Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

The Star Inn, Ystradgynlais

This pub was on what is now Rhestr Fawr, the road opposite the Ynyscedwyn Arms, but was then known as Gough Buildings. It has subsequently been demolished, and its site is now the open grassy area where the Daniel Protheroe memorial is.

The Star Inn was located in the run of buildings comprising what is now Rhestr Fawr but was then known as Gough Buildings. These ran continuously up the left-hand side of the road, from the Square (which the Ynyscedwyn Arms faces) and The Star was one of the earlier buildings to be reached. It has been demolished and replaced by a grassy area which includes the Daniel Protheroe Memorial.

Pearse's Commercial Directory to Swansea and the Neighbourhood of 1854 records Thomas Jones as proprietor of the Star Inn, Ystradgynlais.

From The Llais

From time-to-time local public houses featured in the Llais newspaper, sometimes when the licensee changes, or where the licensing authority requests changes, or where something dramatic, or noteworthy, happens at the establishment.

From the South Wales Voice October 14th 1911 records the death of the 18 year old daughter of the proprietors of the Star Inn, Ystradgynlais:-

After a short and severe illness the death occurred on Tuesday morning at the Star Inn of Sarah (Sall) the 18 year old daughter of Mr and Mr Williams. It appears that for some time she had been suffering from stomach troubles, but nothing serious was apprehended, and her death came as a severe blow to all who knew her. She was a favourite with everybody, and her loss will be greatly felt. On Monday afternoon she complained of severe pains and Dr Riorden was sent for, but despite the best medical attendance and skill, nothing could save her. Death was caused by a rupture of the walls of the stomach. The deceased underwent terrible pain for hours previous to her death. The funeral takes place today (Friday).

From the South Wales Voice Saturday October 21st 1911:-

Ystradgynlais Notes
(By "Tertium Quid")

The funeral of the late Miss Sarah (Sali) Williams of the Star Inn took place on Friday last at the Ystradgynlais Churchyard. The Rev Illtyd James conducted the service at the house and the Rev J Davies, Abercrave, officiated at the graveside. There was a large concourse of relatives and friends. The bearers were sixteen male friends of the deceased. Wreaths were sent by Mr Waller, Swansea; Four from "Boy Friends"; Miss A Jones, Shrewsbury; Miss A Morris, Devynock; Mrs J W Jones, Ty Gwalia the Family: Miss Martin; Miss Butler; Mr Harold Thomas; Miss Jones, Castle Hotel; Mrs Carrie Walters, Yniscedwyn Arms; Mr Tom Lewis, Jeffreys Arms; Mr Wm Jones; Castle Hotel; Misses S and N Dawes; Sardis Choir; Misses Morgan The Banks; Mr Weeks and Mr Watkins.

The Labour Voice newspaper of February 14th 1914 reports on the marriage of Annie Williams to Williams Weekes:-

WEDDING: WEEKES-WILLIAMS At the Pontardawe Registry Office on Tuesday, the marriage took place, by special licence, between Mr W. Weekes, fruiterer of Station Road, son of Mr and Mrs Henry Weekes, of Tonypandy, to Miss Annie Williams, third daughter of Mrs E. Evans, of the Star Inn, Ystradgynlais. The bride was tastefully attired in a saxe blue tailor-made costume, with saxe vella hat, trimmed with a fine ostrich plume. She was accompanied by Mrs J.D. Jenkins, of College Row, and was given away by Mr J.D. Jenkins. After the ceremony, the happy couple left for Cardiff and London, and on their return a splendid reception was held at the home of the bride's parents. They have the best wishes of all who know them.

From the South Wales Voice February 18th 1933 reports on the death of Mrs Annie Weekes of The Star Inn, Ystradgynlais:-


The death occurred on Wednesday evening, with tragic suddenness, of Mrs Annie Weekes, wife of Mr William Weekes, Star Inn, Ystradgynlais.

Deceased had been ill for only a few days, and passed away despite the best of care and attention.

Mrs Weekes was 38 years of age, and the second daughter of Mrs Elizabeth Evans, licensee of the Star Inn. She leaves a husband and one daughter.

The sympathy of the district is extended to the family in their bereavement.

From the South Wales Voice February 25th 1933:-


There was a large gathering at the funeral of Mrs Weekes, Star Inn, which took place on Saturday, the buria being at the Parish Churchyard. The Revs D Lewis Williams, B.A., Rector, and D J Moses, B.A., Sardis officiated at the house and graveside, while the Rev Ifor Jones, Ystalyfera, was also present.

The mourners were Mr Billie Weekes, husband; Miss Sally Weekes, daughter; Mrs Elizabeth Evans, mother; Mrs M Rosser, sister; Mrs Weekes, mother-in-law; Mrs Davies, Mr Henry Collins, Ystalyfera, Mrs Bell, Ynismeudw, uncles and aunts; Mr and Mrs Bob Dorman, Mr and Mrs Theo. Goodwin, brothers and sisters-in-law; Mr and Mrs Jack Almrott, Mr J Emlyn Jeffreys, Mr Cynlais Davies, Mr Phil Davies, Messrs Levi, Phil, and Ieuan Rees, Mrs L A Rees, Pontardulais, Mr W Morgan, Mr Arthur Arnold, Mr Jack Williams, Miss Mary Williams, Mrs Maggie Hughes, Mrs Christina Jones, Mrs Gwen Williams, Godre'rgraig, Miss Ray Jonees, cousins.

Wreaths were sent by Sallie, Billie, and Ray, Mother and sister; Mother-in-law, father-in-law and family, Rhondda; Mr and Mrs Almrott and children; Phil and Ol.; Nurse and Di; Gough-buildings neighbours; Bert; All at Castle Cottage; Mrs Morgan, Gough-buildings; Melias' Staff, Ystalyfera; Mrs Harry Page, Ivy and Lottie; A few friends; Mrs Griffiths and Mrs Todd; Margaret.

The family wish to thank all friends for sympathy extended to them in their sorrow, ad also for floral tributes.

Mr W J Jones was the undertaker.

The Williams family is buried in Saint Cynog's cemetery, Ystradgynlais. The following people are remembered on it, and presumably buried there:-

Cofof Serchog am William J Williams, Star Inn, o'r lle hwn, ganwyd medi 20 1865, bu farw mawrth 13 1903
Worshipful memorial of William J Williams, Star Inn, from this place, born September 20 1865, died March 13 1903

fel cysgod yw ein dyddiau ni ar y ddaear, ac nid oes ymaros
As our shadow is upon the earth, and there is no rest

Also in loving memory of Sarah
daughter of the above named
Born July 25 1893
died October 10 1911

like the lily fair and green
soon cut down and no more seen
beloved in peace she died
Her life was graved but God denied
Dry up those tears and weep no more
I am no lost but gone before

Also of his daughter
L M Williams
Died April 25 1918, aged 26 years
Peace, Perfect Peace


Also his wife
Died October 16 1933
Aged 64 years


Also their daughter
died Feb 15 1933
aged 38 years


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