Gough Arms, Ystradgynlais

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshGough Arms, Ystradgynlais

The Gough Arms, now a café bar and pub, has been a community venue since Victorian times. It’s named after the wealthy Gough family of Ynyscedwyn.

In 1881 building contractors were invited to to deposit sealed tenders at the Gough Arms for reconstructing nearby Claypon’s Bridge. They could view drawings and details of the works at the pub.

Inquests were sometimes held here. In August 1888 Daniel Griffiths, aged 11, was carried into the Gough Arms after an accident at the neighbouring Midland Railway sidings. He and a friend were playing on empty trucks when a steam engine suddenly appeared. The boys hurried down but Daniel fell between the rails and was pierced by a truck’s brake mechanism. He died a few minutes later. His father William worked at Ystrad Fawr Colliery.

In June 1914 the pub’s license transferred to John Griffiths, a former Ystalyfera Football Club player. After the First World War broke out he went to Ghana, then a British colony known as the Gold Coast, to work on “important mining operations”. The colony was a source of gold and of manganese, used in production of hardened steel. He returned from Africa in December 1917.

Tommy Griffiths of the Gough Arms was wounded in 1915 in the Allies’ bungled attempt to invade Turkey through the Gallipoli peninsula. He convalesced in a home near Brecon. His brother Evan served with the Canadian army and was wounded in 1915 in Belgium. He needed multiple operations and was in hospital for many months.

In 1916 the pub’s license transferred from Mrs E Griffiths to Eli Howells. In 1919 Pioneer W Howells, of the Gough Arms, received a cheque from the local Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reception Committee for his wartime service with the Royal Engineers. The committee, founded in 1916, had by then given out cheques totalling £540 to thank local men for “doing their bit”.

The pub was the venue in March 1919 for a meeting of the local branch of the Comrades of the Great War, which represented demobilised servicemen and war widows and later merged with other groups to form the Royal British Legion.

Postcode: SA9 1ES    View Location Map

Website of Café Chameleon at the Gough Arms (Facebook)

To continue the Ystradgynlais in WW1 tour, walk south to Diamond Park, at the end of Heol Glantawe
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