"A walk from our industrial past -
To our environmentally friendly future."
Trevor Rowson Park.
About 150 years ago at this site there was a GWR station connecting to Newport, spoil heaps and ironmasters mansions. The Trevor Rowson Park is a popular amenity for short rambles with the dog, good for joggers and children to spend the day in this beautiful little idyll.
This park is dedicated to Trevor Rowson, a local historian and a local memorial to him can be found on site.
The Trevor Rowson Park is an 18 acre site in Nantyglo, Gwent. It is leased to the Nantyglo Action Group (NAG) who who have obtained grants for the provision of footpaths, ponds, picnic sites and tree-planting. Where once was pit, railway, spoil heaps and Brewer's Mansion there now is a peaceful idyll well used by people and wildlife.
NANTYGLO Action Group (NAG), held a dedication ceremony to the memorial for local historian Trevor Rowson.The ceremony was the culmination of several years’ work by NAG, firstly to safeguard an 18-acre site for the Trevor Rowson Park, then to obtain grants to enhance the park as apublic amenity, and the installation of the standing stone to his memory.
N.A.G ( The Nantyglo Action Group ) was formed in May 2001 to organise opposition to a proposed housing development on the former Hafod-y-Ddol school site.
Having been undisturbed for over fifteen years, the land was now home to fifty two species of birds, including barn owls, now used by N.A.G as its’ emblem, emerging from the gloom of the Industrial Revolution, also three species of bats and a varied plant life.
Also, the site has a small meadow land still worked and traditionally maintaining its’ interest in biodiversity.
Since May 2005, the Council has granted N.A.G a 21-year lease on the eighteemn acre site to develop as the Trevor Rowson Park. Using grants from Cyncoed, Communities First, ENFYS, Keep Wales Tidy and Awards For All, N.A.Q has built the amenity you see today.
This sign is funded by a grant from the Cleaner, Greener Communities Programme.
Wildlife has thrived in the park since its’ protection as a green wedge, biodiversity is increasing as more species use the Park for nesting or hunting. Buzzards, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks and other raptors can be seen using the Park grasslands as a hunting ground. Barny, tawny and Little Owls are frequently seen in the morning or evening twilight.
Green Woodpeckers feed on the ant hills, though you are far more likely to hear them than see them. Great Spotted Woodpeckers are also frequent visitors. Herons have called at the ponds and a variety of Finches, Thrushes, Tits, warblers, Flycatchers and Crows are in residence locally. Species such as the House Sparrow and Redpoll, in decline nationally, are thriving on the site.
Birds in the Park also include Goldcrests, Wrens, Siskins, Tree Creepers and the Nuthatch. In Summer Noctule and Pipistrelle Bats, also reside and forage in the Park.
The diversity of plant life is wonderful, ranging from your humble dandelion to Heath Spotted and Bee orchids among the rushes and spaghnum moss.
Primroses, Blue and White Bells, Scabious, Lady’s Smock, Clover, Trefoils, Teasels, so many different varieties, far too many to name. Ones to note are the self seeded purple and white Aquilegia, by the small ponds that appear naturally, most of the year.
Rabbits and Hedgehog are abundant, Pygmy and Common Shrews, Short-tailed Voles, Yellow-Necked and Wood Mice are found on the site, providing food for raptors. Grey Squirrels can also be found on the site.
The map on the right dates from 1882 when there was a very different Nantyglo to that seen today. You are stood where a G.W.R Station connected you to Newport through the height and the grime of the Victorian Industrial Revolution. On the other side of the track were spoil heaps and the Ironmasters’ mansions, Nantyglo House to the North and Coalbrookevale House to the South. Only the cellars remain of the Nantyglo House, though Coalbrookvale House is still a private dwelling.
Over the side of the tracks you find Mansion, complete with ornamental fountain, the two rows of mature lime trees you see around the site today, were planted in the early years of the 20th century. In 1882 this mansion was home to the Webb family who owned the brewery in Aberbeeg, and used the railway to commute to their brewery next door to Aberbeeg Station. Ironmasters created the thirst in their workers, brewery masters quenched it !! The allotments you see were part of the Webb Estate, giving the footpath to Garn Cross its name of Nursery Steps. People still take of, when coal was King, a river of coal going upstream from the station to the Garn from miners going off-shift to their tin baths.
In the 1920’s the mansion became Nantyglo Grammar School and further buildings were added, in the 1960’s the school became Hafod-y-Ddol Junior Comprehensive, before closing in 1986. Demolition followed with only the lime trees surviving, and the site was planted in the 1990’s with the now mature saplings you see today. Further trees have been planted by N.A.G in recent years.
Also of interest on the right of the map is Boot Row, where Trevor Rowson was born.
Nantyglo Action Group.
N.A.G is a voluntary organisation, working to provide
a better environment for us all.
Please respect the work of N.A.G in maintaining this
area as your amenity.
No taking of wildlife, it is now a wildlife refuge.
Take your litter home.
Do not light fires.
Try not to disturb wildlife, particularly in the nesting season – April to July.
N.A.G – For our children, grand children and other forms of wildlife.
The text in the boxes, has been taken from the Interpretation Panel pictured below.
The stone bears the inscription :-
"This standing stone and park is a celebration of the life and work of Trevor Rowson; a son of Nantyglo, who made us all aware of our rich heritage as a local historian and advisor to novelist Alexander Cordell.”
To find out more about Trevor Rowson and Alexander Cordell, please click on the links below.
'Trevor Rowson Park' Page 2
Trevor Rowson Wildlife & Heritage Park.
A Community Green Flag Award Winner & Local Nature Reserve.