Llanwonno is situated in the county of Glamorgan,at an altitude of 1100 feet above sea level.The farms and pastures in the area date from about the twelfth century,but there has been Christian worship on the site since the sixth century.

The documents relating to St. Gwynno's Church - now a listed building - are held at Margam Abbey,near Port Talbot.

The Church has two bells,and the Communion Cup(1614),is kept at Christchurch,Ynysybwl.The oldest grave at St.Gwynno's is that of Christina POTTS,who died in 1667,aged 42 years.



The Grave of GUTO NYTH BRAN- St.Gwynno's Church,Llanwynno.©R.W.Davies,MMIV


Perhaps the most famous grave is that of Guto Nyth Bran,who reputedly ran from his home near Ynyshir,Rhondda,to Llanwonno and back,'before a kettle boiled.'This legend has given rise to the Nos Galan Races,which are held every New Year,and which is started by the 'mystery runner,'who runs from Llanwonno to nearby Mountain Ash.The 'Mystery runner' is traditionally a well known athlete,many of whom have been Olympic Champions.

Interior of St. Gwynno's Church,Llanwonno,during the Flower Festival.

Amongst those who have been Wardens of St.Gwynno's Church,are William REES and Edward GIBBON.

The first CHAPEL meetings in the area were held in 1786,in cottages above Bethel Chapel,which was built in 1876

Charity schools began at Llanwonno in 1774.The first school in Old Ynysybwl was situated at the top of the village,opposite the Old Barn,which has now been demolished.The Headteacher was a Mr.John Williams.There was also an open-air schoolcalled Birch Copse.In 1786,scools were also held at Pwllhelyg,Ty-Tan-Wal and Rhydygrwyddyn.Ynysybwl Mixed School was built in 1867.In 1920,children from Other Street,Old Church Street,Clydach Terrace,Clydach Road,Rock Terrace,Mill Road,Ffrwd Terrace,Ivy Terrace,Hollybush Terrace,Brynffynon Terrace and Pleasant View attended the school.

The staff of Trerobert Boys' School,1937.

The confluence of the Rivers Ffrwd and Clydach is below the Mynachdy Housecoal Level(1903),near the Old Ynysybwl Inn,which was there in 1650,and where,in 1730,international handball was played.
Below 'Oter Street,'now known as 'Other Street,'and Old Church Street,is Roberttown.
The Ynysybwl Railway was first owned by Taff Vale Railways,and the return fare to Pontypridd,was four old pence (4d).The last passenger train from Ynysybwl Halt to Pontypridd was in 1953.


The Ynysybwl train at the Station,with the former Workmens' Hall in the background.

Amongst those living in the area in 1850 were:


Thomas EVANS Mynachdy Farm Farmer
George EVANS Tynewydd  
Evan PHILLIPS Brynfelin Miller-Mill House
John EVANS Old Ynysybwl Inn Landlord


Brynffynon Hotel,Llanwonno Landlord
Rees EDWARDS Llechwen Farm  
Evan EVANS Daerwonno  
Walter WALTERS Nant yr Ysfa  
William MORGAN Ty - yr - Efail Blacksmith





© Rhodri Wyn Davies,2002