Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Ystradgynlais
Gough's buildings 4
 
  Water Street and The Square  
 

This 1877 map shows the layout of the streets on the southern end of the "island" of old Ystradgynlais. They have not changed that much from the layout indicated on the 1837 map. (see Gough buildings 1)

 
 

All the streets shown on this section of the map used to be marked as "Gough's Buildings" though they gradually became known under different names.

(1) This long row of Victorian workers' houses along the canal bank is now known as Rhetr Fawr.
From the lowly beginnings of this row several men went on to excel in their chosen field. Perhaps the most renowned of these was musician and composer Dr Daniel Prothero.

 

(2) The tiny houses of Water Street were built on the very edge of the river and eventually had to be demolished as they flooded regularly.

(3) Sardis Chapel was first sited further north but was forced to move (see Gough Buildings 3). The congregation managed to assemble for a while in houses in Penybont Row and Gough Buildings (Rhestr Fawr). Residents gave up parts of their gardens for a site for a new chapel, and so a fine new building was put up by the chapel members themselves in 1861 using materials from the old chapel.

(4) The Square, Ystradgynlais, in front of the Ynyscedwyn Arms, was the heart of the community during the Victorian period, and shops developed around it. The Square was also a natural gathering place for open air meetings and protests.

 
 
This photograph from the end of Queen Victoria's reign shows Water Street on the far left, Sardis Chapel just to its right, and Rhestr Fawr running across the background.

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