For historians, the Cilhendre Fawr Farm and the surrounding area near Neath and Pontardawe is very interesting as it is steeped in local history.

For example, ironmaster David ‘Pappa’ Thomas (1794-1882) was born in our local hamlet, Wern-ddu and married Elizabeth Hopkins of Cilhendre Fawr Farm. Thomas was the first person in the world to produce iron using anthracite coal as a fuel in combination with a hot blast of air. He emigrated to the USA in 1839 and founded the renowned Thomas Iron Company.

The New York Literary Album of 1869 states; “Probably no man has done more for the permanent prosperity of the US than Mr Thomas and his efforts of enterprise entitle him to a distinguished place among America’s useful citizens.” Click for more info about Pappa Thomas

The boxer Ronnie James (born 1917) also lived at Cilhendre Fawr Farm. He became the British Lightweight Boxing Champion.

We have local history books at the Farm which give more information.