The Cynon Valley Collection, is the story of our valley from the earliest times to the present day. It is the story of you, your family and friends and the people of the Cynon Valley. Each object in the collection has a story to tell, ‘Stories from the Collection’ takes a look at the objects which make up our collection, shining a light on the individual stories which make up the history of the Cynon Valley.

The Cynon Valley in Prehistory: The Neolithic

A Different Way of Life: The Neolithic The beginning of the ‘early Neolithic c.4100-3000 BCE’ saw individuals in society move from the Mesolithic forager to a more domesticated, sedentary living. This type of living is evident across Wales and in the archaeology of the Valleys. The climate generally would have been warmer and dryer than it […]

A Walking Tour of Aberdare’s Jewish History

  The Jewish community in Aberdare dates from the 1860s. Slater’s Directory of South Wales for 1858/59 includes the name of Harris Freedman, and Lyons and Hyman are listed as trading in Aberdare as pawnbrokers and general dealers. There is mention of Abraham Freedman of Aberdare as a contributor to many Jewish causes between 1865 […]

The Cynon Valley in Prehistory: The Mesolithic

The Cynon Valley in Prehistory The prehistory of the Cynon Valley remains a distant image, its past obscured. Through archaeological investigations we have begun to learn more about the valley’s prehistoric past.  This series of archaeology articles will take a look at our valleys distant past looking at material held in the Cynon Valley Museum […]

The Linton Brothers

The Linton Brothers took the cycling world by storm, they beat the best from across the world and became some of the world’s first sport stars. This is their story.   Growing Up As with so many stories from the Cynon Valley, our story starts with industry, coal in particular. John and Sarah Linton joined […]

Railways of the Cynon valley

This story from the collection will take you on a whistle stop tour of the valley’s railways through several photographs from the Cynon Valley Museum. We will look at some railway ‘outposts’ of the valley, an example of railways and the coal industry as well as the largest and most impressive station to be built […]

Y Côr Mawr Commemorative Medal

This fine silver commemorative medal was presented by Richard Fothergill of Abernant House, ironmaster and Member of Parliament for Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil to each member of Y Côr Mawr following the choir’s successful win at the Crystal Palace in 1873. Five hundred medals were struck, one for each choir member, and a singular gold […]

A Lloyd George Bread and Butter Plate

At the beginning of the First World War Britain was heavily reliant on imports for its food. It was necessary to import 78% of the wheat and flour and 40% of the meat needed to supply the country. Panic buying and hoarding at the outbreak of war also stripped the shops of goods. By 1917 […]

A historic walk around Aberdare town centre

Many of us visit Aberdare to shop and for social purposes, but how well do we know it and observe as we walk around? This post reveals some of the history of Aberdare Town Centre, including relics and buildings you can still see today. *Disclaimer* Please do not use this as a guide to visit […]

Framing Jewish Histories

Hi, I am Klavdija Erzen and I am the Project Manager for the Jewish History Association of South Wales (JHASW). JHASW was established in January 2018 to preserve the cultural heritage of the South Wales Jewish communities; to make these materials available in local archives and museums, and online; and to promote and raise awareness […]

Photography imitating art

The Cynon Valley has been home to many talented artists over history. This week we look into the lives of two very different artists – photographer Hans Hoyer, and “the Welsh Van Gogh”, Nicholas Evans – both inspired by the surrounding landscape and industries. The selection made is based on ‘Photography Imitating Art’. This article […]

A Neolithic Axe from Mynydd Bwlfa

The Cynon Valley Museum’s collection stretches back to the Neolithic (4100BC – 2500BC) when farming had recently been introduced to Wales and technology to manufacture metal tools remained undiscovered. In this time, people lived in small permanent and semi-permanent groups and relied on tools made from stone, bone and wood. In the Cynon Valley, we […]

The Abernant Station Sign

Among several railway items displayed at the Cynon Valley Museum is the metal British Railways (Western Region) sign from Abernant Station (not the sign pictured above). Abernant Railway Station The station was opened in November 1854 when the Vale of Neath line to Aberdare (1851) was extended from Gelli Tarw Junction (near Hirwaun) to Merthyr […]

Mr G. I. John’s Wagon Models

This latest article tells the stories of four model wagons in the Cynon Valley collection. G. I. John: Town librarian, Aberdare. The four examples of model wagons in this article belonged to Mr G. I. John, who for a long time was the town librarian for Aberdare under the Aberdare Urban District Council. Mr John […]

Sister, sister: 19th century sketches of the Cynon valley

The Museum holds a significant collection of sketches by the Bacon Sisters, many of which are available to view on the People’s Collection Wales website. Who were the Bacon sisters? The sketches were drawn between 1819 -1830 by Emma, Helen, and Lucy Bacon, while holidaying with their uncle, Anthony Bacon II, at his residence on […]


Morris Jacon: A Draper for All

Morris Jacobs clothed the people of the Cynon Valley. Starting out as pawnbroker Morriss would move and expand his buisness becoming famed as a draper for all people. This is his story told through the collection at the Cynon Valley Museum. Follow the link for the full exhibtion.

Record Sleeve Sold By Victor Freed
The Life of Victor Freed

Victor Freed business, described as the complete house furnisher’s and musical instrument dealer’s. Opening in 1904 the buisness expanded and by the 1950’s had spread across South Wales. This is the life of Victor Freed told through the collection at the Cynon Valley Museum. Follow the link for the full exhibtion.

Merchants and Moneylenders: Popular Jewish Businesses in the Cynon Valley

Do you remember any of these businesses? Jacobs and Sons Ltd, Jane Cooper, Aberdare Furnishing Company, The Record Salon, M Sugarman and Sons and Victor Freed’s? They were all run by Jewish families. Research by JHASW has revealed their history. Follow the link for the full exhibtion.


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image if triple tandem being rode by 3 men, image black and white
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