Bute Street, Treherbert
|Council:||Rhondda Cynon Taf|
Treherbert is a village standing at the head of the Rhondda Valley in Glamorgan. Treherbert is a former industrial coal mining village which was at its economic peak between 1850 and 1920. Treherbert is the upper most community of the Rhondda Fawr and encompasses the districts of Blaencwm, Blaenrhondda, Tynewydd and Pen-yr-englyn.
There is evidence of settlements in the Rhondda dating back to Celtic times, but prior to the Industrial Revolution and the advent of coal mining the villages of Treherbert, Tynewydd, Blaenrhondda and Blaencwm consisted of a number of isolated rural farms and scattered homesteads. In 1841 there were only 218 people residing in the 'Middle hamlet of Treherbert', which had risen to 1,203 by 1861.
In August 1845, the trustees of the Marquess of Bute bought the Cwmsaebren farm from William Davies for a fee of £11,000 to sink the first steam coal pit in the Rhondda valley. A trial pit was sunk from 1850, but progress was slow due to the fact that all equipment was carried over rough tracks by horse and cart from the Taff Vale Railway's then terminus at Dinas. In April 1853 the first seam of what was called the Bute Merthyr Colliery was struck at a depth of 125 yards, and production was begun in early 1855.
Parish records showed the first use of the name Treherbert from January 1855, commemorating the Herbert earls of Pembroke, one of the ancestors of the Marquess of Bute.
The first 38 wagons of steam coal were transported from the newly extended Taff Vale Railway station at Gelligaled (Ystrad) to Cardiff Docks on 21 December 1855. Installation of the railway line facilitated the rapid expansion of the village, and the need to build new houses, the first rows of which were built at Bute Street, Dumfries Street, and Baglan Street.
During the early 21st century many of the notable buildings of 'old' Treherbert were demolished; including Treherbert Hospital, Treherbert Police Station, Dunraven School (Tynewydd), Blaencwm School, Blaenrhondda School, Penyrenglyn Infants and Junior School, Treherbert Infants School and Libanus Chapel.
Treherbert is also a designated Communities First ward as it is ranked within the top 10% most deprived areas according to the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. The Treherbert Communities First Partnership is known as CwmNi.
Treherbert railway station is the last stop on the Arriva Trains Wales Treherbert line, which runs from Cardiff. Before the Beeching Axe in the 1960s, the railway line continued from Treherbert through Tynewydd to Blaencwm. From here it turned left at Pen Pych into Blaencwm. In Blaencwm, the line descended into a tunnel under Mynydd Blaengwynfi, emerging in the village of Blaengwynfi in the nearby Afan valley. The journey took approximately 8 minutes.
- Rugby: Treherbert RFC, founded by local colliers in 1879.
Treherbert also produced one of Wales' first rugby league teams, Treherbert RLFC, playing for just two seasons between 1908 and 1910.
Treherbert Band is one of the longest established bands in the South Wales area. It was originally formed around 1897 as Treherbert Drum and Fife Band, later becoming a brass band associated to the Glenrhondda Colliery.
Following the closure of the colliery, the band continued but was renamed variously the Upper Rhondda Band, Treherbert & District Silver Band, Treherbert Band, and now Treherbert & District Band.
The band has enjoyed many successes in competition, at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Mineworkers Open, the National Championships of Great Britain and Wales' annual national competition, the Welsh Regional Championships. During the 1990s the band gained promotion from the fourth section right through to the elite Championship division, and became Welsh League Champions in 2002, Welsh Regional Champions in 2003 and Runner Up Welsh Regional Champions in 2007.
In 2011 the band became National Eisteddfod Third Division Champions, Runner Up Welsh Regional and Runner Up South Wales Miner's Eisteddfod Champions.
- History of Treherbert at Rhondda Cynon Taf
- Welsh Coal Mines website - research the history of the local pits
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Treherbert and surrounding area
- website of Treherbert & District Band
- Sean James Cameron, Then & Now. Rhondda: From Cwmparc to Blaencwm
- Sean James Cameron, Rhondda Voices