Ystradgynlais History

Cae Hopkin Congregational Vestry

Cae Hopkin Congregational Vestry


Cae Hopkin Sunday School Vestry, also known as Cae Hopkin Congregational Vestry, was an establishment in the village owned by Ty'nycoed Welsh Congregational Chapel. It was located on the road that led towards Cae Hopkin School, and is today a private house.

Cae Hopkin congregational vestry, known generally as the "festri", was established in 1897. It was built as an extension of Ty'nycoed Chapel to serve the increasing population of the area, growing as it was due to the the Abercrave coal mine. When it was built, its attendance was around 35 in prayer meetings, and 72 children attending Sunday School.

Cae Hopkin congregational vestry remained a successful branch of Ty'NyCoed Chapel for around 70 years. The eventual decrease in numbers came as a result of two things - on the one hand, the decline of the Abercrave coal mine, and on the other that by then other independent chapels had been established in the area to serve the population, including Bethlehem Chapel, Cae'rlan, and Bryn Seion Chapel, Abercrave, both of which started as offshoots of Ty'NyCoed.

Thank you to Yan James for the above information on Twitter, where Ty'NyCoed can be followed at @CNycoed

The namestone of Cae Hopkin Congregational vestry reads:-


In English this would be:-


which transliterates as 'Congregational Schoolroom'.

These photographs of the old congregational vestry were taken from the public highway in March 2021.

The approach to Cae Hopkin vestry

Cae Hopkin congregational vestry, now a private house

Archived minutes of the Ystradgynlais Rural District Council including the following two references to Cae Hopkin congregational vestry:-

From The Llais

The Llais newspaper had always included a round-up of happenings at local churches and chapels, even when these were not part of any particular story. Sometimes they advertised forthcoming events, and at other times who was preaching, or had preached there recently.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, January 1926:-

At Caehopkin Congregational Vestry the members of the Sunday School were presented with useful books and text cards for the best attendance during the past year on Christmas Day.

Mention of Cae Hopking Congregational Vestry in the Llais