This year marks the bicentenary of the founding in Troedyrhiw of the ‘cause’ that was to become Saron Welsh Independent Chapel in the village. A History of the Welsh Independent Churches (Thomas Rees & John Thomas 1871+) tells us that members of Bethesda Chapel, Merthyr came to Troedyrhiw in around 1820 to start a Sunday School which was held from house to house. By 1835 the first chapel had been constructed and this was replaced by a larger building on part of the same site in 1852.
From its elevated position on the valley side Saron looked down confidently, through good times and bad, as the village grew and developed below. It was to here that many local people came to find spiritual support, for educational, cultural and other community activities and, finally, to be laid to rest in the chapel graveyard in what they expected would always be tranquil and undisturbed surroundings. Saron Chapel, Troedyrhiw closed in 1983 and was demolished in 1990. Its historic graveyard was abandoned to its fate and had become a shameful and embarrassing blot on the village until the community group Friends of Saron intervened. As a group of volunteers with no religious, political or other affiliations we are working hard to create Saron Memorial & Wildlife Garden as a community asset that we can all be proud of. PLEASE SUPPORT US BY EITHER JOINING OUR VOLUNTEERS ON SITE OR IN SOME OTHER WAY. WHY NOT SEND US A MESSAGE?
Volunteers were very pleased with the results of their recent efforts to improve the condition of some of the graves in Saron Graveyard Troedyrhiw. And so was the 7-spotted ladybird that decided to lay its eggs on one of the gravestones!
The Saron Graveyard Project, Troedyrhiw could do with some additional support. If you would like to find out about some major reconstruction work on a retaining wall that will begin soon and discuss the future direction of the project then please come to one of the meetings that are advertised on this page. To show your interest or to help with some of of the on-site work (it’s not all heavy!) then please pop in to one of our Volunteer Days’ which are also advertised here.
MEETING – THURS 27 JUNE; 6:30pm; ANGEL INN, TROEDYRHIW VOLUNTEER DAY – SAT 29 JUNE; FROM 10:00am; SARON GRAVEYARD, TROEDYRHIW
As a group of community volunteers with no religious, political or other affiliations we have been working hard to rescue the graveyard of the former Saron Chapel in Troedyrhiw from the effects of many years of neglect. We are extremely grateful to the landowner and leaseholder for making it possible for urgently necessary structural work to be carried out in the near future. Our small but dedicated team have made significant improvements to the condition of the site but there is much still to be done. We are now appealing to individual members of the community, organisations and local businesses to actively support us in any way that you can so that our vision of creating a low maintenance memorial and wildlife garden can be achieved within a reasonable timescale. So why not come along to our next committee meeting on 30 May or pop in to our next Volunteer Day on 01 June? You can be sure of receiving a warm reception. You might like to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01623477141.
At long last, after 9 years of effort and numerous disappointments, it seems that urgently necessary and expensive work on the boundary walls of the Saron site is finally going to take place. Realistically this can be expected to begin next Spring.
We are now appealing for input from everyone that cares about the conservation of the historic environment of our village. We would be extremely pleased to see you at one or both of the following events:-
THURSDAY 30TH AUGUST, 6.30pm, ANGEL INN – MEETING to discuss, amongst other things, the next steps for this project following the excellent news described above.
SATURDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER, 10.00am onwards, SARON GRAVEYARD – VOLUNTEER DAY to continue the programme of site improvement work. Why not pop in to see what we have been doing and have a chat about our plans?
The sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915 by a German torpedo with the loss of 1000 lives hastened the entry of the USA into WW1. Amongst the passengers fortunate enough to have survived this incident was David Alfred Thomas who had been MP for Merthyr and was to become Lord Rhondda. In 1897 he laid one of the foundation stones for the large hall and schoolroom that was being added to Mount Zion Chapel, Troedyrhiw at this time. The chapel has, sadly, been demolished leaving little physical evidence that it ever existed apart from the site which is now occupied by housing and two foundation stones which are now in private ownership.
A recent newspaper article stated that the younger generation have little interest in or knowledge about World War 1. (the ‘Great War’). What do you think about this?
Over 6 million UK soldiers, including around 300,000 from Wales, served in WW1 and around 700,000 were killed, some 40,000 of whom were Welsh. This had a massive impact in most of our cities towns and villages and Troedyrhiw was no exception. On the War Memorial in Troedyrhiw Park are the names of 55 young men from our village who did not return when the war ended in 1918 (visit: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Glamorgan/Troedyrhiw.html). If you have information about any of these we would be very pleased to receive it (email: email@example.com).
We have recently been able to copy the names from the ‘Roll of Honour’ that once hung in Mount Zion Chapel in Troedyrhiw. This lists the 48 members of the chapel (see below) that served in WW1. If you have information about any of these we would be very pleased to receive it (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once again our brilliant volunteers have done us proud. At the Volunteer Day held in Saron Graveyard last Saturday yet more graves were returned to a stable and cared for condition. At the same time some wild flower planting was carried out. Evidence of the presence of some hidden graves was found during work to level some ground. These will be further explored at our next Volunteer Day in November.