Court House, Merthyr Tydfil

button-theme-womenThis ancient building is named after the court which was here centuries ago. It has been home to the town’s Labour Club since the 1920s. The old photo shows the building at around that time.

Photo of Merthyr Tydfil Court House c.1925The house was probably built in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the early 18th century it belonged to the Lewis family, which also owned the Van estate near Caerphilly. The house was remodelled in the 19th century. Old features inside include the fireplace and beams pictured here.

In 1881 the building was home to Denbigh-born schools inspector Dr William Edwards, aged 30, and his older sisters Jane and Mary. The Misses Edwards ran the Court Girls’ School here; Jane was headmistress, Mary assistant head. Frankfurt-born Johanna Emilie Philippina Steinthal, 20, who taught German, also lived here, along with a housemaid and a cook (who also hailed from Denbigh).

Photo of old fireplace in Merthyr Court HouseIn 1897 Mary, then the headmistress, handed almost £25 (over £2,600 today) to Merthyr General Hospital. Her pupils had held a bazaar to raise the money for the endowment of the hospital’s Diamond Jubilee Ward. Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee that year.

Romance blossomed at Courtland House, as it was then known. William and Johanna married in Frankfurt in August 1881. By 1891 their household here included their two sons, Arthur and Wilfrid. Wilfrid died here, aged 9, in 1892.

Johanna was involved in the Association for the Promotion of Education of Girls, and the Society for the Utilisation of the Welsh Language in Education. She left almost £2,300 to Arthur on her death in 1932.

Arthur Trystan Edwards served in the Royal Navy in the First World War and later worked on housing matters in the Ministry of Health. He was pioneer of town planning theory and wrote books on architecture. You can see a plaque in his honour above the entrance.

Photo of old beams in Merthyr Court HouseMerthyr Labour Club was created as a place for working people to socialise and take part in sports. The club’s popularity resulted in large extensions to the building. Among the boxers who trained here was Cuthbert Taylor, born in 1909 and denied fight opportunities because of his father’s Jamaican ancestry. There’s a plaque in his memory inside. Click here to read our information about him.

Postcode: CF47 8DU    View Location Map

Website of Merthyr Labour Club (Facebook)