The first house to be built in Trefeglwys was Tymawr, which is to the South West of the village. Not so far from the house on the side of a little stream are the remains of a Roman blacksmith, which can still be plainly seen today. There is also some evidence of the Roman road from Caersws to Trefeglwys. It is believed that there was a small fortress near the Castell and that Ystradfaelog was a Roman street for bartering and the exchange of goods, both of which are near to the main Trefeglwys/Caersws road.
Details of St Michael's Church date back over many years and it has a very interesting plaque inside which gives some history of Trefeglwys. The church was founded by Bleddrws in the second quarter of the 12thC, when it was referred to as a 'monasterium', perhaps indicating some monastic link. It was subsequently granted to the Augustinian Abbey of Haughmond, probably just before 1150. The church is recorded in the Norwich Taxation of 1254 as 'Ecclesia de Treveglos' at a value of 13s 4d. Considerable work at the west end of the church was required in 1932. The west wall was presumably rebuilt at this time and the bell-turret was much renewed. Further restoration took place in 1970 and the church is currently having additional features added as well as maintenance.
In 1875, the old school was built which really was the turning point in Trefeglwys's history. During that time, the railway was built from the mainline at Caersws to the Van so that it could carry the lead that was being mined in the Van Lead Mines. The mines were one of the most productive in the whole of Europe and up to 200 men worked there. The Mine was closed in about 1920-1922, the train which travelled up to the mines was called the 'Van Donkey'. In the 1920's lots of young men left the area to work in the coal mines in South Wales.
There are a number of Black and White half timber houses in our community, some of which are important listed buildings. "Berthlas", is a fine example of a timber-framed farmhouse, circa 16th century. This stands outside the village and in 1797 a Sunday school was held there and in 1803 a free school established, making Berthlas the real beginning of schooling in this part of the community.
The Trefeglwys area is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday area and has much to offer the visitor. Access to a variety of countryside walking from moorland and mountain to wooded valley. There is much for those whose interests are art, history, folklore, ancient buildings or the study of wildlife.
At the beginning of the last century most farms in the Trannon valley were owned by a few wealthy landowners, the tenant farmers struggled to make a living. The Valley land was very wet and around 1870/1880 it was all drained. The government of the day supplied the pipes and the land owners the labour, which resulted in it becoming one of the most fertile valleys inWales. The decade 1870-1880 was very important in the Village's history. Early in that decade a new bridge and Methodist Chapel was built in Gleiniant, which is at the northern end of the village and a new Wesleyan Chapel in the centre of the village was also built. www.trefeglwyschurch.org.uk
The first Wesleyan church to be built in the village of Trefeglwys was in 1808 but was re-erected and opened in 1872. The majority of members at that time were Welsh speaking. "Zoar" celebrated its centenary in 1972.
Click HERE for the church's website.
The church was rebuilt on the foundations of the old church in 1864-5. The Perpendicular east window was retained, as were the old (reputedly 17thC) oak posts that support the turret. Also retained from the earlier church, as was a 15thC bell.
Hywel Harris visited the area and held preaching meetings at Upper Fridd and the Argoed.
There were 2 Corn Mills in the area driven by a water wheel off the Trannon River. Also 2 public Houses, the Red Lion and next door, the Belleview. There was a blacksmith, 2 wheelwright shops, 2 grocer shops and 2 shoemakers' shops, a garage and a butchers business. There was a full time policeman who lived in the centre of Trefeglwys who looked after the areas of Trefeglwys, Llawryglyn and Staylittle, unfortunately only the Red Lion and garage are still present.
Before the railway the nearest point of delivery was the Shropshire Union Canal at Newtown where everything came up on the barges and had to be transported up to Trefeglwys by horse and cart.
Towards the end of the millennium, the old memorial hall and old school had come to the end of their functional life so plans were made to build new ones positioned together on a new site. This was completed in time for the millennium celebrations.
There are many folk tales in this delightful area of mid-Wales, for instance, a locally well known 'white witch' is reputed to have lived in a tiny one up and one down house in the woods above Llynebyr (Lake Ebyr), the ruins of such a cottage can be seen in the woods. Llynebyr also has its own legends and is a beautiful place with its redwood trees.
For Trefeglwys Genealogical Records see: