World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000125430
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cowbridge  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wick, Vale of Glamorgan, Culverhouse Cross, Llantwit Major, James Frost, Ystradowen
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Welsh: Y Bont-faen

Cowbridge High Street
 Cowbridge shown within the Vale of Glamorgan
Population 4,063 (community 2011)[1]
OS grid reference
Community Cowbridge with Llanblethian
Principal area Vale of Glamorgan
Ceremonial county South Glamorgan
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CF71
Dialling code 01446
Police South Wales
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Vale of Glamorgan
Welsh Assembly Vale of Glamorgan
List of places
Vale of Glamorgan

Cowbridge (Wales, approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of Cardiff (12 miles west of Cardiff Bridge). Cowbridge is twinned with Clisson in the Loire-Atlantique department in northwestern France.


  • History 1
    • Roman times 1.1
    • Middle Ages 1.2
    • Georgian times 1.3
    • Notable buildings 1.4
    • Modern times 1.5
  • Governance 2
  • Schools 3
  • Sport 4
  • Cultural Activities 5
  • Notable residents 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Roman times

The town lies on the site of a Roman settlement identified by some scholars as the fort of Bovium (cow-place). Recent excavations have revealed extensive Roman settlement;[2] the town lies alongside a Roman road. There are 17th century references to a 'cow-bridge' over a tributary of the river Thaw (which flows through the town) but Cowbridge's Welsh name, Y Bont-faen, means literally 'the stone bridge'.[3]

Middle Ages

The town centre is still arranged on its medieval plan, with one long street divided into "burgage plots". It is one of very few medieval walled towns in Wales, and substantial portions of the walls, together with the south gate, are still standing. On 13 March 1254, Cowbridge received its first borough charter from Richard de Clare,[4] the Lord of Glamorgan. Richard de Clare was one of the most powerful Barons of the day, having huge estates stretching across much of South Wales and also lands in southern and eastern England.

From 1243 de Clare was actively extending his authority in Glamorgan; in 1245 he seized the manors of Llanblethian, Ruthin and Talyfan from Richard Siward, and the lordships of Miskin and Glynrhondda from Hywel ap Maredudd. In Llanblethian he founded the town of Cowbridge and in Miskin he founded the castle and town of Llantrisant. The largely medieval church of the Holy Cross was initially a chapel of ease to the parish church at Llanblethian. In 1307 Earl Gilbert de Clare, grandson of Richard de Clare, began work on the stone fortifications of St Quintins Castle in Llanblethian.

Llanblethian (June 2008)

The Battle of Stalling Down was fought near Cowbridge between an English army, serving King Henry IV of England, and a combined force of French and Welsh soldiers under Owain Glyndŵr in 1403. Details of the battle, its exact site and its outcome are scant, but the site has been recognised by Cadw for possible inclusion in a Register of Historic Battlefields in Wales.[5]

Georgian times

Cowbridge clock tower. It was presented to the town by the Bishop of Llandaff in 1836.

The 18th century National Eisteddfod of Wales, kept a bookshop in the High Street, the location of which is now marked with a plaque inscribed with the words Y Gwir yn erbyn y Byd ("Truth against the world") in Roman and ogham script. It was just outside the town that he held the first meeting of the Gorsedd, an assembly of bards, in 1795. Cowbridge Grammar School was founded in 1608 and had close links with Jesus College, Oxford through its later benefactor, Dr Leoline Jenkins. Its famous pupils included the poet Alun Lewis and the actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. The old grammar school eventually merged with Cowbridge High School for Girls to became a comprehensive school, and the original buildings, having for some time lain derelict, have been converted into private accommodation.

Notable buildings

Boxing Day Hunt in Cowbridge

The present Cowbridge Town Hall, a building dating back perhaps as far as the Elizabethan era, served as a prison until 1830, when it was converted into a town hall to replace the former Guild Hall, demolished at that date. The New Palladian Town Hall was built in 1830 by Isaiah Verity of Ash Hall who in gratitude was made a Freeman of Cowbridge. The money for the reconstruction was raised by public subscription.

Eight of the original prison cells are still intact, six of which house the exhibits of Cowbridge Museum.[6] The remainder of the building is used by the town council and for public events. The museum holds archaeological finds from Cowbridge and district, as well as displays on the later history of the town, including industrial and domestic artefacts, a photographic collection, and a small historical costume collection.

The main street contains a number of

  • Cowbridge Town Website
  • Website & Web Camera
  • ; photos of Cowbridge and surrounding area

External links

C. Chapman (1985) The Cowbridge Railway Oxford Publishing Company p22

  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  2. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press 2008.
  3. ^ Wyn Owen, H. and Morgan, R. (2008) Dictionary of the Place-names of Wales. Llandysul: Gomer.
  4. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg174. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  5. ^ Wales Online, "Battle sites set to get official status", 19 May 2011. Accessed 18 August 2013
  6. ^ Cowbridge (Ancient Borough) with Llanblethian Town Council. Accessed 11 June 2013
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Vale of Glamorgan Council
  10. ^ "The Market Theatre". 
  11. ^ "The Market Theatre". Retrieved 15 July 2013. 


See also

Notable people who attended school in Cowbridge include:

Notable residents

Until 1997, when it 'outgrew' the Town Hall stage, Cowbridge was also home to the Cowbridge Amateur Operatic Society (CAOS). Founded by a small group of enthusiasts, its first production was "The Pirates of Penzance" in 1969. CAOS continued its Gilbert and Sullivan theme until 1974, when the show of the year was "Die Fleidermaus". Still going strong, and having grown a youth wing (Total CAOS), CAOS is now based at Llantwit Major.

Cowbridge is also home to the Cowbridge Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS), based at the Market Theatre.[10] CADS was formed in 1947 and aims to stage three main productions each year. The Society also publishes a newsletter, "The Thespian", three or four times each year.[11]

Cultural Activities

September 2009 also saw the reintroduction of senior football to Cowbridge Town after a ten-year absence. Starting in the third tier of the Vale of Glamorgan Amateur Football League the team achieved great success in their first season back, achieving an unlikely cup-promotion double.The 2011-12 season saw the club gain their second promotion in three years to reach the premier division.

Cowbridge also has a leisure centre where can be found various clubs including, tennis, football and badminton. Behind Cowbridge Leisure Centre is Cowbridge Bowling Club and tennis courts.

Cowbridge is home to Alex Jones. Glamorgan CCC played county fixtures at Cowbridge in the 1930s.


Y Bontfaen primary school in Borough Close has a roll of about 245 including the nursery Y Bloddau Fach. Ysgol Iolo Morganwg with Y Meithrin ("the nursery") is adjacent and is a Welsh speaking school.

In September 2010, the new school was officially opened to students. All approximately 1300 students can now be found on the one site instead of the three separate buildings that were all situated in different locations in Cowbridge.

Cowbridge Comprehensive School has approximately 1300 pupils, and is one of the best performing secondary schools in Wales. It achieved 94% A*-C at GCSE in 2010. The school was located on three sites, with the Lower School in the south-west of the town and Middle School and Sixth Form in the north-east. Cowbridge Comprehensive School completed a major redevelopment in September 2010 to bring the entire school to one site (the former Middle School/Sixth Form site) using Welsh Assembly Government funding.[9]


An electoral ward with the same name exists. This ward includes Cowbridge but stretches south to Llanfair. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 6,180.[8]


On the 21 March 1950 a Bristol Freighter (Registration: G-AHJJ) on a test flight took off from Bristol Filton Airport. The aircraft crashed near Cowbridge after a structural failure of the fuselage. It caused the aircraft to entre spin and crash. The accident killed all four passengers and crew on board.[7]

Cowbridge once had a railway station, which opened in 1865 and closed in 1951.

Closely attached to the town of Cowbridge is the village of Aberthin. Aberthin contains two inns; The Hare and Hounds and The Farmers Arms.

Cowbridge contains the following inns: the Bear Hotel, the Horse and Groom, the Edmondes Arms, the Duke of Wellington and the Vale of Glamorgan. The latter is located at the premises of the former Vale of Glamorgan Brewery.

Modern times
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.