Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

The Lamb and Flag, Abercrave

Across the river from the Rheolau Arms, the Lamb and Flag is first referenced in a book of 1804, but was certainly going well in the later 18th century. It was still open during World War Two, but has long now been a private house.

The Lamb and Flag is the large building with the porch, on the left in this photograph.

Coming up the road from Ystradgynlais towards Abercrave, we can see the hamlet including the Lamb and Flag set off on the right

We can see the size of the hamlet in this photograph

A bridge leads across the River Tawe across to the hamlet where the Lamb and Flag was

Looking over the bridge, the Lamb and Flag is centre of this photograph

As you come back over the bridge from the hamlet, you are very close to the Rheolau Arms, to the right off the road leading to Abercrave. Turning left takes you back to Ystradgynlais.

Looking back at the hamlet, from the Abercrave direction, we can see how far back some of the buildings, including the Lamb and Flag, project.

The Lamb and Flag's location is clearly marked on this map which hangs on the wall outside the lesser hall in Ystradgynlais Welfare Hall.

History of the Lamb and Flag

The Lamb and Flag is believed to date to the eighteenth century, and was well known to drovers (as was the Tafarn y Garreg). Malkin's 'Scenes, Antiquities and Biography of South Wales' published in 1804 describes the hamlet as being known as Pentre'r Lamb, but properly known as Oen a'r Faner, which rather amusingly translates to 'Lamb and Banner' (i.e. Flag).

The first reference we have picked up in the Llais newspaper is from 1911, when Abraham D and Elizabeth Wall with several children lived in the building. Abraham the father born at Radnor in 1865 is named as the Licensed Victualler and Farmer, with his wife who was older than her husband, being born in Ystradgynlais in 1858. According to the Census as well as servants there were a number of children listed but the Walls had only been married 12 years and Annie Wall aged 11 was named as their daughter. She died aged 27 in 1926 and was buried at Tynycoed Chapel Cemetery Abercrave

Abraham David WALL did marry an Elizabeth MORGANS at Pontardawe in 1899 which would explain the two sons Thomas and Edward Llewellyn MORGAN as being the children of Elizabeth along with her daughters, Jane, Harriet, and Gwendoline MORGAN.

Elizabeth [named as Landlady in her obituary] died in 1935 and Abraham died in 1936 both still resident at the Lamb and Flag and both buried at St David's Church Cemetery Abercrave. Their daughter Harriet had married a Mr Watkins and Gwendoline had married Thomas John JONES.

In 1939 Gwendoline and her husband Thomas John JONES were registered at the Lamb and Flag Abercrave but neither Gwendoline nor her husband was named as licensee, in fact Thomas John was a Colliery Hewer, although possibly their son John Claude Jones born 1911 was a dairy farmer, like his grandfather.

From the South Wales Voice 7th August 1948:-


The funeral of the late Mrs Gwendoline Jones, of the Larches Ystradgynlais (formerly of the Lamb and Flag Abercrave), who died on 29th July, took place at St David's Church Abercrave on Monday 2nd August. The funeral was private at the house, friends meeting at the church.
Mourners were: Thomas John Jones husband; David Jeffrey Jones, Mary and Cyril Jones sons and daughters in law...

Some of the details about pubs in the Swansea Valley and Coelbren were sourced from 'The Village Pub' by William T. Davies,a detailed history of brewing in the Neath and Swansea valleys and the history and heritage of the local pubs of the area. All proceeds from sale of this book go towards Ystradgynlais Community Hospital. Published by Dinewfr Press, copies of the book can be ordered either by telephoning them on 01269-850576 or emailing the author direct on WilliamTD@yahoo.co.uk.


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