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Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales as an 'Important part of Wales' documentary heritage' Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales as an 'Important part of Wales' documentary heritage'
Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)
Documenting the entire history of Kenfig & surrounding areas from Prehistory to the Present Day















History - Kenfig History - Kenfig Borough Timeline
Search Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)

Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)

An Educational Resource documenting entire history of Kenfig & surrounding areas from Prehistory to the Present Day

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HISTORY SECTION

Kenfig History - Kenfig Borough Timeline (c.1147-1886)


The Kenfig Borough c.1147-1886

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1.1 Kenfig - A medieval Town

A Brief Background

Archaeological evidence has suggested that there has been a settlement at Kenfig since Roman times. Pieces of Romano-British pottery, a roofing tile and a coin depicting the Emporer Constans (337 – 350 AD) have been found. Additionally, a Roman road runs through the Borough complete with mile stones. These mile stones are situated in Margam and Pyle and they carry inscriptions to the emperors Postumus (259 – 268 A.D.) and Victorinus (268 - 270 A.D.) respectively.

In the wider landscape Neolithic arrowheads, scrapers, a dwelling and a burial urn have also been uncovered suggesting that Kenfig has been a home to people for at least 4000 years.

The Iron Age

The Bodvoc Stone - Margam


The Bodvoc Stone
Latin inscribed stone know as the Bodvoc Stone daes to second-half of 6th century. The above photo shows the stone where it once stood on Margam Mountain - it is now housed in Margam Stones Museum.

Photo: © National Museum Wales
Photographer: Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen
Date: 1890
Location: Margam Mountain
Medium: Photographic Glass Plate
Accession No: 25.486

National Museum Wales

Historic Photography Uncovered Collections at the National Museum Wales (Esmee Fairbain Foundation) - The Bodvoc Stone

Margam Stones Museum

Learn more about the Bodvoc Stone & the Margam Stones Museum

Iron Age settlements were constructed to the North and to the East of Kenfig providing a continuity of occupation into Roman times. The Iron Age people of Kenfig were known as the Silures and they were led by Bodvoc, son of Caitegern, great-grandson of Eternalis Vedomavus. Bodvoc was killed in the struggle against Rome by legionaries commanded by Julius Frontinus.

The ‘Bodvoc Stone’, a tribute to the Silurian leader, now stands in the Margam stones museum.

The Romans

The Romans were converted to Christianity by the Emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. and the pagan tribes of Kenfig were forced to abandon their gods and worship the god of Rome. As Christianity took hold among the Silures, and Britain as a whole, monasteries were built, including an early structure at Margam. To this day, an abbey exists at Margam, thus providing a link to those early Christian founding fathers.

Irish, Angles, Saxons & Vikings

By 410 A.D. the Roman Empire was in decay and the troops stationed in Britain were called back to defend Rome. The vacuum left by the Romans was filled by numerous raiders over the coming centuries, including the Irish, the Angles, the Saxons and the Vikings. It is suggested that the Vikings settled in the area and that local place names such as Sker, and Kenfig itself, are of Viking origin.

The Normans

By the 11th century a new power had emerged in Europe: descendants of the Vikings, the Normans invaded Britain and led by Robert Fitzhamon they took control of Kenfig, c1100 AD - a castle was built, initially of wood, to help suppress any local opposition and that was followed by a church, dedicated to St James. A town was established, made up of Norman and English settlers, and a system akin to apartheid was set in place. Needless to say, the indigenous people, who were largely excluded from the town, took exception to this imposition and the town was raided on the 13th January 1167.

As a result of this, and subsequent raids, the wooden castle was replaced by a stone tower and the donjon that would come to dominate Kenfig for the next 300 years was born.











1.2 The Kenfig Borough Timeline - Background

A timeline of Kenfig's history spanning over 860 years from the 12th to the 19th century is listed in this section. The earliest reliable reference to the town of Kenfig comes in a document dated to the period 1141-1147 in which a reference to a burgage indicates that Kenfig was already then a Chartered Borough.

The Kenfig Borough Timeline is constructed using public information originally researched by Mr Barrie Griffiths, Kenfig Society - this has been categorised into the various centuries it was associated with. The author of this website (Mr Rob Bowen) has cross-referenced the information and integrated associated website links into the entire timeline making this section a unique repository of local historical facts that can be used as a research platform.

HISTORY - KENFIG - KENFIG BOROUGH TIMELINE (C.1147-1886)

EXPLORE KENFIG THROUGH THE CENTURIES

Below: c.12 = 12th century, c.13 = 13th century etc.

12th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1141 to 1147
A confirmatory charter of gifts made to Ewenny Priory by Robert Consul, Earl of Gloucester. He held the Lordship of Glamorgan until his death in 1147. It records that the Earl gave the Priory 21 acres of arable land ajoining the town of Kenfig and also a burgage lying on the Black River outside the gate of the said town.
A.L. Evans/SK
 
At Knucklas, Bere, Dolforwyn, Cefnllys and Old Dinefwr the burgesses may well have resided within the bailey alongside the storehouses and quarters of the military garrison. Similarly at Kidwelly the initial settlement was sited within the outer earthworks of the Norman motte, while the unusually large bailey at Kenfig, extending over eight acres, also housed part of the early town.
Soulsby, I., The Towns of Medieval Wales, 1983
1147
Our Abbey, which is called Margan was founded. And in this year Robert, Earl of Gloucester who founded it died at Bristol on 31st November.
Annals of Margam Abbey
 
William, Earl of Gloucester, son to Robert Consul and Mabilia his wife, succeeded his father in the earldom of Gloucester and his mother in the lordship of Glamorgan. This William caused to be rebuilded a town for merchandise upon the seabanks of Kenfig, which he retained, with a certain parcel of land thereto belonging, in his own possession.
Rice Merrick, from information in the Book of Neath Abbey
 
Charter of William the Earl testifying that he has required the abbot and convent of Tewkesbury that they shall permit Henry Thursard, a clerk of the same earl, to erect a church in Kenefeg, to hold from them while he shall live, paying a pension, or payment, of two shillings, at the feast of All Saints.
MS. Cott., Cleop., AVII
1154
Arbitration by Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, settling the dispute between Job the priest, parson of St. Leonard, Newcastle (Bridgend) and master Henry Tusard, parson of St. James, Chenefeg, so that the said Henry relinquishes to the church of Newcastle the tithe of Geoffrey Esturmi and thirty acres of land belonging to the church of Chenefeg.
PM 378
1167
The town of Kenfig burnt by the Welsh 'on the night of St. Hilary the Bishop' (13th January)
Annals of Margam
1183
Following the death of William of Gloucester in November 1183, the Lordship of Glamorgan fell in wardship to the crown and the native Welsh, taking advantage of the situation, attacked the hated Norman manors and boroughs in a series of uprisings which lasted until 1185. The royal accounts for this period provide ample evidence of the havoc wrought at Cardiff, Neath and Kenfig. Great damage was inflicted upon Kenfig castle and the town; the mill there also set on fire. Reginald FitzSimon, Constable of the castle was granted ten marks for its defence and seven more were paid for bread for the garrison; further sums were allocated for the repairs to the gates, palisades, mill and for refortification of the castle. Hywel of Caerleon, who aided the Normans during the revolt, was charged with dispatching stakes from Chepstow to Kenfig in order to enclose the town and castle and subsequently twenty-four ships were loaded at Chepstow and sent there to effect reparations at the castle.
An entry in the Annals of Margam suggest that during this period Kenfig was attacked twice in just over a year.
A.L.Evans/SK
1186 to 1187
Hugh Bardolph accounted for £43.17s.7d for works at Kenefit Castle.
Clark, G.T., Land of Margam, 1883
 
The keep is dateable to this period and it would seem to to have been erected as a result of the attacks.
A.L.Evans/SK

12th Century History - Related Website Links

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Ewenny Priory (Wikipedia)
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Margam Abbey (Official Website)
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Lord of Glamorgan (Wikipedia)
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The Normans (Wikipedia)
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Medieval Wales (Wikipedia)
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Neath Abbey (Wikipedia)
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Margam (Wikipedia)
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The Welsh (Wikipedia)
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Castle (Wikipedia)

13th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1228
Houses in the town severly damaged in a fire started by lightning.
Annals of Margam
1232
At Eastertide of the year 1232 there must have been a great alarm at kenfig for it was to be a war and bloodshed. The chronicler of Margam Abbey says the people having had timely warning of the foe were enabled to send away their cattle to other places for safekeeping. The inhabitants also burned part of the town inside the gates so as to render an entry more difficult. The Welsh under the leadership of Morgan Gam, lord of Afan, afterwards coming up to the assault, first burned the part of the town outside the gates and then rushed with great clamour and seized the tower, or keep, which was at that time only encircled and fortified by a fosse and palisade. But the men who were inside defended themselves so bravely that many of the enemy were seriously wounded and other killed, whereupon all the others after the first assault quickly withdrew and went up into the mountains. The annalist adds he was much astounded at one thing, that although the besiegers were in great want of food they spared the church and the cemetery and all who were therein.
Thomas Gray
1243
Kenfig town was burned in the struggle between Howell ap Meredydd and Richard, Earl of Clare.
Thomas Gray
1258
The approximate date of the earliest reference to Mary Magdalene's Chapel at Maudlam.
PM. 289.60
1262
The inquisition Post Mortem on the death of Richard de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan indicates that there had been an uprising causing considerable damage in the district, though the details for Kenfig itself are lacking as it was then in the hands of a Roger de Clifford.
 
1295
Kenfig again suffered grievously in 1294-5 when a general uprising took place in Wales. Edward I was busily engaged in preparing for his expedition to Gascony, so that many of the Welsh castles had skeleton garrisons. An obscure leader named Morgan, believed to have been a kinsman of the local Lords of Afan, swept Gilbert de Clare, then Lord of Glamorgan from the country and gained mastery of his possessions. By Oct. 20th 1295, the king had crushed the revolt, however, and the men of Tir Larll (District about Llangynwyd) were pardoned on payment of 100 marks. Gilbert de Clare didn't enjoy his reclaimed lordship for long, for he died in December 1295. The inquisition held after his death gives clear indication of the damage wreaked by the insurgents in Kenfig. The castle was burnt, toegther with the town for the burgage rents amounted to only 13 shillings.
A.L.Evans/SK

13th Century History - Related Website Links

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Richard de Clare (Wikipedia)
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Maudlam Church (Kenfig.org)
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Gilbert de Clare (Wikipedia)
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Edward I (British Monarchy)
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Gascony (Wikipedia)
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Roger de Clifford (Wikipedia)
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Morgan Gam (National Library of Wales)
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Gilbert de Clare (Castles Wales)

14th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1307
The inquisition Post Mortem madem upon the death of Countess Joan, widow of Earl Gilbert de Clare states that there were 142 burgages in Kenfig. The same survey indicates that there was a water mill and also a windmill there.
A.L.Evans/SK
1314
After the last Gilbert de Clare died in 1314, trouble again flared up in the county and the Kenfig burgesses again took up arms in the town's defence. The initial resistance was inspired by Morgan of Afan but he was seized and taken to the Tower of London on December 7th 1314 where he still languished in 1316. Shortly after his imprisonment the Welsh found a new leader in Llewelyn Bren of Eglwysilian and in the space of nine weeks they ravaged the county. The reigning Lord of Afan, Leisan ap Morgan Vychan or Leisan D'Avene as he styled himself, shocked his compatriates by undertaking the defence of Kenfig Castle. He claimed 40 marks for his apparently successful defence of the castle but the wily King, Edward II, by a writ issued on March 13 1315, merely granted him half that amount as he tersely maintained that Leisan was in effect safeguarding his own property.
A.L.Evans/SK
1316
The town of Kenfig with the castle, rents of Assize: the same answers for 71s. received of rent of assize of 100 burgages of the town of Kenefeg at the terms of St. John Baptist and St. Michael. And not more because 42 burgages which formally yielded for the same period 21 shillings, were burned in the war and the tenants left and the burgages remained empty.
Account of John Giffard de Brymmesfeld,
quoted by Thomas Gray.
1316
Issues of the Manor. The same answers for 2 shillings and 6 pence received from a certain pasture which is called Conynger sold for the same time and there is less because the great part id drowned by the sea.
Ibid
1316
Thomas Gray shows, by comparison with an earlier return of 1314, that almost two thirds of the Conynger was flooded. This was a rabbit warren which probably occupied a sand dune area ajoining the beach and this flood perhaps marks the start of the destabalizing of these coastal dunes and subsequent encroahment of sand further inland. Many years ago I remember a small incursion by the sea into Merthyr Mawr sand dunes near the rivermouth - it was not very extensive, though it did flood two gravel pits about a hundred yards or so inland from the high tide mark. In doing so the sea literally dissolved several small dunes and bit deeply into the sides of the larger ones covering the entire area with a deep layer of sand. Some it had carried up from the beach, but the bulk was formed by the destruction material from the dunes themselves. The vegetation of that particular area was rather sparse but such as it was all killed off either by the salinity of the sea water or the suffocating layer of sand. Even today very little grows in that particular area of the dunes and with a little dry weather and little wind it continues to move further inland.
Barrie Griffiths, The Sands of Kenfig, 1992
1316
The sea level was slowly rising during the medieval period and the coastal land required an ever increasing degree of protection.
Toft, L.A. A study of Coastal Village
Abandonment in the Swansea Bay
Region, Morgannwg Vol.XXXII, 1988
1316
Winds capable of rolling sand can be expected to blow for around two thirds of the year.
Ibid
1321
The peace of Glamorgan was again rudely shattered when many important barons formed a confederacy against Hugh le Despenser (Then Lord of Glamorgan). They descended upon his manors and castles, spreading destruction everywhere and Kenfig suffered in the process, the castle being taken by storm.
A.L.Evans/SK
1349
The inquisition Post Mortem at the death of Hugh le Despenser, son of the above Hugh, records that there were 144 burgages in Kenfig. If the assumption of each burgage supported a family of five - the minimum population of Kenfig would be 720.
Ibid
1349
In this year the Black Death reached Wales. The Black Death of 1348-50 was the first and much the most disastrous visitation of plague but it was followed by serious recurrences of pestilence in 1361 and 1369 and with diminishing force, at successive intervals throughout the 14th and 15th centuries. Mortality was everywhere as its worst in more low lying areas near estuaries and there is good evidence to show that secular life in Glamorgan and Gwent was hard hit by plague.
Glanmor Williams, The Church in
Glamorgan from the Fourteenth
Century to the Reformation,
Glamorgan County History, Vol.III
1360
A Charter granted to Kenfig by Edward le Despenser, confirmed by one given by his son, Thomas le Despenser in 1397. The boundaries of the borough are given in detail and show that it then occupied only the land lying between Maudlam and the river Kenfig:
Kenfig Bro. MSS
 
And these are the bounds of their liberty, namely, between the place called Newditch (Porth Clawdd above Pont Velin Newydd) and Taddulcrosse (Croes y Ddadl) and a certain boundary leading from Newditch to Taddulcrosse between the land of the Abbey of Margam and the land of the Abbey of Teokesbury (Tewkesbury) on the east, and a certain stream callled Blaklaak (Blackwater) which used to run from the southern water (Kenfig Pool) to the northern water of Kenfeg (The river Kenfig) on the west; and the middle of the water course of Kenfeg on the north running from Howlotesford (Owlet's Ford - uncertain location) to the sea and the highway leading from Taddulcrosse to the cross (possibly near Maudlam Church) and so from the said cross to Blaklaak on the south. (The fact that the Blaklaak was no longer flowing in 1360 suggests that it had already been covered by the encroaching sands)
 
1365
Record of proceedings at Kenfig church against nine Kenfig men and others for unlawful fishing in Kenfig Pool and Avan river. With one exception they admitted the offence and were left to the grace and absolution of the abbot of Margam.
PM. 231-2
1375
Following the death of Edward le Despenser, the usual inquisition Post Mortem refers to Kenfig Castle and adds that the burgage rents there amounted to £5.6.0d - The comparable figure for 1349 was £7.4.0d so that the number of burgages in occupation must have reduced from 144 to 106.
A.L.Evans/SK
1384
Petition by the Abbot of Margam to the King - showing how Edward le Despenser, late Lord of Glamorgan and Morgan, out of consideration for the losses which the sand-storms had inflicted on the abbey had bestowed on it the advowson of Aberavon Church.
Birch, W. de Gray
1397
Charter granted to Kenfig by Thoams le Despenser confirming the one of 1360 and making several additional grants to land, presumably to compensate for land already lost in the borough to the sands.
Kenfig Bro. MSS
 
We have further granted to our aforesaid burgesses and their successors one common pasture called le Doune of Kenfeg (Kenfig Down) which extends in length from the Earl's meadow (The demesne lands on the east side of Kenfig Pool) to Goutesfurlong of the Abbot of Neth (the boundary ditch of Sker Grange) and in breadth from Wadeslond which William Stiward holds (Penymynydd ?) to the Burrows of Kenfig.
 
 
A dispute arose between the Abbey of Tewkesbury and Margam as to the repairs of Kenfig Church. It was agreed and ordered that the Abbot and Convent of Tewkesbury must repair the chancel before the Feast of SS. Philip and James next and afterwards the Vicar of Kenfek shall be anwserable for the maintenance and repairs of the same.
Thomas Gray

14th Century History - Related Website Links

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Lords of Cardiff British History Online
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Tower of London Historic Royal Palaces
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Tower of London Wikipedia
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Cardiff Castle Official Website
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The Black Death Wikipedia
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Leisan D'Avene Port Talbot Historical Society Timeline 1394
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Tewkesbury Abbey Official Website
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Parish of Aberavon Official Website
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Aberavon Wikipedia
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Llewelyn Bren Wikipedia
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Edward II British Monarchy

15th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1403
Commission to Richard, Bishop of Worcester, Henry Bruyn, Sheriff of Worcester and John Ryall to take 8 quarters of wheat, one tun of wine, 3 tuns of ale, 200 fish and 60 quarters of oats to the castle of Kenflyc.
Thomas Gray
 
Gray has stated that the castle was assaulted and destroyed at a date subsequent to 1405 when it was granted with the town to the widow of Thomas le Despenser.
A.L.Evans/SK
1411
A deed of 1411 records the names of Sir William Coventry, Rector of Newton and Sir John Tudor, Vicar of Kenfig, from which I infer that the old church of St. James was still in being. By this deed the vicar was granted a burgage in Kenfig.
Ibid
1423
Confirmation of the Borough Charters by Isabel, Countess of Worcester.
Cartae CCCXXXVII
1440
Deed of King Henry VI to Margam Abbey mentions losses caused by various inundations of the sea for upwards of four miles.
PM 253
1450
Maurice Muric granted to Thomas ap Jeuan Gethyn a certain parcel of lands, ie. a house in Munkestrete in Kenfig which he lately had as the gift and feoffment of John Marchall, lying between the tenement of Wenllyan Monfart and the tenement of Jowan Wilkyn. (This indicates that some people were still living on the site of the old town at this time)
Tythegston Estate Documents
1459
Record of the Court of the Abbot of Margam for his manor of Kenfig regarding the grant of Gebon ys Land to Jeuan ap Gryffyth ap Gwenlyn. (This shows that the manor of Higher Kenfig (on the north side of the river) was then in being and suggests that the boundaries of the borough had been enlarged from those set out in 1360 to their later extent set out in the survey of 1660)
PM 264
1485
Testimonial letters of William Morgan LI.D., vicar in Spirituals and Official of the Bishop of Llandaff state that at a Consistory Court held at Margam, 12 August, in a case brought by the townsmen of Pyle against the Burgesses of Kenfig, it was ruled that all the burgesses of Kenfig should attend the newly erected church of Pyle as their parish church. (This document indicates that the chuch of St. James at Kenfig had now gone and with it presumably the town. There is evidence that the new parish church at Pyle had been completed by 1471 and that materials from the former church at Kenfig had been reused in its construction)
PM 2812

15th Century History - Related Website Links

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King Henry VI British Monarchy
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16th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1533
One Llewelyn ap Griffith was hanged for felony at Kynfige, whose goods was well known to be above £20 in value, Nicholas Williams being not only steward there, but also ye King's attorney - took all this goods to his own behalf and answered the King thereof but £5.
Cartae CCCCXXIX - complaints against certain officers of the crown in Glamorgan
1535
There is a little village on the east side of Kenfik (river) and a castel, booth in Ruine and almost shokid and devourid with the Sandes that the Severn Se ther castith up.
The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary
1537
Abbot Lewis (of Margam) surrendered his Abbey to the King on the 28th Febrary and obtained a pension of twenty pounds yearly.
Birch, W. de Gray
1539
A Royal Inspeximus of a record in the Court of Augmentation of Crown Revenues ordering the burgesses of Kenfig to accept the findings of the Consistory held at Margam in 1485 and attend the church of Pyle as their parish church.
PM 2812
1540
Crown Sales to Sir Rice Mansell, Knt., for the sum of £938.6s.8d of the site of the late dissolved Abbey (at Margam), the church, bell tower, cemetery and water mill. Also included were St. Michael's Graunge (Llanmihangel Farm), Langlond, Portland (on the south bank of the Kenfig above Pont Velin Newydd), appurtenances in Kenfegge, Tangelust Grange (Tir Tanglwys) etc.
Penrice & Margam 359
1542
Richard Williams received the land (of Sker) from the King by Letters Patent dated March 29.
A.L.Evans/SH
1543
The sale of Sker by Richard Williams, great grandfather of Oliver Cromwell, to Christopher Turberville of Pendine.
Ibid
 
An act passed in 1543 provided that all boroughs were to share with the shire town the fees and expenses of the borough member (of Parliament) and their burgesses were to vote with the burgesses of the shire town in his election. Consiquently the Glamorgan boroughs of Aberavon, Cowbridge, Kenfig, Llantrisant, Lougher, Neath and Swansea shared with Cardiff the privilege of electing the MP for the Glamorgan boroughs. These provisions were to remain unchanged until the passing of the Reform Act of 1832.
Raymond Grant, The Parliamentary History of Glamorgan, 1978
1546
In the spring of 1546 Sir William (Herbert) became gentleman of the Privvy Chamber and was granted the keepership of Baynard's Castle (on the banks of the River Thames near the spot where St. Paul's Wharf now stands). At the same time Herbert was made steward of much royal property in western England, was granted Cardiff Castle in Glamorganshire with the ancient crown lands belonging to it (including Kenfig Borough) and the manor of Hendon in Middlesex. (The manor of Kenfig Borough (south of the river) was to remain with the Herberts as Earls of Pembroke for the next 120 years)
Lever, T., The Herberts of Wilton, 1967
1570
Earliest surviving survey of the manor of Kenfig Borough The jurors testified that the free tenants, with the exception of those holding land at Passge Stale owed suit of court without any further duties or obligations such as suit of mill and heriots, other than a penny to be paid to the Recorder when their names were added to the suit roll of the manor. The jurors also presented a place of a wyndemylle with certen lands, about an acre in estimacon, now in ruyne and decaye by reason of the sea sandes The mill was evidently that on Twmpath y Felin Gwynt.
A.L.Evans/SK
1572
Borough Ordinance No.52 was drawn up, because wee have, and yett doe, yearly fall in arrearages and loses, the which is to the portreeve's great charges, by reason of the overthrow, blowing, and choaking up of sand in drowning of our town and church with a number of acres of free lands besides all the burgages of ground within the said libertys except three, for the which burgage so lost by the said overthrow yett, nevertheless, the rent thereof is, and hath allways been paid to the lord's receivers to the portreeve's great losse and hinderance yearly. A council was appointed to sit with the Portreeve to consider the matter and determined upon the inclosing, parking and ditching of the free comon at Kevencribor for and towards some help of the loss of their burgages of lands by the overthrow aforesaid. This enclosure was then to be subdivided into 29 plots to be allocated amongst the burgesses by lot.
Kenfig Bro. MSS
1573
Kenfig, a borough town sometime of good account but long since decayed by overflowing of the sand and by some (it is said) the ancient town sinked and became a great mere. It is governed by a steward and portreeve yearly appointed and sworn by the constable or mayor and elected by the burgesses. Within it stood an old church and castle overblown by the sands so that a little of the castle is now to be seen, but a few years past it was covered over.
Rice Merrick
c.1596
There remayneth nowe but out-curtiledges beringe the name of the Towne of Kenfygg which hath the whole liberties yet remayeninge as the Towne in former tyme had, savinge that the weekely marketts and annual faires are lost.
Rice Lewis, A Breviat of Glamorgan, c.1596

16th Century History - Related Website Links

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Oliver Cromwell Wikipedia
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UK Parliament Official Website
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Aberavon Wikipedia
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Cowbridge Wikipedia
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Kenfig Wikipedia
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Llantrisant Wikipedia
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Neath Wikipedia
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Swansea Wikipedia
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Cardiff Wikipedia
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Reform Act 1832 Wikipedia
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17th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1605
Last Will & Testament of Jevan Griffith of Kenfig. I give 12d. towards Kenffig church, together with 6s. more I promised towards building a Court house in Kenfigg. (This indicates that the new borough town hall ( Prince of Wales Inn) was probably built about this time)

New The National Library of Wales - Welsh Wills online

Diocese of Llandaff 1568-1857 (Parish of Kenfig)

Ievan Griffith: will, 1605 - Llandaff Probate Records, 1568-1857, National Library of Wales
Llandaff Wills, National Library of Wales
1630
A survey of the borough made in this year mentions that Jenkin Cradock had a cole mine in the borough, probably on the Cefn Cribbwr common.
PM 9617
1639
The Comes (Earl) then gave full power, sicure(ty) and authority to the Burgesses and Inhabitants of this Towne of Kenfigg to inclose and fence up all that parcell of Landes called Rugge, being an ancient comon time out of mind belonging to the said Burrough. (This plan to enclose the remainder of the common at Cefn Cribbwr never seems to have been carried through)
PM 9623
1650
In a survey of the manor carried out in this year the Kenfig water mill was stated to be in ruin. There was also reported to be a coal mine and a quarry operating on the common at Cefn Cribbwr.
PM 1321
1654
John Leyson held the colemnines and mines of cole that may be found out by digging, sinking or otherwise, in a certain comon or waste ground called Rugg, alias Gwayne y Cymney (Waun Cimla, Cefn Cribbwr) and the same being so scratched, digg'd and found, to take, carry away and dispose of the same at his owne will and pleasure.
PM 9623
1660
Survey of the Lordship of Kenfig, giving the boundaries of the manor and the borough. The manor extended from a place called Gutter y furlong on the south part, unto half the race or current of Kenfigg water or river on the north part; and from the Rugge of the lordship of Coyty on the east part, unto the sea on the west part.
Kenfig Borough MSS
 
The borough boundaries doe extend from the sea by a house called Ty yr Ychan in Skerre, unto a stone lyeing in the highway leading from Kenfigg to Nottage, and from thence to a stone lyeing in a close belonging to Rees Thomas Matthew called y Kae Issha (near Pyle & Kenfig Golf Clubhouse), unto another stone lyeing on Heol y Broome on the south part and from thence to a stone lyeing at Groes y grin (Cornelly Cross), unto another stone on the eastern side of Marlas House, unto a cross called Croes Jenkin on the east part, and from thence by a cross lyeing in Kae Garw unto a stone by Notch Coarton (near Eglwys Nunnydd Farm) lyeing in the highway leading from Kenfigg to Margam on the north part, and from thence directly unto the sea.
 
1664
Lewis Aylward (of Kenfig Farm) was one of the county's most ardent Nonconformists and his house at Mawdlam was used as the meeting place of the handful of persons who pioneered the cause of the Independants. Meetings took place there after the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662 and two years later, following the Conventicle Act, a troop of soldiers descended upon it and arrested Jacob Christopher, a local preacher.
A.L.Evans/SK
1666
There is within the Lordshipp or manor one free comon of pasture lyeing between Kenffigge and Sker and that two parts thereof is held by the burgesses of Kenffigg and the third part by Thomas Turbervill, gent., but how to distinguish the same from the Lord's waste, borows and ffranchises, wee know not by reason of the driving uppe, overfolowing and covering of sand (time out of mind).
Survey of the Manor, PM 9620
1668
On May 11th 1668, Phillip, Earl of Pembroke sold his manor of Kenfig to Sir Edward Mansel of Margam for £525
PM 679
1672
Licence issued to Jacob Christopher to preach at the house of Lewis Aylward in Kenfig.
Glamorgan County History, Vol. IV
1675
A Welsh Trust School mentioned at Cunffig attended by 20 pupils. The school is again mentioned in 1678, but would not have continued beyond the death of the founder of the Trust, the Rev. Thomas Gouge in 1681.
Glamorgan County History, Vol. IV
1678
On December 2nd, Richard Lougher of Tythegston issued a warrent to a William Bassett and a constable, empowering them to search Sker House and arrest Father Evans (A Roman Catholic Jesuit priest). After searching the house with great care they found no sign of him, but just as the frustrated pair were about to leave, their quarry put in an appearance and was promptly taken into custody.
A.L.Evans/SH
1679
Father Philip Evans stood trial at the Cardiff Spring Assize on 9th May A poor woman and her daughter from the neighbourhood of Sker were induced to appear under a penalty of £200, and they deposed that they had seen Father Evans celebrating mass at the house, and Christopher Turberville (the owner) and his wife receiving communion.
A.L.Evans/SH
 
Together with another priest, John Lloyd, Father Evans was found guilty and sentenced to death. At 9am on July 22, 1679, Charles Evans, the Under-Sheriff, visited his cell and ordered a smith to remove the shackles, an operation which took an hour. His arms were then pinioned and he was placed in a cart, along with Lloyd and taken with great fortitude and, mounting the scaffold, spoke in English and Welsh to the crowd who had assembled to witness the grim spectacle. Both executions were carried out in the barbarous fashion of the times, the priests being hanged, cut down before death, disembowelled, decapitated and quartered, and the various parts placed at the disposal of the King.
Ibid
1685
Shortly after the accession of James II, two outstanding men of the locality were imprisoned in Chepstow Castle with Bussey Mansel of Briton Ferry. They were Thomas Lougher of South Cornelly and Lewis Aylward of Mawdlam, Portreeve of the Borough in 1668. They were branded as disaffected persons, apparently because it was feared that they were sympathetic to the cause of the Duke of Monmouth, whose attempt to displace the King foundered on the field of Sedgmoor. On July 25th, 1685, however, a few days after Monmouth had been beheaded, the Glamorgan justices issued a warrant in their favour and they were set free.
A.L.Evans/SK

17th Century History - Related Website Links

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*
Act of Uniformity 1662 Ministry of Justice/National Archives
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Sir Edward Mansel National Library of Wales Welsh Biography
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*

18th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1727
A corn drying kiln operated by Thomas John on Mont Mawr was burnt down by accident.
Penrice & Margam MSS 2191
1729
Commencement of the earliest surviving Borough Minute Book, bought by Thomas Griffith of Ffrancis Sprite of Swansea ye 17th. of Novr., 1729. The charge for this book carriage and all is £0.7s.0d
Kenfig Bro. MSS
1731
Appointed the Burgesses to meet on Munday the 22nd of this instant Ffebruary at the mount on the south side of the castle to plant sedges where they shall be appointed according to the ancient custom. (The practice of planting sedges was continued by the burgesses up to the very end of the borough as a measure to minimise sand movement)
Boro. Minute Books
1733
We present the stocks to be out of repaire.
Boro. Minute Books
1733
All those that did not assist to plant sedges fined one shilling each.
Ibid
1733
We present Jenkin Hopkin for kicking down the castle wall of the said burrough.
Ibid
1737
We present Evan John David for pound breach in breaking open the wall of ye Common pound and taking out his cattell contrary to law.
Boro. Minute Books
1739
Extracts from the statement made by John Davies, master of the forty-ton sloop, Mary of Tenerif conveying a cargo of wine from the Canary Islands to Bristol and his surviving crew wrecked on Kenfig Sands on 19th February:-
On the eighteenth day of the said month, at twelve of the clock, they spoke with a scooner come from Bristoll, who told them that the island of Lundy bore East-South-East and at sun sett they halled down all their sailes leaving only the maine gibb, expecting to make the English Land. But to their great sorrow at four in the morning the mate call(ed) 'Land'. They directly thought to weare but one of the men d(ived?) over board and was drown'd. In a minute's time they struck full into the breakers. They cut way theire mast; their boat stove in; the deck washed over board; and in two minutes time she filled with the sea; stove in the stern and stove all in the cabbin so that the poore master lost all his substance and papers. They all held fast on the wreck except ye mate, Joseph Kent, who lost his life about eight in the morning. The rest held all fast till about twelve and by God's providence, got safe on shore on pieces of the wreck at a certaine place called Kenffigg lands within the said Burrough and within two hundred yard or thereabout of the mouth of a small river called Kenffigg River. (The body of Joseph Kent was recovered and interred at Maudlam churchyard)
1740
An interesting reference to the building of a vessel on Kenfig Burrows in 1740 by Morgan Waters of Stormy and Marlas who obtained timbers for its construction from Lord Mansel's woods at Margam.
A.L.Evans/SK
1746
A Welsh Circulating School held classes at Kenfig but only 12 pupils attended.
Glamorgan County History, Vol.IV
1752
Payd Mr John Roberts in full for 19 deal spars delivered towards making ladders for the use of sundry tennants in order for to save and prevent the destruction of the finest young oak trees usually cut for such purposes - £2.1.0d
Penrice MSS
1752
Payd Richard Henry and Mary Jenkin for work done with their cart and in carrying of sand from Kenfigg to Margam in order to mix with lime to make morter towards building of the garden walls - £1.15.0d
Ibid
1753
Payd to Mrs Anne Williams in full of what she payd to sundry persons for shells gathered on Kenfigg, Margam, Aberavon and Swansea Sands for the use of John Talbot Esq. and also to Mr John Cole for boxes to put them in to be sent to Lacock ( Laycock Abbey) - £2.3.0d
Penrice MSS
1753
In December - a French vessel called Le Vainqueur was stranded at a place called ye Scar and the writer (of a letter to the Collector of the Port at Swansea) complained of the shameful plundering carried out by the local people. When news of the wreck was buited through the neighbourhood hundreds of people quickly assembled on the scene and proceeded to pillage the vessel's cargo, which consisted of 789 chests of oranges, 650 frails of figs, 84 Brazil planks and a quantity of lemons. Not content with rifling the cargo, the crowd swarmed over the torn craft and armed with hatchets, hacked away the sundered planks, rigging and ironwork. Part of the stricken vessel was set on fire so that the plunderers could salvage the nails and bolts more easily, but they did not succeed in their aim. Eight of the crew survived but two of the hands and the master lost their lives. Spurred by their rapacity, the looters filched seventeen golden Portuguese pieces from the captain's corpse. His silver watch and shoe buckles were also taken, but the watch was later found in the possession of a local watchmaker, to whom it had been taken for repairs.
A.L.Evans/SH
1754
A Welsh Circulating School held classes at the Town Hall, attended by 32 pupils. It was again held at Kenfig the following year returning at intervals upto 1767.
Glamorgan County History, Vol.IV
1755
A vessel laden with sugar from the West Indies broke up at Sker and her entire crew was lost.
A.L.Evans/SK
1756
Death of the serving portreeve, Edward Harris of Llanmihangel Mill, who had held the office continually since first elected in 1742.
Boro Minute Books
1758
Extracts from the statement of Thomas Smith, master and Moses Jenkin, mariner concerning the loss of the skiff, Frinds Endever at Kenfig en route from Port Eynon to Bristol with a cargo of oysters and cockles, 8th February:-
Boro. Minute Books
We made the English Landes between Porlock and Linmouth about five of ye clock at night. Steered our way East-North-East, wind about South-West. About two hours flood (tide) we stirred Weast & to South and West-South-West that way about an hour and a halfe. Then we brought her to anser her main sail and fore sails and then I went downe to ye cabben and desired the sd. Moses Jenkin to stand up at ye healme for fear that ye wind would shift and when I came up we were in ye breakers. I desired him to let go the fore sheet and before he did it the sea breakes all over us and then we drive up dircetly ashore - that about six of the clock in ye morning - by good providence, to a place called Kenfigg Sands.
1759
It was appointed by Mr Portreeve that all the Burgesses of this Town ought to appear upon our Comons called Kenfigg Down and Windmill Hill, with their spades in order to stop the rabats' holes on the Burgesses' lands on Freyday the 11th of January next ensuing.
Boro. Minute Books
1761
Mr Portreeve and the Burgesses have agreed then to meet all on Windmill Hill and that same day Mr Portreeve and the Burgessis agreed with Edmund Hary, Evan Jenkin, Richard John for to stop the rabets' holes on the Burgessis' land from that day to the Leet Court that shall be held at May next ensuing, for 30s. That comes to ten shillings each and to Mary Edward, widow, for stoping the rabets' on Kenfig Douon, seven shillings. (A special rate was levied to fund this work and the burgesses no longer had to turn out each winter to do it themselves)
Boro. Minute Books
1763
The return by the Parish of Pyle & Kenfig for the visitation of the Bishop of Llandaff for this year states that there were 67 families in the parish, none of whom were dissenters. Whilst there was no public school, 'about twenty children are taught to read and write, are carefully instructed in the principles and doctrine of the Church of England and brought duly to church'. The Vicar lived at Margam, which church he also served - This being a Crown living, but so very poor that it has, for time immemorial, been held by sequestration with that curacy. The churches at Pyle and Maudlam were in good repair and served alternately.
John Guy, The Diocese of Llandaff in 1763, 1991.
1769
Paid Mr John Jones for the sixth parcel of Jack Fish (Pike) brought by him from Llangorse Pool (near Brecon) - seven in number survived and delivered safe and well in Kenfig Pool. (How many of the fish survived the previous six journeys we are not told - they were carried on horseback in specially constructed tin containers)
Margam MSS
1771
For malt and hops sold and delivered at Margam House to be brewed there for the use of the tennants when they pay their rents - £12.18.0d
Margam MSS
1774
The sd jurors do present Rees Rees ( Borough Recorder) for several sums of money that he has received over and above his fees from several Gentlemen sworn as Burgesses in this Borough since Michaelmas, 1722 and that the said Rees Rees should deliver the same to the Burgesses hands. The presentment appears to be reasonable allowing the sd Rees Rees his trouble and expenses in waiting upon those Gentlemen out of Court. (The Gentlemen concerned were persons sworn in as outdwelling burgesses at the expence of the Margam Estate and numbered about three dozen. The Recorder was entitled to a portion of the admission fee, but Rees had evidently also been collecting tips. The Borough was still attempting to get him to pay up a twelvemoth later)
Boro. Minute Books.
1775
The body of an illigitimate female child was found in a store room at Marlas Farm. The inquest jurors, having heard evidence from a midwife, decided that the baby had been still-born and no action was taken against the mother.
Borough Minute Books.
1777
A letter written by James Price of Pyle in 1777 says that there were few ash and elm trees in the county owing to 'the practice of making bandies for bandy matches'
A.L.Evans/SK
1779
The hayward was reported for not paying to the treasurer the sum of three shillings received by him from a Mr Edmond Thomas for access rights on Waun Cimla. It was ordered that he do so and that the sd sum shal be applyed towards redoing the arms of the said Borough and manor in the Guild Hall. (What form this coat of arms took is not known)
Boro Minute Books.
1781
Extract from the draft of a handbill produced 23rd January
Divers wicked, evil-minded, & disorderly persons have, in a felonious manner, boarded & plundered ye ship 'Caterina' lately stranded upon ye rocks of Sker near Kenfig - and have therefrom stolen large quantities of cotton, together with 3 boxes of coral, several casks of wine and brandy, currants and other goods and effects.
This is to give notice that all persons who shall seize and bring before any portreeve, coroner or justice of ye land; take quantity of ye sd goods; or shall give information of any persons who may have in his possession any such goods of effects shall, upon conviction of every such offender, receive in like manner a handsome reward (£10)
Gnoll MSS
1783
Sker purchased by the Margam Estate with Morgam Howells as the sitting tennant. (Margam MSS - Rentals) Howell's is reputed to have bid a high price for it at the sale - a circumstance which is said to have led to friction between him and the Talbots.
A.L.Evans/SH
1790
Kenfig, which though a stragging place and inhabited by none but farmers contains about 50 resident and 70 out-dwelling burgesses, each of whom has a vote for the member of the Glamorganshire boroughs. A great part of the land near the sea side at this place is overwhelmed with hills of sand, which are continually shifting from place to place according to the direction of the wind.
The Universal British Directory of Trade & Commerce, 1790.
1793
The jurors do present the service of the Town Hall and the damage it receives by the salvage and protection of cable, sail and rigging and other valuable articles belonging to the brigg 'Ballmer' to the value of £2.2.0d pr week while the said goods remain in the Town Hall. (The Portreeve's accounts for this year includes a payment for way-leave across the borough lands to salvage 'a cargo of mahogany bound to London from the Bay of Honduras, cast ashore on Kenfig Sand'.
Note of a lease agreement between the burgesses and Griffith Thomas, burgess, giving him permission to search for and work the coal and iron ore on the common lands at Cefn Cribbwr at an annual rent of £12. He was also to 'sell his coal to all the in-dwelling burgesses (for firing only) at the rate of three pence pr load of the customary horse-load'.
Boro Minute Books / Ibid
1797
As a result of the French landing at Fishguard a meeting of the Burgesses was called 'to take into consideration the method to furnish inhabitants of this Borough with arms for their defence, in case an invasion should be made by an enemy on this or the neighbouring coast' (No action was apparently taken, but a year later the sum of ten guineas was voted as a gift to the Government 'to carry on the war against our enemies, to defend our country and properties'. Considering the parlous state of the Borough's finances at this time, this was a very generous donation)
Boro Minute Books.
1797
Owen Howells of Penymynydd Farm was excommunicated by the Church of England when he failed to appear on three separate occassions before the Consistory Court to answer a charge of libel brought against him. He complied within a month and the order was rescinded.
Llandaff Consistory Court Records.

18th Century History - Related Website Links

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Lacock Abbey National Trust
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Parish of Pyle & Kenfig Official Website
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Michaelmas Wikipedia
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*
Portreeve Wikipedia
*
Guildhall Wikipedia
*
Glamorganshire Wikipedia
*
*
Glamorgan Record Office Official Website

19th Century - Historic Timeline (Old Kenfig Borough)

date

history

Key

1800
In consideration of the advanced rate of the rental of lands and the present grevious burden of taxes on landholders the Borough voted to relax restrictions relating to the letting of the parcels of 'hay ground' at Waun Cimla. (The serving portreeve, Richard John appears to have collapsed whilst conducting a court on 2nd August)
Boro Minute Books / Ibid.
1801
Two inquests held on the bodies of presumed drowned seamen found on Kenfig Beach.
Quarter Sessions Records.
1802
After dinner (at Pyle Inn) we walked to the little village of Kynfeg about a mile distant from Pyle. The church is on an eminence overlooking a large stagnant lake and beyond it the sea coast. Between these two and near the church I saw the remains of an encampment. A small fragment of a stone wall in which one arch, seated on an artifical mound to the west of the church, in the midst of numerous hillocks of barren sand and a rabbit warren ar enow all that remains of this ancient castle.
The Journeys of Sir Richard Colt Hoare through Wales and England, M.W. Thompson Ed., 1983.
1805
The sloop 'Ferret' sank off Sker Point but she was eventually towed to Swansea.
A.L.Evans/SK
1808
Another example of plundering occurred, when the 'Perseverance' bound from Cork to Bristol suffered. A detachment of cavalry from Swansea rushed to the spot and kept off the mob, some of whom looted its cargo of whisky. Two of them drank to excess and died. The sixty passengers aboard the vessel whcih struck a sand bank near Sker were saved but she quickly went to pieces.
A.L.Evans/SK
1811
Nicholas Carlisle, in his Topographical Dictionary of Wales dated 1811 states that the Town Hall had then been largely erected at a cost of £400. He referred to the alterations made to the house in 1808, when it was modernised. He also says that the Kenfig tennants were obliged to labour one or more days according to their holdings in planting rushes in order to stem the advance of the ever-menacing sand.
The Census held this year puts the number of inhabitants in the Borough south of the river Kenfig at 244.
Ibid
1813
Paid Wm. Thomas to the use of himself and partners for making a new ditch at Kenfigg Pool between the water and inclosed lands and forming an island for the swans with the excavated earth.
Margam MSS
1813
Paid Thomas Hugh to the use of himself and partner for making another new ditch at Kenfigg Pool between the water and the land. (It seems that the boat house at the pool was rebuilt in stone and willow trees were planted along the margins from these records)
Ibid
1813
Paid Wm. Gubbings for quarrying and working 3 large mere stones at Pyle Quarry to mark the boundaries of the Manor of Sker, cutting an inscription included... £1.11.6d
Ibid
1817
Report of a Bandy match played between Newton Nottage and Margam on Kenfig Sands on 31st May - about three thousand attended to see the match, which, from the celebrity of the combatants was expected to be a good one. The game was conducted with perfect fairness and after a contest of four hours was won by the Margam players.
Cambrian Newspaper, 7th June 1817.
1818
Inquest verdict on the death of William Thomas. 'The said William Thomas not being of sound mind, memory and understanding, but insane on the night of the 22nd or early in the morning of the 23rd of August did fasten one end of a certain rope to a piece of timber lying across a beam over a beast-house, with one end thereof on a partition wall between the said beast-house and a stable both of which are in the occupation of William Williams and the other end tied, fixed and fastened to and about his own neck and there-with then and there did hang, strangle and suffocate himself by his own hands without the fear of God'.
Extract from the diary of Lewis Weston Dillwyn who visited Pyle on 10th June whilst canvassing for election as M.P. for the Glamorgan Boroughs in which he was unsuccessful.
Kenfig owing to the unlucky pre-engagement of the Margam interest was obliged to be against me, but the hearts of all the Burgesses appeared strongly in my favour and they will none vote against me unless absolutely driven, which is not likely to be the case.
Boro Minute Books.
1820
Llanmihangel and Marlas Farms purchased by the Margam. They had formed a part of the estate until 1750 when, with the advent of the Talbots they had passed to the Mansels of Briton Ferry.
Margam MSS
1821
Population of the Borough south of the river Kenfig put at 222 living in 56 houses
Census Return
1824/5
A Portuguese Smack wrecked at Sker during the winter.
Margam MSS
1825
An agreement was made on the 14th day of September between Joseph Rees (Recorder), for and on behalf of the Burgesses of Kenfigg and Morgan Price Smith (Gent.,) for and on behalf of the Duffrin Llunfi and Porthcawl Tram Road Company for so much of the surface of Gwain y Cimla and Cefan Cribor as would be requisite to make the said tram road and the rate of Nine Pounds an Acre purchase money.
Boro Minute Books.
1825
Paid Mr. Robt. Jones in full of the consideration money for the purchase of Ty'n Towyn farm in the parish of Pyle & Kenfigg £1075.0.0d (This was the farm also known as Maudlam Farm where the Loveluck family were living at this time. The sale also included Ty'm Maudlam, now The Angel public house)
Margam MSS
1826
Settled and agreed tp destroy all the rabbits on the Burgess's Common by digging the same out and destroying their burrows or nests and that Owen Howells, Thomas Thomas of St Michael (Llanmihangel Farm), John Rees, Thomas Thomas of Kenfig, and Joseph Rees doe make the same known to the Constable of the Castle and also the great loss the Burgesses suffer by the said rabbits, as well on the Common as on the inclosed lands, which is as unjust as it is unsufferable.
The delegation to the Constable (Margam's representative) was because the estate, since time immemorial had leased out its part of the common as a rabbit warren. They seem to have met with little success, for rent continued to be paid by the Loveluck family to the Talbots for the warren rights.
Boro Minute Books.
1827
Agreed to lett a piece of land on Cefan Cribor, on the left hand in going into the said Common, unto Thomas Hopkin, labourer, to build a cottage thereon.
This marks the start of the village of Kenfig Hill. Another six building plots were leased in 1829 and one in 1830. The building of Bryndu Iron Works saw 43 such leases issued plus another 9 to persons who had built their houses on the common without permission in the two years 1839-40.
Boro Minute Books.
1831
The population of Kenfig Lower given as 276 (138 males & 138 females) living in 58 houses. Thirty families were engaged in agriculture, twenty in trade or manufacture and ten in other jobs.
Census Return
1832
Regarding the Borough of Kenfig the report concludes, 'There can be no motive, I should conceive, for altering the present limits of this Borough, unless it should be thought that the Parish and Village of Pyle should participate in the Franchise. This would certainly give the Borough rather more weight amongst the Boroughs with which it is associated; but nothing can give it any community of interest with them, Kenfig being purely agricultural, whilst all the others are more or less commercial or manufacturing'.
Report from the Commissioners on Proposed Division of Counties and Boundaries of Boroughs, Swansea District, 1832.
1832
The above report led to an Act of Parliament 'to Amend the Representation of the People in England and Wales' Section 10 of Schedule 8 reads, 'And be it enacted that each of the Towns of Swansea, Lougher, Neath, Aberavon and Kenfig shall for the Purposes of this Act be One Borough and shall as such Borough return One Member to serve in Parliament'
From The Parliamentary History of Glamorgan by Raymond Grant, 1978.
1832
Findings of the jury concerning the death of David Powell, 14 years on 13th December read:
'The said David Powell in a sand bank on the Burgesses' Common to the north- east of the church, was found dead and covered with sands except his feet, unfortunately, in digging for rabits in the said sand bank, which gave way and covered his body, by reason whereof the said David Powell accidentally and by misfortune was then and there suffocated and smothered'.
Boro Minute Books.
1832
Settled and agreed to employ workmen to try and dig for coal on Cefn Cribor, at the expence of the Corporation, provided such expence do not exceed the sum of Ten pounds. (The venture failed within two years)
Boro Minute Books.
1833
Inquest jury into the death of Ann Thomas, 11 years at Llanmihangel Corn Mill reads:
The said Ann Thomas, on the Thirteenth day of April last, at the millaforesaid was unfortunately entangled in some of the machinery of the said mill, which machinery whirled her about with such violence as to mangle her whole frame in such a shocking manner as caused her instantaneous death.
Boro Minute Books.
1834
The best information that I could collect was very imperfect, my informants (the officers of the borough) being of the class of farmers, little conversant with the English language. Borough revenues listed as follows:
£.s.d.
Cash received for pasturing cattle on one of their commons, producing about
10.0.0
The rent of a public house and gardens, let at rack- rent
6.0.0
Rent of four small tenements engaged to be let on long building leases, producing together
4.16.0
Rent for a piece of hay ground on Kimla
0.6.8
A payment, called a rent, of 1s.6d., by each of the burgesses holding a plot in Wayn Kimla, producing annually about
2.2.0
A similar payment of 1s.5d from each of the other resident burgesses, producing about
1.15.0
Total Revenue about
24.19.8
Report of the Commissioners on Municipal Corporations in England and Wales.
1841
Findings of the jury on the death of Thomas Thomas, a carpenter of Pyle reads:
That the said Thomas Thomas, on the 29th day of September being employed in mending a water wheel at Llanmihangel Mill, it appears by the evidence of James Powell and others, that his foot slipt or entangled in the said water wheel so that his head went between the said water wheel and the wall, by means whereof the said Thomas Thomas then and there instantly died. (By a tragic irony Thomas was the father of the Ann Thomas killed at the mill eight years earlier)
Boro Minute Books.
1841
At the request of the Portreeve, Willm. Loveluck, I have to inform you that the Burgesses assembled concerning Cefan Cribwr, Gwain y Cimla, Tir Garw, at which they thought Mr Talbot to have undervalued the Burgesses' interest therein, and yet would rather Mr Talbot to have ir provided he would make good Sixteen Hundred Pounds for the same.
The burgesses had originally asked for £2,000 for the land, but settled on Talbot's offer, the sale taking place the following year. The purchase money was invested with Talbot at five percent interest paid yearly and then shared out between the burgesses themselves.
Extract from a letter to the Margam Agent, Boro Minute Books.
1842
Inquest on the death of William John, seaman reads:

It appears that the said William John, on the 26th day of May, was within two miles of The Mumbles, employed as an assistant on board the 'Industry' which then and there sunk, and by the evidence of Joseph John, that he was unfortunately drowned.
Borough Minute Books.
1843
A ship called the 'Restless' wrecked at Sker.
A.L.Evans/SK
1844
Settled and agreed to lett the Corporation Hall to Mr Kneath as a schoolroom for the yearly rent of two pounds. Mr Kneath was succeeded by a Mr Taylor a year later when the rent was raised to £4.6?.0d.
Boro Minute Books.
1845
Inquest verdict on the death of William Lloyd reads:
That the said Wm. Loyd went down to Kenfig pond with several others, his schoolfellows, with the intention to bathe and unfortunately was drowned.
Boro Minute Books.
1845
A ship called 'The Olive Branch' wrecked at Sker and three of the crew drowned.
A.L.Evans/SK
1847
The South Wales Railway Company having served the Recorder with notice that they required a certain portion of the Burgesses' property; ordered that Mr Adam Murray of Briton Ferry is appointed by us to value and treat for the sale of the said property. The sale was concluded on 9th March, 1849.
Boro Minute Books.
1849
Cholera again reared its ugly head in South Wales after a respite of seventeen years, and 57 deaths were recorded in the higher hamlets of Pyle and Tythegston, around Kenfig Hill. There were 17 burials of cholera victims noted in the Pyle Church Register during the summer months.
A.L.Evans/SK
1850
The end of the three surviving Borough Minute Books. The final entry dated 24th May is badly mutilated but appears to deal with the safe custody of the borough seal and the keys to the safe:
memoraundum that three keys and the Borough seal were left [ ] of William Loveluck, two keys in the hands of Charles Porter [ ] in the hands of Edward Evan to be carefully kept [ ].
Boro Minute Books.
1867
Rees Rees, mayor of Kenfig, who follows the business of carpenter, was charged with being drunk and riotous on the eleventh of April. Pc Beynon deposed to having found the defendant in a pool of water on the roadside. His attention was first drawn by a splashing he heard in the water and as he approached he heard the defendant cry out, 'O Gid save my life!' and on asking who he was said, 'I am the Lord Mayor of Kenfig'. He was very drunk. Mr Franklin said they could not treat this as a common case of drunkenness the defendant being himself a magistrate. It was their painful duty to fine him 20s and 9s.2d costs.
Glamorgan Gazette, 19th April, 1867.
1868
We have received intelligence of some persons visiting the Guildhall, Maudlam, last Saturday and carrying away a quantity of the school books and damaging others so as to render them useless. Such conduct is very reprehensible and as the manipulators have been pretty well traced they would act wisely by returning the books.
Glamorgan Gazette, 15 May, 1868.
1868
It will be seen by our police report this week that the landlord of the Angel Inn at Maudlam was summoned to answer the offence of drawing beer on a Sunday. Defendant denied the jurisdiction of the Bench as county justices; his offence, if any having been committed within the limits of the Borough of Kenfig and his licence being granted by the Borough authorities.
The Bench called upon him for some proof that the borough authorities had exclusive jurisdiction within the borough; one of the magistrates remarking that if, as had been stated some time ago, the Mayor got drunk, it was possible that an inhabitant of the borough might commit an offence such as the defendant had been charged with. Defendant did not produce the proof and the case was gone on with.
Ibid, 3rd July.
1875
Kenfig is a parish and contributory borough about 2 miles from Pyle and 7 from Bridgend, its post town. It shares with Swansea, Neath and other boroughs in the return of a member to Parliament. Population in 1871, 270.
Worrall's Directory of South Wales, 1875.
1886
Whereas by Section 3 of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1883, it is enacted that on and after the 25th day of March, 1886 the following provisions shall apply to each of the places mentioned in the schedules to that Act. The place shall not be a corporate town or borough and any municipal or other corporation thereof existing under any charter or grant of prescription shall be dissolved.
Kenfig is a place named in the First Schedule to the Act and it is not intended to petition Her Majesty for the grant of Incorporation for such place.
Extracts from the Order by the Local Government Board for the District of Margam, notifying the Portreeve and Burgesses of Kenfig that the Borough was now abolished and setting up a body of Trustees to administer the remaining assests of the Corporation.

19th Century History - Related Website Links

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The Talbot Family National Library of Wales
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The Mansel Family National Library of Wales
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Parliament Wikipedia
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Municpal Corporations Act 1883 Office of Public Sector/National Archives
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Key - sourced material

Abbreviation

Source

Birch, W. de Gray
History of Margam Abbey, 1897
Boro Minute Books
Two covering 1729-1817 at Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff; a third 1817-1853 in private hands
Cartae
Cartae et Alia Munimenta quae ad Dominium de Glamorgan pertinent, G.T. Clark
Clark, G.T.
The Land of Morgan, 1883 & Cartae
Evans/SH, A.L.
Sker House
Evans/SK, A.L.
The Story of Kenfig, 1960
Glamorgan Co. History
Vols. III & IV
Glamorgan Gazette
Microfilm Copies at Bridgend Library
Grant, Raymond
The Parliamentary History of Glamorgan, 1978
Gray, Thomas
The Buried City of Kenfig, 1909
Griffiths, Barrie
The Sands of Kenfig, 1992 (Kenfig Dunes Centre)
Guy, John
The Diocese of Llandaff in 1763, 1991
Kenfig Bro MSS
Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
Lever, T.
The Herberts of Wilton, 1967
Lewis, Rice
A Breviat of Glamorgan, circa 1596
Llandaff Consistory Court Records
National Library of Wales
Llandaff Wills
National Library of Wales
Margam MSS
West Glamorgan Record Office, County Hall, Swansea
Merrick, Rice
Morganiae Archaiographia, 1573
Penrice MSS
West Glamorgan Record Office
PM.
Penrice & Margam MSS, National Library of Wales
Soulsby, I.
The Towns of Medieval Wales, 1983
Toft, L.A.
A Study of Coastal Village Abandonment in the Swansea Bay Region, Morgannwg, Vol.XXXII, 1988
Tythegston Estate
Documents housed at Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff

Related Website Links







ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bridgend County Borough Council Library & Information Services
A Chronicle of Kenfig Borough, Barrie Griffiths, 1994.
National Museum Wales.


WEBPAGE RESEARCHER/AUTHOR

Copyright © Rob Bowen, Kenfig.org Local Community Group, 2016



Trending Articles



Welsh Wills online

Diocese of Llandaff 1568-1857

(Parish of Kenfig)

Wills proved in the Welsh Ecclesiastical courts before 1858 are available through the National Library of Wales; over 190,000 Welsh wills have been digitised and are available free to view.

Welsh Wills - Online Catelogue
Diocese of Llandaff - Online Catelogue

The author of this website (Mr Rob Bowen) has cross-referenced the information of Welsh wills for the Diocese of Llandaff 1568-1857 (Parish of Kenfig) into the Kenfig Borough Timeline and integrated associated website links to the National Library of Wales online catelogue.

Last revised: September 2016


KENFIG TIMES

Kenfig Through The Ages

Pre Medieval Kenfig

Learn more about Kenfig and its surrounding areas during this period in history.

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Medieval Kenfig

Learn more about Kenfig and its surrounding areas during this period in history.

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Post Medieval Kenfig

Learn more about Kenfig and its surrounding areas during this period in history.

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Roman Kenfig

Learn more about Kenfig and its surrounding areas during this period in history.

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Viking Kenfig

Learn more about Kenfig and its surrounding areas during this period in history.

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Norman Kenfig

Learn more about Kenfig and its surrounding areas during this period in history.

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Barrie Griffiths (1942-2009)

A fitting Tribute to a local Historian

This section is dedicated to Mr Barrie Griffiths who was a prolific local historian & mainstay of Kenfig History Society; his research was thorough & his works and publications well respected throughout both the local communities and the wider fraternity.

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The Seal of Kenfig Borough

The seal was used by Alice, the widow of John Peruat, (former Burgess of Kenfig) for her gifts of land & 2 burgages in the town of Margam Abbey in 1320 & 1321 because 'her seal is unknown to many persons'. In August 1325 the seal was used by John Nichol of Kenfig when he quit-claimed to the monks all his land & burgages in the town.

This wasn't the only seal used by the burgesses. John (son of Henry de Bonville) used the Kenfig Borough Seal on a receipt for payment in lieu of arrears on a pension he was receiving from the monks. Instead of an ornamental cross between 4 pellets, the seal outlined displays the device of a fleur-de-lis.

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Kenfig Castle

Norman Castle built c.1140

Built c.1140 AD by Robert Fitzhamon, Lord of Gloucester this Norman castle was at the heart of Kenfig's infrastructure as an important maritime trading town.

Controlled by the Normans Kenfig was seen by the Welsh as an economic and political threat and was attacked at least nine times or more.

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Margam Abbey

Founded in 1147 by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, Margam Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey of the Mother House Clairvaux - its dissolution came about in 1536 and was the first abbey to fall under the Dissolution of the Monastries by King Henry VIII
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Margam Castle

Margam Castle
Built for Sir Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot owner of the Margam Estate. This Tudor style mansion was built in the early 19th century and remained in use until the end of World War II. Now a part of Margam Country Park owned and managed by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
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Capel Mair (c.1470)

Capel Mair
The medieval chapel known as Hen Eglwys or Capel Mair stands on the east side of Margam woods on a grassy knoll below Graig Fawr at 107m OD. Built c.1470 it appears to have served the local community who lived near to Margam Abbey; the Abbey Church being restricted to the monks.
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The Margam Estate

With evidence of over 4000yrs of continuous human habitation at Margam, learn history of the Estate & its owners through the centuries. Glimpse a Timeline of Margam Estate from the Bronze/Iron Age & Roman, Monastic, The Mansels, The Talbots, War Years/Sir Evans-Bevan & The Council Eras through to a an indepth study of all the above - this latter section will be on-going & updated at regular intervals.
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The Annals de Margan

One of the most valuable surviving Welsh monastic documents beginning with the death of Edward the Confessor, from 1185 onwards, breaking off abruptly in 1232 - it is regarded as the most valuable primary source for Glamorgan History.
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Sker House

Prince of Wales Inn Kenfig

Kenfig National Nature Reserve Porthcawl Docks

History Folklore

The Buried City of Kenfig