Quakers Yard

Quaker Heritage

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...

Neighbouring Communities

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 Colliery.

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 1991.

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Tel: 01685 727474
Last updated: 30.03.2012
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