Early map and Welsh chapels.

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David Morgan October 11, 2020

This is from a map of south Wales and the south west of England from around 1880, I have magnified the area containing the Neath valley and Glamorgan.
If you look to the north of the map, you can see the end of the black mountains and the beginning of the Neath valley, which is coloured blue and numbered 116.
The main reason for adding this map is the unusual number of chapels recorded on it, I have checked the whole map and cannot find another concentration of chapels recorded anywhere else with very few being recorded at all. If you take capel coelbren as the centre, in a radius of 10 miles north in a semi circle, there are 7 chapels named in all.
A few I could not get a translation for, but some I could try : ) capel st Illtyd is easy the saint of learning, teaching and writing. In ancient terms I suppose it would equate to Thoth of Egypt, Hermes of Greece, Enoch of the Hebrew and so on.
Capel Fante is difficult, with connotations towards vanity and even fate? But my preference is to admiral, fantell, as in the butterfly. This for me also fits with the connection to the sea, as with Glamorgan, with morgan meaning of the sea, or sea circle, surrounded by sea, begotten of the sea?
Capel Taffechan/Taff has links to the Thames (Tafwys), and which was named first would be interesting to know? Also Taf has connotations to The first, cyntaf, and speech tafod, also tongue and language, and balance and weigh.
Taf could also be connected to the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet Tav, which in Kabbalah, being the final letter contains all the symbology of the other 21 letters. Also you have the maltese cross of Neath, or the quadruple Tau/Tav/Taf : )
In the centre, there is capel CoelBren, this with a straight translation coelbren means lot, but if split, coel means trust, belief and bren (Brenin) has connotations towards King, sovereign, royal and regal, so trust in the kings, the old kings of Glamorgan perhaps? Like the Arthurian legends? This was also the name given to the welsh alphabet!
Close to Coelbren is Ystradfellte, or the flat valley floor-Ystrad, of the lightning? Fellte/fellten? Lightning/electric/energy. Also just to the east of Coelbren there is Penderyn, or the head bird, or the head dragon, pen dragon like in Arthurian legend. Head bird/head dragon? Both flying reptiles? : )
Then there is Aberpergwm just to the south, aber mouth of or start of, or coming together to start. Pergwm, for me, is the sweet valley or the fragrant valley, Pergwm meaning perfume in some translations, but the connotations are strong in all translation tools towards sweet, fragrant, so for me aberpergwm is the start of the sweet/rich valley, the Neath valley : )

Whilst looking at this I noticed the possible though far reached connection with capel fante? and fantell? or the admiral butterfly, this I connected to the sea and the maritime connection of the Glamorgan etymology. But when looking I found that in the welsh flood myth of Dwfan and Dwfach, the ark is named as Nefyd Naf Neifion, I could not get any translation from the university of wales, but strangely enough in google translate it gives the translation of new world, naïve, vanguard ?Although Naf does translate in st davids to lord, so the lords vanguard to the new world? Im not sure if this widely known? And the flood myth is from the triads (in threes as with all ancient traditions!) which the earliest recording is from the 13th century? Long before the discovery of the new world? But in keeping with the welsh tradition of earlier discovery? Another translation is the lord water/neptune performance?
Again this could be a later addition, but interesting none the less : ) these translations no longer appear on Google translate, I do have them screen shot, as I learnt to do from previous disapearences. : )

  • David Morgan 11 months, 1 week ago

    I do have a larger view on the map, where there is only one other Chapel recorded in the whole of South Wales and the west country. All recorded chapels are around Coel bren!