Merthyr Mawr

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Merthyr Mawr Church. A mediæval cross is to the left of the church
Dunes of Merthyr Mawr Warren

Merthyr Mawr is a village and parish in Glamorgan about 2½ miles from the centre of Bridgend. The parish occupies the area west of the Ewenny River, between Bridgend and Porthcawl. It takes in the settlement of Tythegston and a stretch of coastal sand dunes known as Merthyr Mawr Warren.

Buildings and landmarks of note

Merthyr Mawr House is an early 19th-century mansion built by Sir John Nicholl and set in an extensive park. Within the park is the Iron Age hillfort known as Chapel Hill Camp. Within the embankments is the now roofless 15th century chapel of St Roque (or Roch), which now provides a home for two early mediæval inscribed stones.[1]

Merthyr Mawr is largely an estate village for the House. It now contains several cottages retaining thatched roofs and well maintained gardens. At the south end of the village is the parish church of St Teilo. It was built in 1849-51 to a design by Benjamin Ferrey and John Pritchard, on an ancient mediæval site. A collection of stones from the former churchyard and the surrounding area were gathered together, and are now displayed in a shelter in the churchyard.[1]

Nearby are the Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes. Scenes from Lawrence of Arabia were filmed on the dunes. Candleston Castle is on the edge of the area of dunes. Mike Young Productions children's cartoon studio is located in Merthyr Mawr.

The River Ogmore flows through the village and a famous sheep dipping bridge crosses it on the outskirts of the village. The former POW Camp Island Farm is less than a mile away. The Ewenny River forms the southern boundary of the parish. The villages of Ewenny and Ogmore-by-Sea are both on the southern bank of the Ewenny, along with Ogmore Castle.

Scheduled Monuments

Pre-Norman stones at St Teilo Churchyard

There are large number of archaeological sites in the parish, showing habitation from Neolithic times, and intensive occupation since Roman times. Thirteen sites are Scheduled Monuments, which gives them legal protection from disturbance:-

  • Mynydd Herbert Round Barrow (51°30’21"N, 3°39’23"W, SS851798) A Bronze-Age burial cairn 2m high covered in stones, possibly cleared from nearby fields, in the corner of a field half a mile north of Tythegston.[3]
  • Chapel Hill Camp (51°29’26"N, 3°36’6"W, SS889780) A small Iron-Age hillfort on a low hilltop. The ruins of St Roques chapel, lying within the enclosure, gives its name to the hill.[4]
Candleston Castle
The Ogmore River and New Inn Bridge
  • Merthyr Mawr Warren (51°28’53"N, 3°38’19"W, SS863770) An area of dunes within which numerous prehistoric burial sites and other findspots have been uncovered, especially during sand and gravel extraction.[5]
  • Cae Summerhouse Camp (51°29’22"N, 3°38’15"W, SS864779). A settlement site with intensive 1st to 4th century occupation in a defended enclosure, covering the Iron Age & Roman periods.[6]
  • Merthyr Mawr pre-Norman Stones (51°29’8"N, 3°36’38"W, SS882775) A series of locally found early mediæval stone pillars, slabs and crosses, now housed in a shelter within Merthyr Mawr St Teilo churchyard.[7]
  • Vervil Dyke (51°29’5"N, 3°36’5"W, SS889774) A bank and ditch runs between the rivers Ogmore and Eweny. Traces of a parallel bank imply a settlement enclosure of early mediæval date.[8]
  • Conbelani Stone in St Roque's Chapel (51°29’27"N, 3°36’8"W,SS888780) An inscribed pillar cross, originally on the river bank at Merthyr Mawr. Another cross pillar, the Goblin Stone, is also in the ruined chapel.[11]
  • Candleston Castle (51°28’58"N, 3°37’37"W, SS871772) A lightly-fortified 14th century manor house overlooking Merthyr Mawr Warren, which continued in occupation until the 19th century.[12]
  • Merthyr Mawr Churchyard Cross (51°29’7"N, 3°36’37"W, SS882774) An octagonal 14th century cross pillar with part of its original finial, set in three steps of sandstone.[13]
  • New Inn Bridge (51°29’37"N, 3°35’56"W, SS891783) A Stone bridge in the parish, but near Bridgend. It has four arches, and is dated to the 16th century or older. Two openings allow sheep washing, giving an alternate name of 'Dipping Bridge'.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Historic Landscapes: Merthyr Mawr accessed 11 May 2013
  2. coflein website NPRN: 94522. Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust PRN: 00287m. Cadw SAM: GM022: Tythegston Long Barrow
  3. coflein website NPRN: 301290. Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust PRN: 00228m. Cadw SAM: GM025: Mynydd Herbert Round Barrow
  4. coflein NPRN: 94625. Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust PRN: 00275m. Cadw SAM: GM248: Chapel Hill Camp
  5. coflein NPRN: 308713. Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust PRN: 01015m. Cadw SAM: GM432: Merthyr Mawr Warren
  6. coflein NPRN: 301305. Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust PRN: 00246m. Cadw SAM: GM102: Cae Summerhouse Camp
  7. coflein NPRN: 301386. GGAT PRN: 00279m. Cadw SAM: GM169: Pre-Norman Stones in Churchyard
  8. coflein NPRN: 94715. GGAT PRN: 02260.0m. Cadw SAM: GM465: Vervil Dyke
  9. coflein NPRN: 307244. GGAT PRN: 00263m. Cadw SAM: GM214: Cross in Tythegston Churchyard
  10. coflein NPRN: 93143. GGAT PRN: 00248m. Cadw SAM: GM247: St Rogue's Chapel
  11. coflein NPRN: 275853. GGAT PRN: 01335m. Cadw SAM: GM026: Merthyr Mawr Inscribed Stones (now in St Rogue's Chapel)
  12. coflein NPRN: 93050. GGAT PRN: 00258m. Cadw SAM: GM095: Candleston Castle
  13. coflein NPRN: 307247. GGAT PRN: 00233m. Cadw SAM: GM226: Merthyr Mawr Churchyard Cross
  14. coflein NPRN: 24135. GGAT PRN: 00277m. Cadw SAM: GM050: New Inn Bridge