Cwmbrân , also spelled Cwmbran and Cwm Bran according to Enwau Cymru is a new town in Wales. Today forming part of the county borough of Torfaen and lying within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire, Cwmbrân was established in 1949 to provide new employment opportunities in the south eastern portion of the South Wales Coalfield. Cwmbrân means Crow Valley and refers to a local stream named Y Brân (The Crow). Cwmbrân is twinned with Bruchsal in Germany and Carbonne in France.
Based around the villages of Old Cwmbrân, Pontnewydd, Upper Cwmbrân, Croesyceiliog, Llantarnam and Llanyrafon, its population had grown to 47,254 by 2001. This makes it the sixth largest urban area in Wales
Sitting as it does at the corner of the South Wales Coalfield, it has a hilly aspect to its western and northern edges, with the surrounding hills climbing to over 1,000 feet (300 m).
The Afon Llwyd forms the major river valley, although the most significant water course is probably the remains of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. To the east of Cwmbran the land is less hilly, forming part of the Usk valley.
Cwmbrân is a new town established in 1949 to provide new employment opportunities in the south eastern portion of the South Wales Coalfield; though there is evidence that Neolithic and Bronze Age people used the area, with the Iron Age Silures tribe also occupying the region before being subdued by the Roman legions based at nearby Usk and Caerleon.
Around 1179, Hywel, Lord of Caerleon gave a gift of money and land to found the Cistercian Abbey at Llantarnam in Cwmbrân. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the Abbey was closed and was bought by a succession of wealthy landowners. By the 18th century the Abbey had passed into the ownership of the Blewitt family, who were to become key figures in the early industrialisation of Cwmbrân. Brickmaking, lime kilns, iron ore mining, quarrying and coal mining were established during this period along with a canal to transport goods to the docks at Newport.
In 1833 the Ordnance Survey map of Monmouthshire shows Cwmbrân as a farm situated in the area now known as Upper Cwmbrân, in the valley named Cwm Brân. Cwmbrân now covers approximately 3,000 acres (12 km2) and has a population of around 50,000.
Following some investigation by local residents Richard Davies and Mike Price, the Ancient Cwmbran & The Cistercian project was created and a £48,000 grant has been provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore some previously unrecorded sites of interest in the Greenmeadow and Thornhill, Cwmbran areas.
The Cistercian Way also passes through Llantarnam, Old Cwmbrân, Greenmeadow and Thornhill, Cwmbran before reaching the ancient chapel of Llanderfel on Mynydd Maen, and then onwards to Twmbarlwm.
Copyright 2015 © Cwmbran and District Amateur Radio Society
Cwmbrân & District Amateur Radio Society
For access to this area email webmaster