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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 301222

Map Reference SS97NW

Grid Reference SS9056579834

Unitary (Local) Authority The Vale of Glamorgan

Old County Glamorgan

Community Bridgend

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Post Medieval

Site Description Bridgend developed around a ford in the River Ogmore, in an area protected by a series of defensive structures built by the Normans to protect the Welsh Marches; Newcastle (NPRN 93036) built in 1106, Ogmore Castle (NPRN 93019) built in 1116, and Coity Castle (NPRN 74504) which the Normans seized from the Welsh during the eleventh century. There are no surviving foundation charters or licenses to hold markets within the town, however it is evident that by the time the stone bridge (NPRN 24136) was built across the River Ogmore in the fifteenth century, Bridgend was an established agricultural market town.
In 1836 the Bridgend Market Act was passed, which directed that the town’s large farmers market could no longer occupy the streets surrounding the Town Hall (NPRN 31742), and led to the opening of the Market Hall (NPRN 408590) the following year. Although the area surrounding Bridgend had no coalfields, the town nonetheless further developed as a result of the flourishing coal industry, owing to its position on the junction between the railway lines for London and the Welsh valleys.
During World War II Bridgend was the site of the largest munitions factory of its type (NPRN 91719), with the accompanying Island Farm Camp (NPRN 31802) originally built to house some of the 40,000 workers, but later used as a Prisoner of War camp. Following the end of the war the town hosted the 1948 Eisteddfod, and went on to expand, adapting to a centre of major industry.

K Steele, RCAHMW, 29 December 2008.

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