Dulais Valley Heritage Trail

Heritage Sites - Pubs & Clubs (past & present)

The Gradon (British Legion)

Now the only active public house in the village, it has a good reputation for its dining and bar atmosphere. The pub was originally the British Legion but its named was changed by a previous owner after the names of their children Grant and Donna. (No dates unfortunately)

The Kingfisher

Located in the Treforgan area of the village, this outlying public house provided a place to stop for the parched travellers and miners of the nearby colliery. Records of the pub date back to 1840, but is expected to have been built around 1820. Originally it was named the Masons Arms, but after remodelling in 1900 it was changed to The Kingfisher. The pub is currently closed after a series of various owners.

The Red Lion

Perhaps the eldest public house in the Valley, the Red Lion situated in the centre of the village has had a long and traditional past serving the community and travellers. An alehouse has been on the site since 1760. The pub was reconditioned in 1850 improving its guest amenities. With this some notable people have passed through the doors to stay including Sir Michael Hicks-Beach; former Chancellor of the Exchequer (1885-1886, & 1895-1902), and Dr Alfred Russell Wallace; an eminent biologist who would later inspire Charles Darwin. The Red Lion continued to be a traditional wet led pub up until its closure in 2007.

Crynant Rugby Club

Crynant’s proud tradition of rugby dates back to 1898 in which the squad colours were black/dark blue and light blue, and played their first match on Christmas Day against Ystradgynlais. The rugby team competed in the Swansea & District League, and later the Neath & District League in which they found great success in the 20s. In 1956 the club gained its first permanent residence after converting the old billiard hall and shop. This grew to become a prominent feature in the village and for the club with a bar, lounge and hall facilities for members and the community. It was also during this time that the club developed the current rugby field. Crynant have had 5 of their players capped for Wales. Today Crynant RFC has a strong senior team, with several prevailing junior teams, wearing the striking gold, purple and black kit.

The Welfare Hall

Originally a WW1 army hut, it was dismantled and rebuilt on its current location on Station Road in 1920. Since its foundation, the Hall has made a significant contribution to the village and surrounding area for more than 80 years. One of its first primary uses was as a cinema, this ceased in the early sixties where it would be used for shows and live entertainment including school plays. The establishment was a prominent social hub for the miners and families of the village. The Hall continued to run as a club for patrons who wished to socialise and enjoy activities such as pool, darts and bingo. The Welfare sadly closed recently and has been the subject of an auction.

The Star Hotel

Built in the late 1800s, the Star is one of the more iconic buildings in Crynant located by the Square. Primarily a drinking establishment, it became the headquarters of the Rugby Club in 1912, and served as their base until the new club house was opened in 1962. For the last several decades it has been used for private flats.

The Palace

Completed in 1914, The Palace served as a cinema, with its hall also used for dramas and plays. Seven Sisters Miners Welfare Society purchased the building in 1926 and subsequently renamed the Miners Welfare Hall later on. They were able to develop the Rec and a swimming pool in 1935. It was located on Martyn’s Avenue next to the once popular Servini’s café and billiard hall. After the decline of mining the building lost its previous support and eventually shut its last doors in 1972. The building no longer exists, but leaves in its wake reminders of the nostalgic affluence and social flair of the community.


Reputed to be the historic site of St Patrick’s birthplace, records of the old Tavern date back to over 300 years ago in which poet Dafydd Nicholas went drinking there in 1695. The last tenant of the Tavern closed it in 1916. In the 1937 the remnants of the building was pulled down, and now in its memory a standing stone marking its historic contribution.

Halfway Inn

Originally an old farmhouse, during 1863 the couple living applied for a license to sell beer there. The small outfit served beer to several of the miners based at Onllwyn. It was then rebuilt in 1912 as larger establishment. The pub was run by the same family until its closure in 1973. The building no longer exists, but had a definitive rapport with the miners.

The Traveller’s Rest

Located upon the Onllwyn No.3 Colliery, its beginnings were to serve travellers going to and from Swansea & the Rhondda. It dates back to at least 1853, but later became The Whistle because of the greyhound training that went on there. In 1911 the tenants at the time moved to nearby and the building was converted into stables for the colliery.

Seven Rugby Club

The rugby club has a long history, in which teams competed in friendly matches since the 1890s. After WW1 the team reorganised and competed in the Swansea District League. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the rugby team began to impress, being the first team to win the Neath & District League in 1931. In later years they competed in the Welsh League. In 1970 the club purchased the grounds and dressing rooms from the Welfare Association. During the 90s the club competed in the Welsh League Division 1. Now competing in Division 3 the team is one of the most successful in the Valley and provide good facilities for younger teams.