The Dorallt Inn, Cwmbrân
The Dorallt Inn
Maps from the 19th century record that the Dorallt Inn was then known as Dorallt-fawr (“big Dorallt”). There was a property called Dorallt-fach (“little Dorallt”) nearby. Some earlier records, which don’t distinguish between the two houses, give the spelling as Dwrallt (1813) and Doralt (1841).
If we go much further back, to c.1291, we find the name written as Torald. A Robert Torald witnessed the confirmation of a charter in Trelleck in 1314, and his name probably denotes that he was from here. At that time, Dorallt was the property of the Cistercian abbey of Llantarnam.
So what does Dorallt mean? It probably contains the Welsh words tor, meaning “a swelling, bulge or protuberance”, and allt – generally “a wooded slope” in South Wales. GO Osborne and GJ Hobbs (in Gwent Local History 87, 1999) suggested the name refers to the hill immediately west of Dorallt. They also pointed out that Dorallt in Powys is in a similar position on a slope.
Torallt would mutate to Dorallt after a preposition such as o, meaning “from”. This is a common phenomenon in Welsh place-names.
With thanks to Richard Morgan, of the Welsh Place-Name Society
Postcode: NP44 6HX