Our website is a look at the history and heritage of Ystradgynlais, but we also include here a look round the town as it is today.
Some of what we display are the remnants of historical features - the iconic arches that is all that is left of the Ynyscedwyn Ironworks, or the Gorsedd Stones in Gorsedd Park, the obligatory permanent structure after the hosting of a National Eisteddfod.
Other parts of the website display information and photographs of more recent additions to the town, such as the town clock above Greggs (previously HSBC), and the carving outside Ystradgynlais Library.
Outside Ystradgynlais Library is a stone carving representing a mother and child reading, a world of books carved in stone, the heart and value of a local library to the community. The design was developed with the pupils in the art department at Maesydderwen High School and it was built in Osprey Studios in Ynyswen following the pupils models and fired in Rebecca Buck's kiln.
Gorsedd Park, Ystradgynlais has gained a lot of history in the last seven decades. Originally a small park beside the church, near the river, known as Rectory Field, in 1953 preparations began for the Eisteddfod to be held there, the following year, and the first of the Gorsedd Stones was erected in July 1953. In 1954 it was host to the National Eisteddfod of Wales, and in 1957 was officially inaugurated as a the park that it now is.
The arches of the Ynyscedwyn Ironworks are the most iconic sight for the town and community of Ystradgynlais. They are what remains of the once-thriving iron industry within the town, and are only a part of the former works, much of which covered the surrounding area.
Saint Cynog's Church, Ystradgynlais, is of medieval foundation, though the current building dates to 1861. The vestry, added on to the nave-end of the church, is of more recent construction, but was sympathetically built so as to blend in perfectly with the original design. The interior of Saint Cynog's Church has numerous stained glass windows, installed at various intervals over the last century and a half. The West wall was rebuildt in 1961-62 with the new bell turret on top.
The War Memorial in Ystradgynlais was remodelled in 2016, to feature updated memorial plaques which include some spelling corrections of the names of local men among the fallen, as well as a few additional names, who had been left off when the memorial was first created in the 1970s. The access to the memorial was improved by the creation of a single gateway into Gorsedd Park and a new pathway and base area around the war memorial.
Our website carries a couple of articles from the Llais newspaper, one from 1947 on the intended names for the new roads in Gurnos, and the origins of these names, and one from 1964 standardising names in what are now Heol Eglwys and Maes-y-Dre, Ystradgynlais, and Church Road, Coelbren.
The area outside The Ynyscedwyn Arms was once the heart of the town and was known as Ystradgynlais Square. The road bridge leading to it, over the River Tawe, from Commercial Street was therefore an important local resource. In 1961 the existing old bridge was removed and the current bridge erected.