>> A Brief History of Tregynon
A Brief History of Tregynon
The village is named from the eponymous 6th century saint Cynon and the Parish Church, basically pre-Reformation but heavily "restored" in the 19th century, is built on an oval shaped hillock of pre-historic significance and is named in his honour. There is also a Calvinistic Methodist [Presbyterian Church of Wales] Chapel called Bethany.
The nearby country house is Gregynog Hall, which probably dates from the 15th century. In the 19th century it was the seat of the Blayney Hanbury-Tracy families and became the centre of Welsh cultural life in the 20th century under Miss Margaret and Miss Gwendoline Davies, who had inherited their grandfather's fortune [David Davies of Llandinam].
They left their home to the University of Wales as a cultural, educational and retreat centre.
Tregynon had a number of prolific local families in the agricultural and local industrial 19th and 20th centuries including the Williams, Stephens, Thomas and Corfield "clans" - some branches of them had over a dozen children apiece! The use of the Welsh language, which had declined during the 19th century, has increased over recent decades due to the position of the local Primary School for the surrounding area in the village of Tregynon and the policy of the local authority to make bilingualism its aim. The village was touched by the last Welsh Revival of 1904-05 and many of the children converted at the time kept the memory alive until the end of the century. The Bethany Chapel was predominantly English in worship and instruction but there were some Welsh classes. The Brook, known as the Bechan in Welsh, is an eventual tributary of the Severn and provided power for the local Sawmill, now owned by Coed Cymru.
The latter decades of the twentieth century saw an expansion of the population of the village with many houses and bungalows being built in the low lying fields and being given Welsh names. The presence of the local Primary School for the area as well as the Village Community Hall are attractions to outsiders to settle. The centre of the village retains its old charm with the Rectory, Church House, old School displaying traditional mid Wales half timber framed black and white dwellings and innovative early use of concrete - the latter also found on the outskirts of the village in a pair of cottages. One of oldest buildings is the Old School House, also known as "Tithe Barn", now divided into two homes and located alongside the remains of a medieval fort with earthworks near the Bechan brook.