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Memorial to John Thomas (Ieuan Ddu) in churchyard of Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff

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Latitude: 51.5963 / 51°35'46"N

Longitude: -3.3223 / 3°19'20"W

OS Eastings: 308501

OS Northings: 189431

OS Grid: ST085894

Mapcode National: GBR HR.BM0D

Mapcode Global: VH6DR.C4GM

Entry Name: Memorial to John Thomas (Ieuan Ddu) in churchyard of Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 26 February 2001

Last Amended: 26 February 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 24890

Building Class: Commemorative

Location: In the churchyard on the S side of the church.

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Town: Pontypridd

Community: Pontypridd

Community: Pontypridd

Locality: Glyntaff

Built-Up Area: Pontypridd

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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John Thomas (1795-1871), born in Carmarthen, was a musician and schoolmaster who taught in Machen and Merthyr before moving to the Pontypridd district in 1850. From his time in Merthyr he pioneered choral music in Wales, leading his own choirs to success in eisteddfodau in the 1830s. He was also an essayist on Welsh music and culture, winning awards at eisteddfodau in 1838 and 1840, and in 1845 published Y Caniedydd Cymreig, a collection of airs with English and Welsh words.

The memorial was erected at the expense of friends and former pupils on the site of his grave in Glyntaff churchyard. The mason's name on the base is now illegible.


A tapering freestone memorial on a stepped base, crowned by a low-relief cross within a shaped head. The face of the memorial has an inscription paying tribute to his life, describing him as 'the first person in Wales to lay the foundation of the prevailing taste for music, which obtained its triumph in the Crystal Palace contest in 1872'. Below it is a Welsh inscription by Watkyn Wyn. The sides have panels with vine trails in low relief.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for historical interest as commemorating an important pioneer of the Welsh choral tradition, and for group value with Church of St Mary and other associated listed items in the churchyard.

Other nearby listed buildings

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