BLAENAVON is a town and parish situated among the hills and on the river Avon Lwyd, or Torvaen, and has a station on the Great Western Railway (Eastern Valleys branch) which commences at Newport and terminates
here; the London and North Western Railway has also a station, called the high level station, on the line from Abersychan to Brynmawr, about a quarter of a mile from the town, on the mountain side. It is 167 miles from London by rail, 6 north from Pontypool, 6 south-west from Abergavenny, 5½ west from Llanover and 14 north from Newport, in the Northern division of the County, Pontypool hundred and petty sessional division, union of Abergavenny, within the county court district of Abergavenny and Pontypool, and in the rural deanery of BIaenau Gwent, archdeaconry of Llandaff. The "Local Government Act, 1858" (21 and 22 Vict. c.98), was adopted March 27th 1860, and under the provisions of the "Local Government Act, 1894" (56 and 57 Vict. c.73), the parish is divided into three wards, viz., Eastern, Western and Central, and governed by an Urban District Council of 18 members.
The town is lighted with gas and supplied with water by the Blaenavon Gas and Water Co. Limited; the water is obtained from three reservoirs, two at Llanover road and one at Cae Cradoch. Under the provisions of the "Local Government Act, 1894," the civil parish was formed, and comprising the same area as the ecclesiastical parish, constituted in 1858, under the name of Blaenavon-Cwm-Capel Newydd, which comprises a portion of each of the following parishes, namely, from Llanover Upper about 1,632 acres, Lanfoist 1,003, LIanwenarth 96, and Trevethin 63l. The church of St Peter, built and endowed by Samuel Hopkins and Thomas Hill esqrs., the proprietors, at that time, of the Blaenavon Iron and Coal Works, was opened in 1804 and consecrated in June, 1805: it is a building of stone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave and a western tower, with small spire, containing 6 bells. The church was reseated in 1850, and thoroughly repaired, and again reseated in 883, at a cost of about £1,000 partly borne by the Blaenavon Co. Limited, the patrons of the living: there are 750 sittings, 470 being free: the churchyard was enlarged in 1882 at the expense of the Company, by whom the land was enclosed and presented, and a further extension was made in 1891, the land being given by the company. The register dates from the year 1805. The living is a vicarage, with Capel Newydd annexed, net yearly value £310, with residence, in the gift of the Blaenavon Company Limited, and held since 1897 by the Revd. Alfred Augustus Mathews, BA, of St David's College, Lampeter.
The Catholic church, built in 1868, is dedicated to the Sacred Heart and St. FeIix. There are also several dissenting chapels, including the Wesleyan chapel in Park street erected in 1885 at a cost of £1,300, with sittings for 500.
The Town Hall is a building of stone, erected in 1869, a cost of upwards of £1,000, and will seat 600 people; the trustees of the late J G Williams are the proprietors. A Police Court was built in Church road, and opened 1894, at which petty sessions are held.
The Blaenavon Workmen's Institute in High street, opened January 7, 1895, and erected in 1893-4, consists on the ground floor, of library, reading, refreshment, entertainment and committee rooms, and an assembly room above, holding 1,500 persons ; there is also an attached house for the caretaker. The cost, amounting to about £9,000, has been chiefly contributed by the workmen of Blaenavon.
The 'A' Company of the 4th Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers, have their headquarters and armoury in High street, the present strength of the company being 98 rank and file.
The Blaenavon Company Limited have very extensive iron, steel and coal works, with 9 blast furnaces, 3 rolling mills, for heavy, light and colliery rails and tinplate bars, and 1 tyre mill, and employ about 5,000 persons. The Company also maintains 2 brick factories. Here is a brewery. The market day is on Saturday, and fairs are held on 16th of April and 17th of September.
A hospital for the treatment of accident cases was erected in 1883, and is entirely managed and supported by a committee of the workmen and agents of the Blaenavon Company.
Blaenavon House, in the town, formerly the residence of Robert William Kennard Esq., JP, is now used by the directors of the BIaenavon Company Ltd.
The Marquess of Abergaveny, KG, is Lord of the Manor. The principal landowners are the Blaenavon Company, whose property extends over about 11,000 acres. John Capel Hanbury esq., of Pontypool Park, the trustees of the late Francis James and Mrs James Edwards have also small properties here.
The soil is clay, subsoil coal and mining strata, resting on mountain limestone. The area is 4,606 acres; rateable value, £32,928. The population in 1891 was 11,452.
Sexton: John Griffiths
Post Office, Money Order & Telegraph Office, Telegraph Money Order, Express Delivery, Parcel Post, Savings Bank & Insurance & Annuity Office. (Railway Sub-Office. Letters should have "R.S.O. Mon." added) - Rees Jones, postmaster.
Letters arrive from Newport daily at 6 am & 3.30 pm from Gloucester, Shrewsbury & Normanton, South Wales. T.P.O. night Newport & Pontypool; dispatched at 9 & 11.10 am, 4.20 (north mail), 6.10, 7.20 & 8.10 pm (except Sundays, then at 5.10 pm)
Wall Letter Boxes at Broad street, Bryn Terrace, Forge side, Garn, Glantorvaen terrace, Philip street, The Park & Victoria road cleared for the above despatches at 9 & 11.15 am & 4.25, 6.32, 7.20 & 8.10 pm. (except Sundays).
For list of magistrates, see Pontypool.
Treasurer: Thomas George Robertson, Metropolitan Bank (of England & Wales) Limited
Medical Officer of Health: Arthur Blair Avarne, MRCS (Eng.) & FCS, Lion street
Surveyor & Sanitary Inspector: Richard S. Widdowson, 34 James street
Collector: John Morgan, Lion street.
Superintendent of Fire Brigade: Richard J Arnold, New William Street.
County Police Station, Church road, Henry Lewis, sergeant, & 10 men
Urban District Council Fire Brigade, Engine house, Abergavenny rd. Richard J Arnold, captain, & 12 men
Town Hall,Evan Llewellyn, keeper
Assistant Overseer & Collector of Poor's Rates, John Morgan, Lion street
Coll ector of Queen's Taxes & Vaccination Officer, Abergavenny union, Daniel O'Reardon, 23 Ton Mawr road
Medical Officer & Public Vaccinator, Blaenavon District, Abergavenny Union, Arthur Blair Avarne MRCS (Eng.), Lion street
Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages & Relieving Officer, James Lewis, 13 Ton Mawr road
St. Peter's Church, Rev. Alfred Augustus Mathews B.A, vicar, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; wed.7.30 p.m
St. Paul's Church, Coedcae, erected 1893, Rev. Horatio Benyon B.A., New William street, curate; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. ; wed. 7.30 p.m
St. Jobn's Mission Church, The Garn
Mission Church, St. James', Rev. Frederick Lindon B.A.,curate; Sundays, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. ; tues. 7.30 p.m
Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart & St. Felix, served from Pontypool. 11 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Baptist (Welsh & English, Ebenezer), James st., Rev. Ioan Meredith; 11 am. & 6 pm.; mon. & thurs. 7.30 pm.
Baptist, Broad street, Rev. Thomas Phillips; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; wed. 7.30 p.m.
Baptist (Horeb), Church road, Rev. David Hughes; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; mon. & thurs. 7.30 p.m.
Baptist, Forge Side, Rev. R. L. Morris; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; mon. & thurs. 7.30 p.m.
Baptist King Street, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; mon. & thurs. 7.30 p.m.
Bible Christian, Broad street, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; mon. & thurs. 7.30 p.m.
Calvinistic Methodist, King street, Rev. D. Meyrug Jones; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.
Congregational (Welsh) (Bethlehem), Broad street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m. , thurs. 7.30 p.m.
Congregational, Lion street; Rev William Arvon Johns ; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.., tues. 7'30 p.m
Congregational (Welsh), James street, Rev. Thomas Mavonwy Davies; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. ; tues. 7 p.m
Primitive Methodist, Broad street, Rev. William Forth; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. ; tues. 7.30 p.m.
Wesleyan, Park street; Rev. Simon Snowdon; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. thurs. 7.30 p.m
Wesleyan (Wesley), Chapel row; Rev. Simon Snowdon; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. tues. 7 p.m ,
A Scbool Board was formed for Blaenavon and district, Jan.30, 1895, consisting of 7 members;
Daniel Evans, Broad street, clerk; Richard Arnold, New William st., attendance officer
Board (mixed & infants) (under Blaenavon School Board), erected in 1883, for 248 children; average attendance, 110 boys & girls; & 70 infants; Ricbard Lewis Parry, master. Mrs. Jones, infants' mistress ; Daniel Evans, Broad street, clerk.
Low Level Station (G.W.R.), Wm. Lewis, Station Master.
High Level Station (L.&N.W.R.), Hy. J. Duck, Station Master.