I’ve always had a soft spot for the Quakers, especially now. If they hadn’t set up their little community here in the 1600s from which the village gets its name it would have meant a long train ride to the next nearest station starting with a letter Q.
The history of Quakers goes back to the mid-17th century when many people were getting disillusioned with the established Church of England. Several groups decided to set up their own church and practice their own brand of Christianity. One of these groups was the Quakers or the Religious Society of Friends as they were also known.
One of the beliefs of Quakers is that it is possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the mediation of clergy. This is one of the beliefs that earned the Quakers many accusations of blasphemy from the established church. This pushed many Quakers aboard, but many set up communities in Britain and Quakers Yard became home to a small group of Quakers from around the 1650s. In the 18th century a small plot of land was bequeathed to the Quakers for a burial ground or yard and hence the name, Quakers Yard. Up until then the area had been called Rhyd y Grug – Ford of the Rustling Waters.
Quakers Yard is adjacent to the Taff Trail, the footpath trail that follows the River Taff from Cardiff up to Merthyr. I spent some time walking the trail before crossing the River Taff and A470 and getting some more strenuous exercise by ascending Mynydd Goitre Coed. That makes it sound like a mountain, its not, but it is a pleasant hill to go up and is sandwiched between two valleys.
I was in search of a trig point surface block. What’s one of those I hear you ask? It was used by the Ordnance Survey to help them map the country. You may be familiar with trig points, stone or concrete pillars about 4ft tall, often seen on top of a hill or mountain. A theodolite would have been placed on top of the trig point and measurements of angles taken to nearby trig points on adjacent hills etc. A surface block is another thing the Ordnance Survey would have used for taking measurements from. They have mainly fallen out of use and been removed or buried. I had heard this one had been found the previous year so was keen to see if I could also discover it. And luckily enough I did – very satisfying.
After all that excitement and exercise it was time to celebrate. I called into the Quakers Yard Inn for a pint before catching the train back to Cardiff. I don’t know how old the pub is but judging by one of the photos it is pretty old. Another quite different day out.
Date of trip: 3 Jun 2019
See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations