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St John the Evangelist's church
Cilybebyll is located in Neath Port Talbot
 Cilybebyll shown within Neath Port Talbot
Population 4,769 (2001)[1]
OS grid reference SN7404
Community Cilybebyll
Principal area Neath Port Talbot
Ceremonial county West Glamorgan
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEATH
Dialling code 01792
Police South Wales
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Neath
Welsh Assembly Neath
List of places
Neath Port Talbot

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Cilybebyll /ˌkɪləˈbɛbɪl/ is a village and community in Neath Port Talbot County Borough in Wales. It includes the villages of Alltwen, Fforest Gôch, Gellinudd and Rhos, and is located 1.9 miles (3.1 km) east of Pontardawe, 4.7 miles (7.6 km) north of Neath and 10.3 miles (16.6 km) north east of Swansea. The community has a population of 4,806.[2]

The Cilybebyll estate was established in the 15th century,[3] and after development by various families, by 1838 was recorded as having the largest land holding in the district. The main house, Plas Cilybebyll, was redeveloped in 1840 by Henry Leach, creating a south-facing Victorian facade on the property. His son Frances Edward Leach inherited the estate in 1848, changing his name to Lloyd in 1849 by Royal Charter in order not to forfeit his inheritance. The family remained in residence until the early 20th century, when the family records were passed to Swansea Museum. The main house today is a guest house.

Coal mining

Like much of South Wales, small-scale coal mining has taken place in the area for many centuries.[4] By 1849 it was producing large quantities of coal, which were readily transported around the world from the docks at Swansea.[5] The dangers of coal mining past and present are highlighted by two disasters in the locality. In 1858, 14 men and boys died as a result of engine fumes being accidentally pumped into the Primrose Colliery.[6] In 2008 the community council commemorated the 150th anniversary with a plaque on a park bench.

On 15 September 2011, water poured into the mine workings at Gleision Colliery, a small scale colliery which had expanded as the price of anthracite had risen. Three miners escaped to the surface, with one taken to Morriston Hospital. Units from the Mines Rescue Service were called in from across the United Kingdom, to rescue four men located 90 metres (300 ft) below the surface.[7] Four bodies were subsequently found. Parallel inquiries into the causes of the disaster were launched by South Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive.[8]


  1. "Community population 2011". Retrieved 12 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Parish Headcounts: Neath Port Talbot". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "West Glamorgan Archive Service: Cilybebyll Estate Papers". Your Gateway to History. Archifau Cymru. Retrieved 15 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gleision Colliery near Cilybebyll: Brief history. BBC News Wales, 15 Sept 2011
  5. Samuel Lewis (1849). "Killymaenllwyd - Knighton". A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 20 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. documents Accessed 20 May 2013
  7. "Four Miners Trapped in Swansea Valley Mine, Three Freed". BBC News Wales. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Morris, Steven (16 September 2011). "Fourth Miner Found Dead in Wales". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links