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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Zoar Graig

I recently photographed a derelict church called Zoar Graig, just on the border of Brecon and Monmouthshire. I had driven past the churchyard many times and saw that it was a ruin, and that there was a earth mover parked outside.

So I finally got to the site to photograph it, and found the graveyard in a very overgrown and untended state. This possibly has to be the worst graveyard I've seen so far.

The church is just a shell, and many of the graves are smashed or knocked over. The graveyard perimeter is difficult to find as it is so overgrown, and there were several goats munching their way through the undergrowth!

Still, after clambering around for a bit, I photographed as much of the site as was possible. A week later I noticed that a sturdy metal fence had been erected around the property, preventing any access to the site at all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pembrokeshire Parsons

This is a list of Pembrokeshire Parsons... the first part anyway...

Some of the pages in this post suffer from a lot of barrel distortion, which is further exacerbated by the book not being easy to get flat. Thus some of the pages are quite warped, but still readable.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Babel chapel, Cwmfelinfach, burial place of Islwyn the Poet

This is the burial place of Islwyn the poet. In the picture here you can see Islwyn's gravestone, which is the tall obelisk in the middle of the image.

It is a small chapel in the village of Cwmfelinfach, not far from where Islwyn was born. The chapel boasts a visitor centre, which unfortunately no longer appears to be open. There are several danger signs plastered to the fence and gates warning people to stay out as the graves are dangerous...

Take a look at this website which gives a potted history of Islwyn's life:

There are some excellent photographs showing Babel chapel at the bottom of this link:

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Plague grave in Rhymney

A couple of days ago I decided to photograph the single plague grave which lies just north of Pontllotyn, near Rhymney...

It's not obvious if the grave marker has an inscription, as it is in the middle of a field and difficult to get to, I guess I'll have to take a closer look to see if the zoom on the camera can get in close enough to make out the details.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who knows more about this grave marker.

You can see an overview of the area using Google Maps - the plague grave is right in the centre of this link: Rhymney Plague Grave

Here is a close up of the marker :

Google Maps for researching your ancestors

Ever wondered what Google Maps can do for your research into your ancestors?

Well, for those areas where Google provides high resolution images you can see exactly where they lived, worked, got married, were buried etc.

Here is an example of the kind of image resolution you can get from Google Maps - both via Google Earth and through the map API on a web page.

As part of my graveyard transcription project, I've created a Google Map page to show the location of churchyards in one area where I've covered all the churches, and of course, where Google provide high resolution images.

You can zoom right into the churchyard and even see individual gravestones (unfortunately you cannot read the inscriptions... yet).

More interactivity to be added when I have the time to play with the page code.

Gaerllwyd Baptist Chapel [Monmouthshire]

I recently discovered this tiny chapel in a place called Earlswood, a few miles north-west of Shirenewton in Monmouthshire.

There are only a handful of graves in the small graveyard, and these have been photographed and transcribed and can be seen at:

I cannot find a great deal of information on this chapel on the internet, other than a couple of references to the MI's being transcribed by the local family history society.

Monday, March 13, 2006

1670 Hearth Tax Pembrokeshire

Among the Lay Subsidies at the Public Record Office is a Roll containing particulars of the Hearth Tax levied on the householders in Pembrokeshire in the year 1670. This document is extremely interesting, as it gives practically a complete list of the number of inhabited houses in each parish in the county, and also the names of the householders then occupying them, and as it states the number of the hearths in each house, it is possible to form some idea of the size of the more important residences in the county in 1670. In the Roll the householders in each parish are divided into two classes, 'Persons Liable' and 'Paupers Certified,' and the number of the hearths are given in Roman numerals.

The 1670 Hearth Tax for Pembrokeshire is now available at:

Llanvihangel Gobion: Mozerah Presbyterian

The Mozerah Presbyterian church in Llanvihangel Gobion has been photographed and is now in the process of being formatted and having the headstones transcribed for publication on the OGRE website.

It will shortly appear at



Welcome to the Ogre blog spot...

The OGRE website ( is, amongst other things, the publication of a project to photograph and catalogue gravestone inscriptions prior to 1930 in South Wales, UK. The site provides images of all the headstones and an inscription where possible, subject to damage and illegibility.

It is provided as a free genealogical research tool for users worldwide, and also hosts some other free resources, for example, the 1873 Landowners Returns for Wales.

I've created this blog to provide a forum for users of the OGRE website to provide feedback and comments on the site, and also as an area where I can provide information on upcoming graveyards, and the progress of the transcription of the graveyards.

Use and enjoy!