The New Bridgend Inn – Penybont.
In the 1830’s the area of Penybont, Cwmtillery was owned by various landowners such as Mr William Morgan, Mr John James, Mr Thomas Brown Esq with Messrs Joseph and Crawshay Bailey and later Messrs Arthur K. and Percy K. Stothert of Bath owned the land on the eastern side.
At the centre of the area was Pen-y-Bont Farm and a small stone bridge over the Tylery River of which the area takes its name. The farm was taken over and incorporated into the Penybont Colliery at the start of sinking in 1848 and can be seen on old images and later became part of the colliery’s out buildings. The Pen-y-Bont Farm and the stone bridge is long buried beneath the landfill used to transform the valley in the early 1970’s and is now directly below Henley’s Bus Depot.
The Bridgend Inns at Penybont.
The New and Old Bridgend Inn’s at Penybont were completely different buildings opposite side of the valley to each other (as seen on the map right). Their names have nothing to do with each other or the iron bridge that once spanned the valley between the both pubs. This bridge was only put in place in 1915, prior to its construction the railway was crossed at that point by a level-crossing which ran diagonally between the two Bridgend Inns.
Prior to the Foundry Bridge being built, the people from Blaenau Gwent wanting to travel by foot or brake to the town centre had to cross the valley at this point, or a level-crossing lower down which was completely inaccessible to horse drawn vehicles, though as the traffic in the Cwmtillery valley grew the level-crossing became dangerous to use and a bridge at Penybont was proposed and later constructed in 1915 as stated.
The New Bridgend Inn.
Strange as it may seem but I believe the New Bridgend Inn is a lot older than the Old Bridgend Inn across the valley. This may be that at some point in time the New Bridgend Inn was renovated and enlarged and renamed as such. The earliest information I can find on the New Bridgend Inn is that it first appeared in documentation in 1853. Information on the inn is as follows –
The Official Opening of the Bridgend Inn, Penybont, Cwmtillery.
On Monday 14th November 1853 Mr and Mrs Enoch and Mary Evans held a house warming party (as seen left) at their premises the Bridgend Inn.
I believe this was the official opening of the inn. The Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper reported on the party and stated Mr Innis the surgeon presided, Mr Habakkuk was vice chairman with Messrs Evans and D. James acting as stewards.
Mr and Mrs Enoch and Mary Evans.
Mr Enoch Evans was born in 1817 at Llanspyddid, Brecon and his wife Mrs Mary Evans, born in 1821 at St Davids, Brecon were the first landlord and landlady of the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont. Their children were as follows – Miss Mary Ann Evans, born in 1851 at St Davids, Brecon.
Cwmtillery Explosion 27th May 1857.
On Wednesday 27th May 1857 an explosion occurred at Cwmtillery Colliery. The ignition of fire-damp at 7.00am killed 12 men with several others being severely injured. The official inquest in connection with the explosion was held at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont.
On the 1861 census Mr and Mrs Enoch and Mary Evans were still at the inn though at this time their children were Miss Mary Ann Evans born in 1851 at St Davids, Brecon. Master David Evans, born in 1856 at Aberystruth and Master Stephen Bowen Evans, born 1857 at Aberystruth. Also living at the premises were Miss Ann Rumsey, their niece, born 1848. Mr David Evans, Enoch’s brother a foreman at the blast furnaces, born in 1811 at Brecon and Miss Ann Powell a servant girl born in 1837 at Brecon.
The Death of Mr Enoch Evans.
In 1875 Mr Enoch Evans sadly passed away he was said to have been about 55 years of age. Mrs Mary Evans with her children Mary Ann and Stephen Evans stayed at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont. Two years later in 1877 Mrs Mary Evans went bankrupt and left the inn. In the late 1870’s Mrs Mary Evans and her son Stephen Evans moved to live with her eldest son David Evans at the Garnvach, Nantyglo. Mr David Evans and his younger brother Stephen were coal miners at one of the Nantyglo collieries.
Mr David Davies.
In the 1880’s Mr David Davies name was on the list of licensees as being the landlord of the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont.
Mr and Mrs James and Mary Price.
In the early 1880’s Mr James Price, born in 1823 at Boughrood, Radnorshire and his wife Mrs Mary Price, born in 1819 at Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire were landlord and landlady at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont. I don’t think their tenure lasted very long as I believe Mr James Price died as on the 1891 census Mrs Mary Price was a widow living in lodgings at 5 Chapel Street, Abertillery with the Evans family.
Mr and Mrs Thomas and Caroline Priddy.
In 1889 Mr Thomas Priddy born in 1838 at Highlittleton, Somersetshire and his wife Mrs Caroline Priddy nee Brooks born in 1839 also at Highlittleton, Somersetshire were landlord and landlady at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont.
Thomas and Caroline were married at Bath, Somerset in 1859 and travelled about quite a bit before settling at Abertillery in Mitre Street and Somerset Street. Their family were as follows – Miss Elizabeth Priddy, born in 1861 at Highlittleton, Somserset. Miss Anna Maria, born in 1864 at Hindley, Lancashire. Master Joseph Priddy, born in 1872 at Abertillery and Miss Mary Ann Priddy, born in 1872 at Abertillery. Miss Laura Priddy, born in 1874 at Abertillery and Miss Rosina Priddy, born in 1878 at Abertillery. Their daughters Misses Elizabeth and Anna Maria worked in the Abertillery Tin Works.
The Death of Mr Thomas Priddy.
In 1897 Mr Thomas Priddy passed away at 59 years of age. His widow Caroline and family moved to the Castle Inn and Caroline became the landlady with her son Mr Joseph Priddy as the head barman.
From 1890 to 1894 information on the inn was a bit vague.
Quadrille Dancing Parties.
In 1892 Quadrille Dancing was held every Tuesday evenings at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont. Gentlemen had to pay 6d. and ladies had to pay 3d. per person. Quadrille dancing was described as being a type of western Barn Dancing.
The Sale of the New Bridgend Inn.
In March 1894 it was advertised that the New Bridgend Inn was to be put up to auction. On Wednesday 4th April 1894 Messrs Stephenson & Alexandra, Auctioneers of Cardiff offered for sale at the Westgate Hotel, Newport, the New Bridgend Hotel, a Grocers Shop and six adjoining Cottages. The property was held for a term of 72 years had a ground rent of £8. The bidding commenced at £1,500 and was purchased for £3,375 by Mr G. F. Colbourne, a solicitor acting on behalf of Mr Joseph Chivers of Cwmtillery. Mr Chivers now had both the Tillery Fountain Inn and the New Bridgend Hotel. The £3,375 paid for the New Bridgend Hotel is equivalent to £411,750,00 in today’s money. Mr Joseph Chivers later decided to build a new brewery to supply beer to his now two tied houses.
The Chivers Family.
From the mid 1890’s it was reported that Mrs Sarah Jane Matthews nee Chivers, daughter of Joseph Chivers was the tenant of the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont. Mrs Sarah Jane Chivers had married Mr John Matthews a grocer at Penybont in 1889. They owned a grocers shop at Penybont, Cwmtillery. Their family were as follows – Mr Edmund Matthews, born in 1871 at Aberystruth a grocers assistant. Mr John Matthews, born in 1875 at Mynyddyslwyn, a grocers assistant. Master Willie Matthews, born in 1877 at Mynyddyslwyn a grocers assistant. Miss Martha Matthews, born in 1879 at Mynyddyslwyn. Miss Maud Matthews, born in 1881 at Aberystruth. Miss Ceinwen Matthews, born in 1887 at Aberystruth and Miss Mercy Matthews, born in 1890 at Aberystruth. Also at the grocers shop was Miss Ellen Webb, a servant girl from Aberystruth.
Mr Matthews passed away in 1895 and his widow Mrs Sarah Jane Matthews moved into the New Bridgend Inn to manage the house and later married Mr Colin T. Hudson.
Mr and Mrs Colin and Sarah Jane Hudson.
In 1901 Mr Colin Thomas Hudson, born 1868 at Kent and his wife Mrs Sarah Jane Hudson, widow of Mr John Matthews were tenants at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont. They were married in 1901 living with their family – Master Matthew Matthews, step-son, born in 1895 and Miss Mercy Matthews, step-daughter, born 1891. Also living at the premises was Miss M. J. Bowen a servant from Nantyglo.
Throughout the latter part of 1890 and the early 1900’s the miners of the Tillery and Cwmtillery Collieries used the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont as their meeting place, at larger meetings the fields close by were utilised.
The Auction of the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont.
On Wednesday 24th March 1909 the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont was put up for auction by Messrs Tomkins & Chadwick auctioneers at the Bush Hotel, Abertillery. It was described as a fully licensed and free hotel in the occupation of Mr T. J. Lamb. The building comprised – A Basement, Beer Cellar with capacity for 18 barrels. The ground floor – Entrance Lobby, Bar, Tap Room, Bar Parlour, Kitchen, Scullery, Larder and Offices. The first floor – Landing, Clubroom, Private Sitting Room, 5 Bedrooms, Bathroom and Toilets. Outside – Stabling for four horses, Coach House, Wash-house, Coalhouse, Greenhouse and large gardens.
Also under the same roof as New Bridgend Hotel premises were advertised – Two Three Roomed Cottages. The cottages were in the occupation of Mr William Samuels and Mr Sidney Young with an aggregate rental of £19. 10s. 0d. per annum with a ground rent for the properties at £5. per annum. The auctioneers called special attention to the fact that the hotel was in a prime spot with it being in the position close to the Powell’s Tillery Collieries and near to the Lancaster Collieries where a large number of men were employed and vast sums of money will be spent on extensions. It was also announced that a bridge was to be constructed over the railway which will connect the east and west districts and increase the prosperity of the increasingly prosperous area. The auctioneers withdrew the properties from sale after only £4,600 was offered.
The Licensing Cases.
On Wednesday 16th February 1910 and again on Wednesday 15th February 1911 the Chivers brothers applied to the courts to sell beer off premises at their brewery. The chairman was told again that the brothers Alfred and Joseph Chivers were brewers in a brewery already set up by their late father Joseph. The application for a licence to sell off premises was not seen as a “right” but as a “grace”, they wanted to sell to private customers and for their two tied houses, the New Bridgend Hotel and the Tillery Fountain Inn. Mr Alfred Chivers said that if the application was refused again they intended to sell their brewery. The justices retired and the chairman announced that the application was to be refused yet again. The brothers kept to their word and moved from the area.
Mr T. J. Lamb.
In 1908 Mr T. J. Lamb, late manager of the Tillery Collieries became the landlord at the New Bridgend Inn, Penybont. Mr Lamb’s tenure didn’t last long as he passed away in January 1911.
The Departure of Alfred and Joseph Chivers.
In 1910 Mr Joseph Chivers and his wife Mary left the area and went to live at Tanyfron, Gwehelog, Usk. On the 1911 census Mr Joseph Chivers was listed as being a brewer by occupation.
In 1910 Mr Alfred Chivers who with his wife Alice left Cwmtillery to live at Munstone, Holmer, Hereford. On the 1911 census Mr Alfred Chivers was listed as being a brewer by occupation.
Mr and Mrs Edward and Sarah Chivers.
On the 1911 census Mr Edward Chivers son of Mr Joseph Chivers snr born in 1857 at Abercarn and his wife Mrs Sarah Ann Chivers, born in 1871 at Abercarn were landlord and landlady at the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont. They lived ther with their family as follows – Miss Mary Maud Chivers, born in 1893 at Cwmtillery. Miss Sarah Ellen, born in 1895 at Cwmtillery. Miss Sophia Chivers, born in 1899 at Cwmtillery. Master James Chivers, born in 1901 at Cwmtillery. Miss Martha Ann Chivers, born in 1905 at Cwmtillery. Master Joseph Chivers, born in 1907 at Cwmtillery and Master Herbert Chivers, born in 1909 also at Cwmtillery. Aslso living at the premises was Miss Lydia Maud Waite, a servant girl from Mardy, Glamorganshire.
The Two Bridgend Inns and Their Trade.
In 1915 the valley and both Bridgend Inns were connected by a two-span iron bridge over the railway. During its planning and consultations the courts were told of how a bridge was needed and were shown the amount of people that used the old level crossing and the vast number of miners working in the valley using the both inns and the Clynmawr Hotel.
Mr Thomas Stewart.
Prior to the Great War Mr Thomas Stewart was landlord of the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont.
Mr and Mrs James and Margaret Ann Stephens.
In February 1922 Mr James Stephens and his wife Margaret Ann Stephens took over the tenancy of the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont.
The Death of Mr James Stephens.
In November 1926 Mr James Stephens passed away. The license at the hotel was transferred to his wife Mrs Margaret Ann Stephens.
Mr James Stephens.
In the late 1920’s Mrs Margaret Stephens and her son Mr O. S. James Stephens, a plumber and engineer based in Abertillery were the tenants at the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont.
Mr and Mrs Thomas and Henrietta Tippins.
In the early 1930’s it was reported that Mr and Mrs Thomas and Henrietta Tippins were landlord and landlady at the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont.
In the mid 1930’s Mr Fear was reported as being the landlord at the New Bridgend Hotel, Penybont.
(Later information to come).
The Later Years.
There is no later information available on who were resident at the hotel. More recent landlords and landladies were as follows –
Mr John Fear (1934 – 1952)
Mr Ellis Jones (1953 – 1954)
Mr Thomas Grindle (1955)
Mr Albert V. Hilsdon (1956)
Mr Ernest Rickard (1957 – 1961)
Mr Thomas R Harman (1962 – 1965)
Mr and Mrs Albert E. and Lillian Summers (1966 – 1974)
Mr and Mrs Alan K. and Maureen Brimble (1977- 1980)
Mr Trevor Price (1981 – 1984)
Mr and Mrs Roy and Janice Rogers (1985 -1993)
Mr and Mrs Jeff and Maggie Upcott (1993 – 1994)
Mr and Mrs Glyn and Rita Banks (1995 – 2002)
Mr Alf Stevens (2002 – Present).
The information on the later landlords and landladies was kindly supplied courtesy of Mr Bryan Boots.