By the mid 17th century many people were disillusioned by the well
established Church of England. Several groups eventually decided to
break away from it and practice their own brand of Christianity;
the Quakers or the Religious Society of Friends (as they were also
known) were one of these groups.
It is a fundamental Quaker belief that it is possible to have a
direct experience with Christ, without the mediation of clergy.
This is one of the beliefs that earned the Quakers many accusations
of blasphemy from the established church.
Persecution eventually pushed many Quakers abroad, but many set
up communities in Britain and Quakers Yard was home to a small
group of Quakers from around the 1650's.
'The Ford of the Rustling Waters'
Quakers Yard is the place where the Taff River and the Bargoed
Taff River flow into one. The area was originally known
as 'Rhyd y Grug' or 'The Ford of the Rustling Waters'.
The name of the area changed during the 18th century when a small
plot of land was bequeathed to the Quaker movement, specifically to
be used as a Quaker burial ground or yard.
Until the second half of the 19th century Quakers Yard was a
picturesque, rural village, with few links to industry. There was a
corn mill in the area and a small woollen factory. The village also
had two inns opened by the late 18th century; the Quakers Yard Inn
and the Glantaff Inn. 19th century historian Charles Wilkins
described an inn at Quakers Yard as...
an old fashioned inn with sanded floor instead of boards...there
was good home-brewed ale there, made in a simple, honest fashion,
that mellowed the feelings of the old ironworkers, and made them
think of the land where there were no blast furnaces...
The neighbouring communities of Trelewis and Treharris developed
later around the coal trade, and also had a strong Quaker
influence. Street names in Treharris like Penn Street - named after
Pennsylvania's founder William Penn, a Quaker - and Fox Street -
named after George Fox one of the founders of the Quaker movement -
demonstrate the area's Quaker roots.
Treharris was named after William Harris, who came from a rich
Quaker family who owned steam ships. As a result he became
interested in coal and was chairman of the Deep Navigation
Construction of Deep Navigation Colliery at Treharris was
completed by 1879. Deep Navigation was the deepest at 2280 feet,
and the most productive mine in South Wales. It was in continuous
use for over 100 years. Deep Navigation eventually closed in
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