Some Captured History of Glanamman and Garnant

Cwarter Coch, Glanamman

Cwarter Coch

At the side of Grenig Road, Glanamman are two semi detatched cottages known as Cwarter Coch which were built in 1810 by Jonathan Morgan.

Jonathan was the son of David Morgan Brynlloi Farm (1743-1811). When his father David died in 1811 Jonathan was left the lease of the upper part of the Brynlloi Estate, which extended past Cwarter coch, on Grenig Road. One of his brothers, John was left the lease on the lower part of the Brynlloi estate. Provisions were made for the other children through Jonathan and John by annual payments to be made to them.

Cwarter Coch was therefore built on Jonathan's part of the Brynlloi Farm estate. He also built Pantybryn on Heol Ddu and owned a mine above Twllgwyn on the Betws Mountain; known locally as "Pwll Jonathan" which was sunk in 1815. Jonathan Morgan was a talented carpenter and made the pulpit at Hen Bethel Chapel on the hillside over Glanamman. He is also known to local historians for his chronicle which is kept at the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth.

He died after an accident on the old Llandeilo bridge in 1838 after he was run over by the wheel of a timber cart.

It is said that Cwarter Coch was once a public house known as "The Coopers" which sold ale to the passing drovers; Grenig Road once being a thoroughfare used by those who took their livestock from places such as Llandeilo and Llandyfan to the markets at Neath and Swansea. Grenig Road was known by the drovers who used it as "Heol Arw Unig" (Possibly translating as: "Lonely rough road"), so it can be imagined that The Coopers would have been a welcome sight on the way back from the Betws Mountain. It would have also been an important landmark as it was possibly the last place that served refreshment before the drovers stopped at Trum-yr-Hwch at the top of Grenig Road to have their animals shoed on the way to the market.

An Ordnance Survey map dated 1891 shows the property as Cwarter Coch.

The 1841 census showed two households living at the cottages which comprised Cwarter Coch; the first was David William, a 30 year old collier, his wife and three children who were aged from 1 to 8. The second abode was home to agricultural labourer named Morgan Michael and his wife, both of whom were aged 55. On the 1851 census, Morgan and Anne Michael were still there, but there was no mention of any neighbours at Cwarter Coch. In 1861, we learn that Morgan and Anne had 26 year old Griffith Walter living next door, along with his wife and two small daughters aged from 2 to 4. Like Morgan, Griffith's occupation was recorded as "Labourer".

Morgan died in 1864 and by 1881, the occupants of Cwarter Coch were listed as 26 year old John Leonard and his wife in one dwelling, while the other was occupied by 29 year old Griffith Powell and his wife. They had four children aged from 1 to 7. Both John Leonard and Griffith Powell were colliers.

The two small dwellings must have felt rather crowded by 1991. In the first abode, there was a 29 year old brick moulder named Daniel Davies, married to 34 year old Sarah. They had four sons aged between 3 months and 9 years. Their next door neighbours were 51 year old William Walters and his wife Ann. William's occupation was that of "Engine Driver". They had four sons and four daughters living with them at Cwarter Coch, the youngest being 6 years of age, while the oldest was aged 24. Four of their children were Tinplate workers, the youngest of these being 14 years old. Two of the eight children were twins, both boys aged 9.

The photograph of Cwarter Coch was taken by a professional journalist named William Anthony Davies who lived there in the first half of the 1900's. William's son and also his grandson became Fleet Street journalists.

Thanks to Catherine Rogerson for the photograph of Cwarter Coch and the information regarding William Anthony Davies and his family. Thanks also to Janet Cross for information regarding Jonathan Morgan and the Brynlloi Estate.

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