Definitions

bead-house

Bedwas

Bedwas is a village 2 miles north-east of Caerphilly, south Wales, situated in the Caerphilly county borough, within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire.

It neighbours Trethomas and Machen, and forms a council ward in conjunction with those communities.

Early History

Bedwas can be traced as far back as 1500 bc. Traditionally a farming community, Bedwas was originally called Lower Bedwas. Maesycwmmer, a small village not far from Bedwas, was called Upper Bedwas. The two villages became known as what we know them today in the 19th century. Bedwas owes much of its own development to the development of the South Wales coalfield and the Welsh coal mining industry This is depicted in the early Census records. According to the 1811 census, Lower Bedwas consisted of 47 occupied houses and 65 families. 59 of these families were engaged in agriculture and 6 in trade, manufacture and handycraft. There were 254 residents in Lower Bedwas in 1811, 130 males and 124 females. By 1911, the population had risen to 3231 according to the census. In the late 19th century it was home to four coal pits and the construction of a large-scale colliery, Bedwas Navigation Colliery, had been completed by 1913.

After coal mining

Bedwas Navigation Colliery, along with other collieries, closed in the Miners' Strike of 1984-85, and did not reopen. Light industry replaced mining as the main local employer. Bedwas House Industrial Estate houses the home of the nationwide brand Peters Pies, local depot for Stagecoach Buses and formerly a warehouse for General Electric.== Music ==

Bedwas has a prize-winning championship brass band, the Bedwas Trethomas and Machen Band, which was formed in 1972 and rehearses twice a week in Bedwas. The band is currently ranked 16th in the world (as of July 2008) and competes at the very highest level. BTM Band has represented Wales at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall,London nine times and twice at the European Championships. The have qualified again for the National Finals in October 2008. They are current Welsh league champions and they make their own CDs at their own recording studiowhich is available for hire to other groups.

Bedwas is also home to the singer/guitarist Richard J. Morgan. Richard found semi-fame after appearing on such TV shows as Blue Peter and X Factor. He has also released a number of albums on his own record label. His favourite Welsh singer is David Alexander. His family still live in Bedwas but he now resides in West Wales with his fiance.

Sport

Bedwas is home to a rugby union club that is currently in the Welsh Premier league and also has an active comprehensive school side.

Welsh international football player, Robert Earnshaw, owned a house on Pandy Road in Bedwas and was brought up in the Caerphilly area before signing professional terms with Cardiff City.

Parish church

The parish church of St. Barrwg, affiliated to the Church of Wales, has a saddle-back tower and dates back to at least the 12th Century.

Literary association

George Borrow passed through Bedwas in November 1854. He recorded it in his later book of his travels 'Wild Wales' as Pentref Bettws which he said meant village of the bead-house.

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