The Quarry at Mynydd Henllys
|Henllys shown within Torfaen|
|Area||10.74 km2 (4.15 sq mi) |
|Population||2,682 Census, 2011|
|• Density||250/km2 (650/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
"There is nothing spectacular about Henllys. Most of the farms are small, and their beauty lies in the woods and hedgerows each side of the steep lanes. Henllys is neglected by visitors to this part of the country, unless they are directed there by kind friends, or become entangled in the lanes by misdirection or accident; yet there are those who know Henllys and become so attached to it that their walks are taken in no other direction" - Olive Phillips.
The welsh name translates as "old court" and may refer to the place were the ruler held his court in the upland part of the Cantref of Gwynllwg., or to a court held by travelling magistrates at Court Farm. The name has changed over the years from Henthles or Henllyse in the 13th century, Henlis in the 16th century, Henllis in the 17th century, and Hentllys in the 19th century.
Henllys lies in the Eastern Valley (Afon Lwyd) of South East Wales in the shadow of Mynydd Henllys mountain and its summit Twmbarlwm, and is on the eastern edge of the South Wales coalfield. It is about 4 miles north-west of Newport and is in the south-west of Cwmbran.
- See also History of Newport.
Early human activity in the area is indicated by a group of four cairns above Henllys (west of Craig y Dyffryn), which are thought to be Bronze Age. Also, at least part of nearby Twmbarlwm (the large oval enclosure) is thought to be Iron Age. 
In the Roman era, Henllys was only four miles from the roman fortress at Caerleon (Isca Augusta). The Silures, whose territory approximates to the areas of the historic counties of Monmouthshire, Glamorganshire and Breconshire, engaged in fierce resistance to the Roman occupation.
- See also Wales in the Roman era.
After the Roman era, the territory of the Silures eventually split into various kingdoms including Gwynllwg (an area between the Rhymney and Usk Rivers) encompassing present-day Henllys. Gwynllwg was of the seven cantrefs of Glywysing (modern-day Glamorgan).
The church at Henllys (St Peter's) is first mentioned 1230-1240. None of the openings of church is dateable earlier than the 15th/16th centuries, but construction of the nave and weeping chancel suggests the 13th century. One of the two bells in the tower is dated 1350.:283
The church, which was restored in 1872, is a Grade II* listed building. The remains of a medieval preaching cross in the churchyard is a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Monument. Inside the church, a memorial stone on the north wall warns:
Consider then and be not proud,
Thy time will come to wear a shroud
With me and them that's gone before
To lie with worms which Craves for more.:283
Henllys was a parish, in the Wentloog Hundred from medieval times, and until industrialization, was a sparsely populated rural community.
Farming community - buildings - age - church.
Welsh Acts creating Monmouthshire. of Monmouthshire (historic),
The rise of non-conformism, methodism, and the start of industrial revolution in the 18th century lead to great changes in the 19th century in education, religion, local government, transportation and industrialization. The development of coal-mining and quarrying had a particular effect in Henllys.
Around 1815 Cyrus Hanson opened a colliery on the eastern upper slopes of Mynydd Maen, just above Dorallt, in the northwest of Henllys. The area also served as a quarry and was linked to the Monmouth and Brecon Canal at Two Locks where brickworks were built. The tramway was know as The Incline or Hanson's Incline.
The Zoar Baptist Chapel was built in 1822 (and rebuilt in 1836). The chapel is now disused.
Prior to the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, the vestries of individual parishes such as Henllys were responsible for administration of the poor laws. Henllys was one of the constituent parishes when the Newport Poor law union was formed in 1836.
The Religious Census of 1851 shows the population of Henllys as 265 (147 males, 118 females). Attendances at churches in the area were:
- St Peters church: 50 and 14 scholars (one service a week, alternating between Welsh and English).
- Zoar Baptist: morning 70, evening 100.
- Wesleyan Methodist (service held in a dwelling house): evening, 23 and 12 scholars. The leader (Uriah Barnell) claimed that "Several of the neighbours who generally attend being away from home made the congregation less on March 30 than the average...".
In 1868 the children of the parish attended the free school at Bassaleg. The Rogerstone & Henllis School Board was created in 1974 (Elementary Education Act 1870). In 1878 a board school was built in Henllys.
The Mount Pleasant Baptist Chapel was built in 1876.
20th century to present day
1900s - beginning of decline of coal mining.
Colliery closed in 1927.
New factories near by - Nuffield Trust, Westons Biscuits, Saunders Valve
1935 Merger of St Mellons with Magor.
1946 New Towns act.
(1947 - Dorallt is name on OS map)
Trying a reference to a zoomable OS map.  1949 Cwmbran New Town approved.
19?? Building starts. CDC
1960s Cwmbran expands (Coed Eva and Oaksford) and encroaches on Henllys.
In 1972, the Local Government Act 1972 creates new counties in Wales, and Monmouthshire is replaced by Gwent, which will be split into 5 five districts including Torfaen. Henllys (unlike the rest of Magor and St Mellons Rural District which will become part of Newport County Borough) will become part of Torfaen District Council (formed from Cwmbran, Pontypool, and Blaenavon Urban Districts).
(1975 - community round Dorallt named Henllys on OS map.)
Later that year, Cwmbran Development Corporation announced plans to include Henllys in the future expansion of Cwmbran New Town. The plans were strongly opposed by the residents of Henllys Village.
In 1974 the provisions of the 1972 Local Government Act are implemented and Henllys becomes part of Torfaen District Council (which will later become Torfaen County Borough Council).
In 1975 the Secretary of State for Wales approved the plans to extend the town of Cwmbran to include Henllys, and build an additional 2,300 new homes.:187
In 1980 and 1981 Cwmbran Development Corporation submitted compulsory purchase orders for the expansion of Henllys to the Secretary of State for Wales for confirmation. These were the last compulsory orders for new housing development submitted by Cwmbran Development Corporation before it was wound up in 1988.:190
In 1981 the village school creating a record of the village as it was at the time and its history.
In the second half of the 1980s the new estate of Henllys was built around the village.
In 1991 the village school closed and pupils were transferred to the new school in the estate.
Population and demographics
Whilst care must be taken in comparing statistics from different dates, the old parish of Henllys is very similar in size and shape to the existing community.
The tables show the steady rise of the population to almost double in the 19th century and the massive increase when the new estate was built in the the 1980s.
Census details from 1831 and 1981 show the change from a predominately rural community to one where most were involved in mining, quarrying, and related industries. In 1831, of males over 20, 44 (~85%) were employed in Agriculture, and 8 (~15%) in Retail and Handicrafts. In 1881, of males, 36 (~38%) were employed in Agriculture, 49 (~52%) in Various Mineral Substances, and 10 (~%11) in other categories.
- Not to be confused with Henllys Vale, Cwmllynfell, Carmathenshire, in the south west of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
When the Newport writer, artist and school teacher Fred Hando passed through Henllys Vale he remarked that "...the spirit of W. H. Davies broods among the brooklands." Mr. Dando might have been thinking of the first lines of Davies' poem Leisure.
Local amenities, groups, and areas of interest
The area includes:
- Two public houses, the Dorallt Inn and the Castell Y Bwch, and a hotel and restaurant, confusingly called Cwrt Henllys (it was a farm called Dorallt Fach and is not the much older Cwrt Henllys which is now called Cwrt Farm).
- A convenience store.
- The old village school is now a privately owned day nursery, Henllys Village Nursery.
- The new village hall hosts regular classes and activities and is also used for functions and parties. It includes a main hall, meeting room, kitchen and bar.
- 1st Henllys Scouts Group - beaver, cub and scout groups.
- Henllys Open Space Local Nature Reserve (one of 6 LNRs in Torfaen).
- Henllys Bog, a small valley mire, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
For elections to Torfaen County Borough Council, Henllys is part of the Two Locks electoral ward (also known as Two Locks and Henllys) which returns three councillors. At the last election in 2012 two Welsh Labour candidates and one Independent candidate were elected.
The community of Henllys has its own community council (Henllys Community Council) which has seven councillors.
- Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT) records are online at Archwilio. This does not allow direct addressing for each record, so to find their records online, copy the PRN (Primary Reference Number), follow the link to navigate to the GGAT section of Archwilio, and search using the PRN.
- "2011 Census:Quick Statistics:Population Density for Henllys". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- Phillips, Olive (1951). Monmouthshire. London: Robert Hale.
- "Henllys Circular Walk" (PDF). Torfaen County Borough. 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Henllys Village:About". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Cairns West of Craig-y-Duffyn". Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. GGAT PRNs: 00138g, 00139g, 00140g, 00141g. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Twm Barlwm". Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. GGAT PRN: 00115g. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Lloyd, John Edward (1911). A History of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest. 1 (1st ed.). London: Longmans, Green. p. 278.
- "St Peter's Church at Henllys". Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. GGAT PRN: 05013g. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Salter, Mike (2002). The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower (2nd ed.). Malvern: Folly Publications. p. 25.
- Barber, Chris (1999). EASTERN VALLEY The Story of Torfaen (1st ed.). Abergavenny: Blorenge Books. ISBN 1 872730 23 X.
- "Listed Buildings in Torfaen" (PDF). Torfaen County Borough. May 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Ancient Monuments in Torfaen" (PDF). Torfaen County Borough. May 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Colleries - Gwent - Henllys". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Zoar Baptist Chapel, Castell-y-Bwch". Coflein. 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "1836 The Newport Poor Law Union". Mongenes website. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Jones, I.G.; Williams, D., eds. (1976). The Religious census of 1851: A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales. 1, South Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
- The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland. Virtue. 1868. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Rogerstone & Henllis School Board Records:Context". Archives Wales. 2005. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Kelly's 1891 Directory of Monmouthshire. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "St Mellons Rural District Council Records:Context". Archives Wales. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Magor and St Mellons Rural District Council Records:Context". Archives Wales. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Ordnance Survey Sheet 31/29". National Library of Scotland. 1947.
- "Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 4, Part II". The National Archives - legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Henlly Plans Attack on Expansion Scheme". South Wales Argus. Newport. 4 October 1972. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "No. 48087". The London Gazette. 1 Febuary 1980. Check date values in:
- "No. 48768". The London Gazette. 16 October 1981.
- Sue Pickavance (August 1981). "Before the storm:Village life at Henllys goes on record". Checkpoint. Cwmbran. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Henllys AP/CP through time / Population Statistics / Total Population, A Vision of Britain through Time.". Retrieved 1 December 2013. Cite error: Invalid
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- "2001 Census:Key Statistics:Parish Headcounts". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Monmouthshire Parish Map". Monmouthshire Family History. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Henllys AP/CP through time / Industry Statistics / Males aged 20 over, in four industrial categories, A Vision of Britain through Time.". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Henllys AP/CP through time / Industry Statistics / Occupation data classified into the 24 1881 Orders, plus sex, A Vision of Britain through Time.". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Hando, Fred J. (1954). Monmouthshire Sketch Book. Newport: R. H. Johns. p. 62.
- "Henllys Bog SSSI". Gwent Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Torfaen County Borough Election Results" (PDF). 3rd May 2012. pp. 38 & 39. Retrieved 3 December 2103. Check date values in:
- Torfaen County Borough Council
- Grade II* listed buildings in Torfaen
- Scheduled Monuments in Torfaen
- Communities of Torfaen
- Henllys Village community website
- Henllys Church in Wales Primary School
- Henllys Community Council
- Henllys Village Hall
- Friends of Henllys Local Nature Reserve
- Gwent Wildlife Trust - Henllys Bog
- Torfaen County Borough Council