History and Heritage

The Green Cabin
and the Sexton's Building

The Old Sexton's Building

In 2013, whilst working in Godre'rgraig Cemetery, I saw a notice on the gate warning of the imminent demolition of the Sexton's Building. I rang the council to find out why yet another piece of history was about to be attacked and was informed that the "old health and safety rules" had to apply to a building which was becoming a danger.

Location of the old Sexton's Building within Godrergraig Cemetery

I found the building on a map and had been told that it was a detached single storey, single skin brick building with a pitched corrugated metal sheet roof. It had been used as a storage unit but when I took a closer look, it revealed a fireplace in one of the sections and it made me wonder how many times it had been lit and who had sat around it, perhaps on a cold winter's morning waiting for the kettle to boil and have a cup of tea before going out to prepare the ground for a burial.

The fireplace in the old Sexton's Building

The building was to be removed in October and following demolition the slabs were to be broken up and the ground prepared for a new slab which would either house a single story concrete sectional building or ground hog steel store for the Sexton to store ground maintenance and equipment, so I made a note to return in a few weeks.

Foundations laid for the replacement structure

Yes in January 2014 there it was, well, not exactly as appealing as the first building but I suppose it would fulfil its purpose.

The Green Cabin, store for tools etc

And today 15th February 2016, well it obviously did not fulfil its purpose because the first thing I noticed was the empty space. Not that I can honestly say I shall miss the "Green Cabin" it had none of the character the original Sexton's Building brought to the cemetery.

The Green Cabin...absent February 2016

The History and Heritage of Ystalyfera is put online by Swansea Valley researcher Val Trevallion and Wolfian Design. All copyright remains with the original copyright holder, and all original research is copyright Val Trevallion, YEARGroup.

You can contact Ystalyfera History by emailing: contact@ystradgynlais-history.co.uk or Val Trevallion by emailing yeargroup@hotmail.co.uk.