Ynysddu is a small village and community in the Sirhowy valley of south-east Wales. It is part of the district of Caerphilly within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire. It is next to Cwmfelinfach, 4.3 miles (6.8 km) north of the town of Risca and 4 miles (5.1 km) south of the market town of Blackwood, about 10 minutes by road from the M4 motorway and 35 minutes from the Severn Bridge. The electorate in 2008 was 2,905,[2] increasing to 3,948 at the 2011 Census.

High street, Ynysddu - geograph.org.uk - 1777223.jpg
High Street
Ynysddu is located in Caerphilly
Location within Caerphilly
Population3,948 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST180925
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNEWPORT
Postcode districtNP11
Dialling code01495
FireSouth Wales
UK Parliament
List of places
51°37′36″N 3°11′10″W / 51.6267°N 3.1861°W / 51.6267; -3.1861Coordinates: 51°37′36″N 3°11′10″W / 51.6267°N 3.1861°W / 51.6267; -3.1861
Sardis Community Chapel


Ynysddu was founded in the early 19th century by the enlightened local colliery owner John Hodder Moggridge, who lived at nearby Woodfield Park.[3] It got its name from Ynsyddu Farm, which was built by Moggridge in 1804. Ynysddu comes from the Welsh descriptive words 'Ynys' ('island' or 'river meadow') and 'ddu' ('black').[4][5] 'Black river meadow' is appropriate for the landscape of the area.

After he became alarmed at the terrible living conditions of the poor in the 1820s Moggridge also built 'The Ranks'. Founded as a social experiment 'The Ranks', like similar properties in Blackwood, allowed a few workers to lease a plot of land to build a cottage and garden allotment. 'The Ranks' were situated near the Black Prince pub, but have long since disappeared.

In 1901 Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire said:

"YNYSDDU is a hamlet of this parish, having a station on the Sirhowy section, London and North Western railway, 10¼ miles north-west from Newport. Here are Baptist and Calvinistic and Primitive Methodist chapels. Post Office.—John Hughes, sub-postmaster. Letters received through Newport at 8.55 a.m.; dispatched, 6.30 p.m. weekdays only. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid. Pontllanfraith is the nearest money order & Blackwood the nearest telegraph office

Board School, erected in 1877, at a cost of £1,500, & erected in 1899, for 167 children; average attendance, 101; Thomas Harries Phillips, master; Miss Susanna Evans, assistant mistress. Railway Station, James Williams, station master"[6]


A view of Bedwas and Caerphilly from a side path through Ynys Hywel Activity Centre, which diverts from the main NCN 47 just before Cwmfelinfach.

The village is served by regular buses operated by Stagecoach Group to Tredegar and Blackwood in the north, and Newport city centre in the south.

Ynysddu is also part of the Celtic Trail cycle route (National Cycle Route 47) which connects West Wales from Fishguard through to Carmarthen, Llanelli, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, and the Severn Bridge in the East.

Ynysddu Bus Timetable[7]
Provider Number Destination Journey time Frequency
Stagecoach Group 56 Tredegar Bus Station 33 minutes Hourly
Stagecoach Group 56 Blackwood Interchange (Stand 9) 11 minutes Hourly
Stagecoach Group 56 Newport Bus Station (Market Square) 35 minutes Hourly

Notable peopleEdit

See also Category:People from Ynysddu
  • Welsh poet William Thomas (1832–1878) was born in Ynysddu, taking his bardic name Islwyn (meaning below the grove) from the parish of Mynyddislwyn, itself named after the mountain which towers over the village. His two best-known poems are both entitled "Yr Ystorm" ("The Storm"); one is a long philosophic poem over 9,000 lines long.[8][9][10]
  • Singer Ricky Valance (real name David Spencer) was born here.
  • Scott Morgan, sports shooter, born 1990; Olympic Trap Shooting (Shotgun)
  • Jackie Barnett, who lived in Ynysddu from the age of two, represented Wales at two Commonwealth Games and also played netball for Wales.


Ynysddu Primary School is located in the town; its headmaster as of 2014 was David Witchell.

Sport and leisureEdit

Ynysddu Rugby Club is a member of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a feeder club for the Newport Gwent Dragons. The first Ynysddu game recorded was in 1894 against Abercarn, and was played in the church field at Mynyddislwyn. Ynysddu originally played in an all-black strip, but now play in Black and Red.

Ynysddu Welfare Football Club was relaunched in 2013 (having originally existed from 1915–1939), following the formal amalgamation of Ynysddu Welfare Crusaders AFC (formerly Ynysddu Welfare AFC 1947–2006) and Crusaders [Seniors] AFC (2003–2008), the latter having superseded Cwmfelinfach Colts AFC (1978–2003), The club became Ynysddu Crusaders until summer 2013 when the club went back to their roots and renamed themselves Ynysddu Welfare FC. They are affiliated to the Gwent County Football Association and are members of the Welsh Autoparts Gwent County FA League and the Ryan Transport Ltd North Gwent Football League. Club Colours are gold and black. They play their home games on the 3G pitch at Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre and their Headquarters are at Blackwood Town Cricket Club.

Nearby is the Sirhowy Valley Country Park. The Ynys Hywel Activity Centre, located there, offers adventure activities such as abseiling, canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, orienteering and hill-walking. The Ynysddu Hotel is located in the village.


  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  2. ^ Caerphilly existing electoral arrangements
  3. ^ Moggridge, a vocal opponent of the truck system, founded the model workers' town Blackwood. He was the son of John Moggridge (died 1803), a wealthy clothier of Bradford-upon-Avon; he married Sarah, daughter of M. Jeffreys, of Blakebrook, Worcester. He lived at Llanrumney Hall in 1812–23
  4. ^ A Pocket Guide to the Place-names of Wales : Hywel Wyn Owen :Publisher: University of Wales Press : ISBN 978-0-7083-1458-6
  5. ^ Wild Britain: Welsh place names
  6. ^ Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire
  7. ^ "56 Bus Route & Timetable: Newport - Tredegar | Stagecoach". www.stagecoachbus.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Storm, Y" Gyntaf gan Islwyn : Meurig Walters ISBN 978-0-7083-0754-0
  9. ^ Oakdale village
  10. ^ Monmouthshire Writers. A Literary History And Anthology : W.J.Townsend ("Dromio") Collins : Publisher: R.H.Johns Ltd. ISBN B001G6J3ZK

External linksEdit