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The Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

1896 to 1978

A personal record of the life and times of the
County Grammar School for Boys
published by the old pupils of the School


Latest additions

Updated  November 1st 2014

Established September 2001
by Steve Hammonds

November 2014


Welcome to the website of the old Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School. The web server continues to provide pages to visitors from all over the world, and the website continues to grow thanks to your contributions. If you have any photos or documents to share please let me know - my email address can be found in the panel on the right. Alternatively, you may wish to make a suggestion for an entry in the Former Pupils section, if so please let me have details, and a picture if possible. To see full details of what has been added recently, click the link shown below ‘Latest Additions’ in the column on the left. Thank you again to all those who have already made contributions by writing short articles or by sending in photos.


Aberdare News

Sam Tegeltija’s report from WalesOnline dated September 5th, 2014, on the opening of the new Community School, click here.
Other recent stories about the new school, and the Aberdare area in general, from the same source include the following: possible RCT/Merthyr merger, former Blaengwawr Comprehensive School online archive, (the archive itself is here), visits to the new school building, ex-teachers redundancy payments, cuts at Pontypridd including loss of the catering function and the accommodation facility at the Dare Valley Country Park, Cwmdare. Two reports of a more optimistic nature: Cynon Valley Museum & Gallery, Muni Arts Centre Pontypridd.
Readers may also be interested to know that in mid-October Christie’s of London sold 15 photographs of colliery headframes for £242,500. Amongst the 15 were the headframes at Tower, Bwllfa (probably No.2) and Deep Duffryn, (click the photographs repeatedly to see larger versions).

Past students can keep abreast of the developments at the newly opened Aberdare Community School by visiting its website, which is at A video presentation including an interview with First Minister Carwyn Jones, Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Education and Skills, Headteacher Mrs Sue Davies & student Elis Nash can be found in the ‘News’ section.

Former Aberdare High School

The 28-page colour commemorative booklet, “End of an Era”, distributed at the final Prize and Speech Evening of Aberdare (Boys’) High School can be read, or downloaded, here.

Girls’ School Centenary Booklet

The Aberdare Girls’ School Centenary Booklet is available for purchase from the school, price £4 plus £1 UK p&p, Aberdare Community School (Plasdraw Campus), Cwmbach Road, Aberdare, CF44 0NF. Tel. 01685 872460.

Cwmdare Rd School

Some Background Information about Aberdare County School
The school building was completed in July 1894 but, for reasons explained in the History section of this website, opened two years later on September 28th, 1896 as The Aberdare Technical and Intermediate Schools with Head Master W. Jenkyn Thomas and four assistant teachers: two men and two women. There were 141 pupils present by the end of the first term, 88 boys and 53 girls, taught in mixed classes for the majority of their subjects, although the building had separate entrances for boys and girls.

The school soon became known as The County School and remained so until the early sixties when the Grammar School name became more widely used. The pupils from the lower end of the Cynon Valley left in 1907 when Mountain Ash County School opened initially at Gwernifor, Miskin, moving to Dyffryn House much later in 1926. Then in 1913, the girls together with the women staff left for their own school in Plasdraw.

There was little significant change at the County School in terms of the nature of staffing and curriculum over the years until the Trecynon buildings were vacated in 1964 and the school relocated to the bottom of Cwmdare Hill.

In 1978 the Boys’ Grammar School closed and there was a fairly smooth transition to comprehensive status, when the Aberdare Boys Comprehensive School opened. Many of the existing staff were reappointed to the new school which was housed in the ex-grammar school buildings on Cwmdare Road, as the upper school. The buildings of Rhydywaun Secondary Modern School in Penywaun, which had also changed status, housed the lower school. The lower school at Rhydywaun was eventually brought to a new building at Cwmdare Road after two serious fires at Rhydywaun caused almost complete loss of its buildings.

From September  1st, 2009 Aberdare Boys Comprehensive School, was renamed Aberdare High School (opens in new window). The school adopted a new badge, which shows a similarity to the original grammar school design with ‘dragon and book’. The picture, above right, shows the school as it was in 1978, but additionally there is now a large sports hall on the site, behind the two-story block on the right. The new hall is both a school and a community facility. The decision has been made by RTCBC to close the Boys’ High School, the Girls Comprehensive (at Plasdraw and The Gadlys) and Blaengwawr Comprehensive School. It is intended that the pupils of all three schools will be housed in a new school to be built at The Ynys, near the centre of Aberdare, and which is planned to open in September 2014. Aberdare would then have three secondary schools instead of the current five.
For further details of the reorganisation scheme, click here.

Lower School 2013
Aberdare High School, The Lower School, Summer 2013.
Upper School 2013
Aberdare High School, The Upper School, Summer 2013.

Trecynon School Clock

clock tower

The asking price of ‘The Old Clock Tower’ is £275,000. The tower and adjacent room have been converted into a new home that featured in both the South Wales Echo and the Cynon Valley Leader in July 2009. The Echo article was particularly impressive with a three-page spread, including a full-page photo of the building on the front page of the homeWALES supplement. The current owner is Ray Radnedge of Radnedge Architectural Antiques in Llanelli. In the article he says he initially purchased the clock only. But he then heard that the tower was to be demolished by the developer, so he bought that too. The inside pages show several views of both the exterior and of the internal fittings. Details of the property can be seen on the estate agent’s website by clicking here.

A gallery of photographs showing the reinstatement of the clock can be found in the School Building section of this website. The weather vane now completes the architectural fittings at the top of the dome, and the clock faces are now illuminated at night. The clock, which had been removed for restoration and repair, consists of a two-and-a-half tonne structure made of solid oak with cast iron facings, copper roof, and a 10 ft pendulum.

Contact Us

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Related Link

Aberdare Girls Grammar School


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ABGS/AGGS sites only

Aerial Views

Aberdare is one of the areas in the UK where the online satellite maps from Google Maps are of a high resolution.
Go to Google Maps to look down on the old school site and to explore the rest of the town.