The Ceiriog Memorial Institute built in 1911, originally a meeting place, library and courtroom was built in memory of John “Ceiriog” Hughes and Rev. Robert Ellis “Cynddelw”, Designed by T Taliesin Rees of Liverpool.
The Grade 2 listed building has recently undergone extensive refurbishment.
Within the Institute there are many historical artefacts from the valley, including workings of the two noticible poets, John “Ceiriog” Hughes and Robert Ellis “Cynddelw”.
The collection was brought together by Sir Alfred T Davies, advisor to Lloyd George.
The building also houses the very noticible stained glass window of which was a gift from Sir Robert Jones of Liverpool on St. Davids Day in 1911.
The window is the workings of H. Gustave Hiller also from Liverpool.
The window features portraites of John “Ceiriog” Hughes, Robert Ellis “Cynddelw” and Huw Morus.
John “Ceiriog” Hughes, a famous Welsh poet, took his bardic name from the valley and won in the National Eisteddfod in 1858 when he was 26 years old.
Born in 1832, Ceiriog after leaving school, he went to Manchester where, after about three months, he obtained a situation as clerk in the London Road goods station.
After working in Manchester and later as a railway clerk in London he returned to Wales in 1868 when he was appointed station-master at Caersws.
Ceiriog had begun composing poetry as a young man, but it was not until 1860 that his first volume was published, entitled ‘Oriau’r Hwyr’. Further volumes quickly followed, including ‘Oriau’r Bore’ (1862) and ‘Cant o Ganeuon’ (1863), which contained some of his most popular work.
His songs in particular were extremely popular and some, such as ‘Nant y Mynydd’ and ‘Alun Mabon’ continue to be sung and recited at eisteddfodau and concerts.
John “Ceiriog” Hughes passed away on 23rd of April in 1887.
Rev. Robert Hughes “Cynddelw”, born in 1812, was a Baptist minister, poet, and antiquary.
Worked as a farmhand from 1822 to 1835. He was taught by the Rev. John Williams (1806-1856), Baptist minister and author, and became a minister himself, at Glyn Ceiriog from 1838 to 1840.
He became a noted poet following the publication of his work ‘Yr Adgyfodiad’ in 1849, and adopted the bardic name ‘Cynddelw’.
His other works included ‘Cywydd y Berwyn’ and ‘Awdl ar Ddistawrwydd’.
He was a poetry adjudicator for the eisteddfod, as well as a conductor and an orator.
His written works include a dictionary, an autobiography, and biographies of his teacher the Rev. John Williams, Walter Davies, ‘Gwallter Mechain’, and Ellis Evans of Cefn-mawr.
Rev. Robert Hughes “Cynddelw” passed away in the year of 1875 on the 19th of August.