Ystradgynlais History

The Gough family of Ystradgynlais

Local Landowners and Patrons

The Gough family were the local landowners in Ystradgynlais. They married into another local family of note, the Aubreys, and their estate was called the Ynyscedwyn estate, with their mansion, Ynyscedwyn House (sometimes spelt Yniscedwyn). The house was latterly used as council offices, before being demolished in the late twentieth century and replaced with a close of smart houses.

The Gough family gave their name to a large part of the local landscape - public houses include the Aubrey Arms, the Gough Arms (now Cafe Chameleon, though formally it is registered as 'cafe Chameleon at the Gough Arms'), and the Ynyscedwyn Arms. The Ynyscedwyn name lives on in Ynyscedwyn Road, and was previously also used for the now-closed Ynyscedwyn School (now Classy Curtains and the Riverside Apartment).

Rhestr Fawr, the road opposite the Ynyscedwyn Arms, was previously known as Gough Buildings, and the Gough family owned land in the surrounding area, as the story of the end of Water Street and the rebuilding of Sardis Chapel's vestry makes clear.

The Gough family were also known as patrons and benefactors of the local community. An example of this is Saint Cynog's Church Hall, built by Cecil Clare Gough, in memory of her husband, Fleming R.D.A. Gough in 1935.

The above is a view of one of the Gough family graves in Saint Cynog's church cemetery, Ystradgynlais.

The inscription above the door of Saint Cynog's church hall says that it was built by Mrs Cecil Clare Gough in memory of her husband, Colonel Fleming Richard Dansy Aubrey Gough. He had died in 1933, the church hall was built in 1935, and Mrs Gough died at the end of 1936.

The demolition of Water Street after the great flood, and question of what to do with the leased land that formed the Square in Ystradgynlais saw complex legalities involving Colonel Gough, the town council, the trustees of Sardis Chapel, and the owners of the houses being demolished.

The foundation stone of Tabernacl, Ystradgynlais was laid by Mrs Fleming Gough in July 1890. As can be seen on the gravestone for Colonel Gough above, his first name was Fleming, rather than it being part of his surname. Thus the foundation stone reflects the practice of calling the wife of a husband Mrs, and then the husband's name.

This memorial on the wall in Saint Cynog's Church remembers vicars from the Gough family, including the Reverend Fleming Gough of Ynyscedwyn, Rector of the parish of Ystradgynlais for 35 years who died at Ynyscedwyn the 27th October 1839, aged 79