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Here are a couple of photos of Hill Farm taken by the Pegington family in 1932, reproduced with the kind permission of William Henry Pegington’s Grandson, Chris Pegington

The first family that I am aware of at Hill Farm (although it is an older farm than this!) were the Morgans. They were the proprietors of Hill Farm from around 1831 (possibly earlier) until the early 1870s, initially via Mr John Morgan and later by his son, William Morgan.

For some reason (possibly related to the death of his wife, Emma) William left the farm between 1872 and 1874, although it continued to be part-owned by Arthur Morgan until at least 1879. By 1889, the farm appeared under the sole name of Edward Powell.

The Morgans were a well-respected and apparently relatively prosperous family.

One of the daughters, Anne Elizabeth married a man who went on to become a reasonably well-known figure in the UK, Alexander Wynter Blyth. At the time of the marriage, he was a medical student at King’s College, London, and son of a GP. He went on to become one of the UK’s leading figures in the area of public health, medicine and science.

The next occupant of the farm was Thomas Crump, although he only stayed a few years. He was tenant in 1874 and appeared on the Register of Electors until 1876. There was no tenant listed on the Register in 1878. Edward Jenkins was the tenant briefly. He appeared on the 1879 register of electors, but was replaced before April 1881 by William Charles and family, according to the 1881 census. William, was aged 30 in 1881, and was born in Llanfrechfa Upper. His wife Elizabeth, was 6 years younger, and a native of Trevethin. They had a 3 month old daughter at the time of this census and two servants helping them with the farm and domestic duties.

Edward Powell and his wife Sarah (nee Rees) were farming here by 1887, since their Thomas Charles Powell was born in Glascoed - he was aged 4 at the 1891 census. We also see Edward on the 1889 Register of Electors as the tenant at Hill Farm and also in 1909 (when Edward would have been aged 66). The final record I have seen with the Powells at the farm was the 1911 census.

Edward and Sarah had at least 5 children (Phillip John, Sarah Jane, Edward Rees, Thomas Charles and William James - the last two were both born at Glascoed).

Edward was from Llanthewy; he was born there in approx 1842 and his wife Sarah was from Nantyglo (born approx 1848). They had been living at Llanfrechfa Upper previously - certainly between 1875 and 1881, if the ages and places of birth of their children on the censuses are an indicator.

William Henry Pegington farmed at Hill Farm from approximately 1928 to 1937. He had purchased the farm and was responsible for it until 1942 according to Land Tax records.

What follows are some interesting extracts re life in World War 2 at Hill farm:

Second World War

At the outbreak of World War II, they (the Pegingtons) were still at the Hill Farm and “Beat”, Bill’s wife used to tell the story of the underground shelter in the garden, where they sought refuge during an air-raid warning on the Royal Ordinance Factory, Glascoed, which the farm overlooked. They had rushed down to safety in their night-clothes, but didn’t stay long, because a big four inch slug started climbing up her leg. They never went down there again! On another occasion (on the 31st October 1940 according to official records) she claimed that the blast from a bomb dropped on the nearby ROF blew her from the doorway across the room. The German pilot later reported back to Germany that he had bombed Bristol, 40 miles away and was even given a medal for it! The Battle of Britain Campaign Diary records: - "The Royal Ordnance Factory at Glascoed was attacked by a single enemy aircraft at 1250 hours. The attacking aircraft dropped 12 bombs, three of which are still unexploded and then proceeded to machine-gun the factory from a height not greater than 200 feet. The roof of the building was damaged and whilst the unexploded bomb is being removed there will be a slight interference with production."

They also remembered vividly the day a German fighter strafed the workers as they were leaving the factory canteen, but nobody was hurt on that occasion. Life was very busy for Bill and his wife and they had workers from the factory billeted by the War Office with them, meaning that Beatrice was often feeding up to 16 people a day! Farming was however a reserved occupation and farmers were exempted from the general mobilization of the population, because of the desperate need for food.

The family used to make a little swimming pool by damming the Bertha Brook at the bottom of the farm.

The next family that I am aware of at the farm is the Simons family, who took over from some point around the 1930s or 40s and continued to farm there for a number of years, initially via Albert J. Simons and latterly through his son Dennis Simons.

Winifred Simons (nee Hill), Florence Ann Simons (their daughter) and Albert J Simons at Hill Farm.

Albert J Simons

with his thrashing machine at Hill Farm.

More detail (including photographs) can be seen in their bio pages.



Census: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911