Glamorgan Archives

Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement, Trealaw, Rhondda records

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DMH

Held at:

Title: Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement, Trealaw, Rhondda records

Short title: Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement, Trealaw, Rhondda records

Dates of creation: 1900-1983

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.042 cubic metres (2 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement


Administrative and biographical history: The Maes-yr-haf Settlement (Trealaw, Rhondda, Glamorgan) was established following emergency relief operations organised by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in the Rhondda valleys during the 1926 coal strike. While organising the distribution of clothing and food in the Rhondda, several prominent Quakers, including Emma Noble, of Swindon, Wiltshire, became convinced of the need for a more permanent form of help to the area. Through the autumn and winter of 1926-1927, the idea rapidly developed to establish a Quaker Social Settlement. A large Victorian house, Maes-yr-haf, was purchased at Trealaw, near Tonypandy. The first Wardens of the Settlement, William and Emma Noble of Swindon, moved into Maes-yr-haf in April 1927; they were to remain there until 1945. As direct relief work, distributing food and clothing, came to an end, the Maes-yr-haf Settlement developed as an educational and social centre. The Settlement ran a wide range of classes for the unemployed, from 'moral philosophy' to more practical boot repairing centres. The settlement's activities expanded to include drama, music, and running a holiday camp for the unemployed at the Malthouse, Wick, Glamorgan. Attempts were made to promote small-scale employment opportunities in the Rhondda, including, at Maes-yr-haf allotments, poultry farming, and pottery and weaving workshops. Maes-yr-haf Industries for the Disabled, between 1944 and 1957, provided employment for the local disabled, producing furniture, and, later, mineral water boxes. Following the Second World War, the standard of living in the Rhondda Valleys improved dramatically, and responsibility for educational and social services was increasingly transferred to the state. By the late 1960s, the committee felt that many of the original objectives of the Settlement had been achieved, and that it was appropriate for the management of the Maes-yr-haf Settlement site to be transferred to the local authority. After discussions between Glamorgan County Council, Rhondda Borough Council and the Maes-yr-haf Committee, the Settlement site was purchased in 1971 by the Rhondda Borough Council. The capital from the sale was used to establish the Maes-yr-haf Educational Trust, which annually distributes its income among the organisations associated with the Settlement. The Maes-yr-haf site serves as a community centre, used by many organisations, such as the Play Group and Women's Institute, which developed during the period of the Settlement.


Scope and content: Records of the Wardens of Maes-yr-haf Settlement: committee minutes, 1927-1971; annual reports, 1927-1971; account books, 1931-1976; series of files, mostly kept by William Noble, 1927-1945, on various subjects: establishment of Maes-yr-haf, the Malthouse camp, and Trealaw Leaseholders Association; photographs, 1926-1971, of the Settlement's activities, ranging from Women's Sewing Clubs in the 1920s to parties of international volunteers working at Maes-yr-haf during the 1960s.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged according to date and type.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Finding aids: A full version of the catalogue can be searched online at
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Record Office have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Immediate source of acquisition: Information to be supplied.


Related units of description: Related units of description held at: University of Wales, Swansea (GB 0127 SWCC: MNA/I/24) Annual Reports 1927-1930, 1933-1941, 1943-1951, 1953-1969; Articles, Commemorative Leaflets and Pamphlets.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for the Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement; Naylor, Barrie, Quakers in the Rhondda (Great Britain, 1986).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: February 2004



Adult education | Wales | Rhondda Cynon Taff

Charities | Wales | Glamorgan

Community centres | Wales | Rhondda Cynon Taff

Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement | Records and correspondence

Quakers | Wales | Rhondda Cynon Taff

Personal names

Noble, Emma, d. 1956

Noble, William, d. 1959

Corporate names

Maes-yr-haf Educational Settlement