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Cumpstones at Fochriw Wales


These pages refer to Cumpstones who lived in Fochriw.  Their details were sent to me by Bert Cumpstone in 2004.  I am grateful to him for all the photos and data that he sent, which I hope will attract more Cumpstone relatives to make contact.



The following mentions CUMPSTONEs


As with many south Wales villages, transport was a problem due to poor roads and Fochriw was no exception, especially since one had to ascend hills in all directions to gain access to it.


The Tithe Map of 1851 shows only tracks, which gradually developed into unmetaled roads, however, with the coming of industry things started to improve.


Apart from private bus companies for private hire, the local single decker bus service was provided by the Gelligaer Urban District Council between Bargoed and Pontlottyn, leaving Bargoed every hour on the hour and returning from Pontlottyn on the same basis. Double decker buses could not be used owing to the low headroom of the railway bridges at Deri and Fochriw.


Buses from Bargoed to Deri ran every half hour and it was often the case that arguments broke out at Bargoed when Deri people took seats on fully loaded "Fochriw" buses thus leaving some Fochriw people to wait an hour for the next bus, when the Deri people had only to wait another half hour.


The first motorised hearse in the Rhymney Valley was owned by Messrs E E Cumpstone and Sons of Fochriw. In 1924, the hearse was taken off a horse-drawn vehicle and mounted onto a Fiat cab and chassis - see photo 1 opposite.


Local traffic was all by horse and cart and every morning the farmer put milk into metal churns, which held about 20 gallons, and loaded them onto a milk float. This was a two- wheeled cart which was built up at the front and both sides, open at the back with steps for easy access. A ladle with a long handle, which held half a pint of milk, was dipped into the milk churn for delivery to the customer's jug. The milkman came around both mornings and evenings during the summer months since, with no fridges, it was difficult to keep the milk cool.


Other purveyors were the baker, who had a four wheeled van full of bread still hot from the oven, the costermonger had another four wheeled cart with all his vegetables laid out upon it.


The fishmonger came twice a week but always on a Friday to take account of the customs of the Roman Catholics. The oilman came once a week and he sold paraffin, oilcloth, mops etc.


The salt man came about once a month since salt was not sold in bottles or small blocks but in bars, each one being 18" long by 8" square on top tapering to 6" square at the bottom. Lesser amounts were cut off these blocks by saw.


During March 1865 the construction of the road from Pontlottyn to Tirphil commenced.


Abstract from the Fochriw website on health:

The Fochriw district came under the Merthyr Tydfil Rural Sanitary Board and the first report which has come to light is for January 1877 which stated that 15 cases of Enertic Fever had occurred at Fochriw, the population of which was about 1,000. In the three months ending June 1878 the birth and death rates in the district were 24 and 39 per 1,000. In July 1878 1 child died of diptheria and one person died of Enteric Fever at Fochriw.


In January1882 there were three cases of scarlet fever reported at Fochriw


You can read more here






Bert, Tegwedd, Idris, Lydia, Arthur, Maggie, Nick, Cadfan



Ernest and Elizabeth


Fochriw is a village located in Caerphilly County Borough, Wales. It was well known for its neighbouring collieries, which employed nearly the entire local population in the early 20th century. It lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan.


Fochriw’s growth was germinated to a lesser extent by the Rhymney Iron Company’s requirement for ironstone, and to a greater extent by the Dowlais Ironworks’ requirement for coal, which was converted into coke, an essential ingredient in the production of iron.


Over a period of about 130 years, the landscape changed from rural to industrial, and back to rural, as it is today. However, the latter changes did not take place until relatively recently when nearly all the remnants of the coal mining industry were removed from around the village. The memories of the industrial landmarks, or eye-sores, that remained following the closure of the Fochriw and South Tunnel collieries are only retained by those of a certain age, and the younger generation no longer have the “experience” of living in a community which is centred around coal.



It is located on the north-east flank of Mynydd Fochriw at the head of the Bargoed Fach (now called the Darran) valley, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Bargoed, and 5 miles (8.0 km) south east of Merthyr Tydfil. The village straddles two ancient hamlets in the parish of Gelligaer, these being the Ysgwyddgwyn and Brithdir hamlets, the dividing line being the brook (Bargoed Fach) which flows in the bottom of the valley. The boundaries of these hamlets were walked by a number of parishioners of the parish on 24th day of May, 1750, and a document detailing the boundaries of each hamlet, namely Keven, Hengode, Garthgynyd, Ysgwyddgwyn, and Brithdecr (Brithdir) was produced.

I am indebted to Ifor Coggan the owner and webmaster of the "Fochriwhistory" website for all the background information about Fochriw on this page.   You can access his website at


The date in the first column and this abstract is from his website.  Any further information you have about Fochriw history will be gratefully received and I shall share it with Ifor.