Castell-y-bwch, Cwmbrân

button-theme-crimebutton_lang_frenchCastell-y-bwch, Cwmbrân

Architectural evidence suggests that this building dates in part from the 16th century though there appears to be no written evidence for it before c.1600.

Today the building is a pub in the rural area south of Cwmbrân, with views across the valley to the east. The pub sign accurately depicts the meaning of Castell-y-bwch – “the buck’s castle”. However, there is no evidence of a castle here. The name is likely to be fanciful, and perhaps a suitable one, for a large house located in countryside where deer were once common.

The antiquarian John David Rhys claimed that Castell-y-bwch was the home of a giant called ‘Bwch’!

In Victorian times, the Henllys Farmers’ Association held its annual dinner and awards ceremony at the Castell-y-Bwch Hotel. At the 1884 dinner, prize categories included use of the “wheel plough” and “swing plough”, hedging and ditching, “neatest turnout on the field”, best three acres of grass seeds, “the neatest made and thatched mows” and best ploughing by a boy aged under 20.

In 1894 the police and RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) took legal action over severe neglect of 20 horses at Castell-y-Bwch Farm. Farm owner George Burge had been partly paralysed. He paid labourer John Berry to look after the horses and about 300 poultry, but Berry had lost a leg as a soldier in the Crimean War. Berry said in court that he’d done the best he could in his crippled and rheumatic state. Burge was fined £5 and Berry 10 shillings.

With thanks to Richard Morgan, of the Welsh Place-Name Society, for place-name information

Postcode: NP44 7AZ    View Location Map