Trefechan & Vaynor
The village of Trefechan is within the parish of Vaynor.
Prior to the industrial revolution, Vaynor would have been an
agricultural parish, with the only links to industry being small
flour or fulling mills (cloth) and some small scale
Arable farming was practised from around 3000 BC in Vaynor. Many
burial Cairns have been discovered in the area and a bronze dagger
excavated on Cilsanws Mountain is the oldest manmade metal object
to be found in Merthyr Tydfil.
Overlooking Trefechan are the remains of Morlais Castle.
Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan built Morlais Castle around
1288 AD. By this time Gilbert had already built Caerphilly
Humphrey de Bohun, Lord of Brecknock disputed de Clare's claim on
the land Morlais Castle was built. This dispute culminated in 1291
with the Battle of Maesvaynor.
The battle is remembered in an old Welsh poem:
'The battle was won by the men of Bohun,
And blood like an ocean in Vaynor was seen.'
During the Welsh Rebellion of the thirteenth-century Morlais
Castle was briefly held by Welsh rebels and used as a stronghold in
the battle for Welsh independence.
After Edward I won his war against the Welsh he destroyed parts of
Morlais Castle to prevent it from ever being used as a stronghold
Vaynor remained an agricultural parish until the Industrial
Revolution began in the late 18th century. At this time the area
changed dramatically. Houses were hastily built for workers,
woodland was removed for fuel and huge limestone quarries were
There are many Limestone Quarries in the Vaynor area and their
remains are still visible along the trails and on the
Limestone was used in the ironworks to purify the iron-ore.
Vaynor Quarry is the closest quarry to Trefechan. Created by the
Crawshay family Vaynor Quarry was in use right through to the
twentieth-century. In 1957 the quarry produced 1000 tons of
limestone per day. Eventually production stopped in the 1990's.
On the land where the Trefechan Estate now stands stood another of
the Crawshay homes, Vaynor House.
Built in the 1860's Vaynor House was a sizeable house with three
reception rooms, nine bedrooms, domestic offices, stables and
cowsheds, all of which was surrounded by 15.5 acres of pasture
Vaynor House was demolished around 1947 when the housing estate of
Trefechan was constructed.
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