Abertillery shown within Blaenau Gwent
|Population||11,528 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Principal area||Blaenau Gwent|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Blaenau Gwent|
|Welsh Assembly||Blaenau Gwent|
Abertillery (English pronunciation: //; from Welsh Abertyleri, meaning "mouth of the river Tyleri", Welsh pronunciation: [abɛrtəˈleːrɪ]) is a town in the county borough of Blaenau Gwent in South Wales, 16 miles (26 km) north-west of Newport, originally on the Great Western Railway. Its population rose steeply during the period of mining development in South Wales, being 10,846 in the 1891 census and 21,945 ten years later. Lying in the mountainous mining district of the former counties of Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire, in the valley of the Ebbw Fach, the population was traditionally employed in the numerous coal-mines, ironworks and tin-plate works, now defunct. Further up the same valley are the mining townships of Nantyglo and Blaina.
Abertillery has a traditional-style town centre and several small schools. Today, its population numbers just over 11,000 and is thought to be declining. In 2003, Abertillery was found to have the cheapest houses in the United Kingdom, according to a survey by the Halifax, with an average price of only £37,872. Noted for its unspoilt rural scenery, Abertillery neighbours the small districts of Aberbeeg (Aber-bîg), Llanhilleth (Llanhiledd), Cwmtillery (Cwmtyleri), and Six Bells (Chwe Chloch).
The coal mines were the predominant economic emphasis from the 1850s until the mines closed in the 1980s. Over the past couple of decades the town has been transformed from an industrial relic into the clean, modernised area it is today – this has largely been achieved due to large amounts of European Union Objective One funding which has helped the town remove unsightly reminders of the industrial past. Many of these areas have been utilised as playing fields, business parks or mixed use land (including the local comprehensive school). A complete regeneration of the town centre is planned for 2012-2013.
The town's name is pronounced with the emphasis on the penultimate syllable, i.e. it rhymes with Mary, as in a song made popular by Welsh entertainer Ryan Davies: "Blodwen and Mary from Abertillery..."
Abertillery is home to cricket club Abertillery Town Cricket Club who were formed in the 1880s. The town's rugby union club is Abertillery Blaenau Gwent RFC who also formed in the mid-1880s. The town supports two local Saturday football teams – Abertillery Bluebirds and Abertillery Excelsiors.
Abertillery is twinned with
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Abertillery". Encyclopædia Britannica 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 61
- "Abertillery's the cheapest town". South Wales Echo. 25 January 2003. p. 3.
- Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abertillery". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
- The Welsh Language Board (26 February 2004). "No. & Percentage Welsh speakers 3+ By Community and Age" (XLS)