cilfynydd". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  3. Albion Colliery Disaster Retrieved 4 January 2016
  4. 1 2 "Albion Colliery". Welsh Coal Mines. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  5. "Albion explosion names". Welsh Coal Mines. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  6. The Devastating South Wales Tornado of October 1913 Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  7. Cilfynydd War Memorial Retrieved 2 February 2016
  8. Permanent Tribute To The Fallen Retrieved 4 January 2016
  9. ""The Nelson branch" by Edward A. Evans. Pages 12-17". Backtrack 1996 Volume 10. Retrieved 2015-01-08.

External links

Location Grid

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