In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hirwaun like this:
HIRWAIN, a village and a chapelry in Aberdare parish, Glamorgan. The village stands near the boundary with Brecon and the watershed of the Cynon, on the Vale of Neath railway at its junction with the Taff Valley railway and with the branch to Merthyr-Tydvi1, 4 miles NW of Aberdare; is a scattered but populous place, dependent on the ironworks of Messrs. Crawshay; and has a railway station, called Hirwain Junction, and a post office‡ under Aberdare. The tract around it is a desolate moor, totally destitute of any pleasing feature, yet deriving an air of some grandeur from a bold sweep of mountain which bounds it. ...
Hirwain common, or Hirwain Wrgan, was the scene of a great battle between Rhys ap Tudor and Jestyn ap Wrgan. The chapelry includes the village, but does not seem to have any definite limits; and its statistics are returned with the parish. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Aberdare, in the diocese of Llandaff.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Hirwaun has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Rhondda; Cynon; Taff. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Hirwaun and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hirwaun, in Rhondda; Cynon; Taff and Glamorgan | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 11th December 2013
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