Some points of interest relating to the area around the Pelican
within the ancient Lordship of Ogmore

 OGMORE, the origin of the name
In old Welsh, the word for "SALMON" is "EOG" and a river estuary often was referred to by the word "MOR" as in the French "MER" (SEA) or the English "MERE" as in Windermere etc. This applied to other stretches of water. So the ancient name "EOG MOR" denoting "SALMON WATER" when transcribed by the monks in old charters and documents from hearsay became OGGEMORE to OGMORE and this became the accepted name. The incorrect name "OGWR" was a lazy spoken variation appearing about 1600 in print as "OGOR." The River Ogmore was once one of the best salmon rivers in Wales, according to A.G. Hausard, prior to the Industrial Revolution and the resulting pollution.

 HEOL-Y-MILWYR (The Soldiers Road)
Alongside the inn, a road climbs up to the Southerndown Golf Club. This road follows a well-defined ancient track, dating at least from Roman times, from Groes Antony in St. Brides Major across the present golf links on Ogmore down to the ancient ford on the River Ewenny beside Ogmore Castle and the stepping stones. The road continues accross the floodplain to the suspension bridge (the original home of the stepping stones) where it crosses the River Ogmore into Merthyr Mawr and on to meet the old Roman road (The old stage coach route).

Known at one time to have been used as Almshouses and traditionally to have been associated with some notable people. In one of the cottages lived the TWRCH brothers in the 16th Century. They worked the famous Sutton Stone quarries at what is now Ogmore-by-Sea. Richard and Gwilym Twrch quarrelled and Richard left to study architecture in Italy. On his return to Wales he was commissioned in 1559 by Sir Richard Bassett to design the remarkable Italianate porch at Beaupré Castle, St. Hilary, which was completed in 1600. This actually predated the introduction of the Italian style of architecture into Britain by Indigo Jones as the "Palladian style" a few years later, in another of the cottages, Madame Adelina Patti, the opera singer, "Sang for her Supper" while staying at Waterton Court.

One of the oldest established working farms in Glamorgan although the present farmhouse dates from the 17th Century. A lease of the farm is known to one John Walsh as long ago as 1490.

Opposite the Pelican Inn, next to the barn, is the site of the long – demolished Ogmore House, once home of Edward Thomas, who was High Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1717. Near here, towards the river mouth, from medieval times was held the Ogmore Fair. It was moved later to St. Mary Hill for various reasons to become a famous House Fair and a great social occasion annually until the early 20th Century.

Once an inn and home of the ferryman, close to the river and castle, it has several rare or even unique features. These include a "COFFIN DOOR" on the half-landing through which the deceased could be lowered to be taken out of the cottage, made necessary by the tiny staircase. The massive external chimney structure covers a very large hearth, for the size of the building, at the end of the single long ground-floor room.

The stone castle built on an early site, was the centre of the Norman Lordship of Ogmore granted to William de Londres by Robert Fitzhamon, Lord of Glamorgan. It is known that William de Londres was in possession in 1116 and further building was completed by his son Maurice de Londres. Maurice also acquired the castle at Kidweli from Bishop Roger and, according to tradition, was away visiting his new castle leaving Ogmore in charge of his steward, Arnold le Boteler, when Ogmore Castle was attacked by the Welsh, Arnold defended Ogmore so well that Maurice, on return, granted Arnold le Boteler the Manor of Dyndryfan (Dunraven) on the special rental of three golden chalices of wine annually. Note the inn at Southerndown (The Three Golden Cups). Ogmore castle passed via Hawise, daughter of the last Thomas de Londres, to the Chaworth family and thence by marriage to the house of Lancaster, later the Duchy of Lancaster and Crown property. Ogmore Castle declined in the early 15th Century after damage by Owain Glyndwr c.1402-05 and became the administrative centre only of the Lordship.

Inside the castle, beside the keep, is mounted a cast of an inscribed stone found in 1929 during preservation work. The original is in the National Museum of Wales. The inscription in a very early script has been translated as follows: - " BE IT KNOWN TO ALL MEN THAT ARTHMAIL HAS GIVEN THIS FIELD TO GOD AND (SAINT) GLYWYS AND NERTAT AND TO FFILI THE BISHOP." It is believed to have been part of a Celtic Cross Shaft and long predates the Normans arrival about 1093. It was probably brought into the castle after being found elsewhere and when rediscovered had been in use as a step.

Listed also as an Ancient Monument, they date from very early medieval times (11th or 12th Centuries?) Formerly 52 stones were visible but through silting up, much fewer can be seen today. Although many legends are associated with them, their origin is believed to have been purely utilitarian. They provided a way to cross the river Ewenny on foot – and remain dry. They are worn down and smooth from the feet of Centuries.

The first such bridge at this spot was erected by Sir John Nicholl in 1843 alongside a ford and a nearby set of stepping stones across the River Ogmore known as STEPSAU TEILO. This first bridge was notorious for its pronounced sideways motion, being commonly known as "THE SWINGBRIDGE." Replaced in the 1960’s by the present bridge. A few yards downstream from the bridge was an ancient fish weir called "Y GORED FAWR" with its "prison pool" where fish were kept alive until required for market or local consumption. A smaller "GORED FACH" dating from early medieval times was to be found a few yards downstream from the stepping stones on the River Ewenny near Ogmore Castle.

The origin and probably the proper name, was MERTHYR MYMOR or MYFOR, a little known welsh saint, whose place of Martyrdom this is believed to be. From early medieval times Merthyr Mawr was an ancient sub-manor and a place of early religious significance. The earliest documented reference to a church here can be found in a footnote in "The Text of the Book of Llandaff" translated by A.W. Wade Evans. Dating from 1129 it refers to "SANCTI TELIAWI DE MERTHYR MYMOR". First Norman owner of the manor was Robert de Quintin, Lord of Llanbleddian and Talyfan (note "Quintin’s Wood" today.) Next came the Susard family c.1230-1290, whose heiress passed it to Reginald de Somerton in 1328. It was granted in 1335 to Roger de Berkrolles, of East Orchard (St. Athan) which family held it, together with Coity Castle until the death of Sir Lawrence Berkrolles, at Coity in 1411. Thence to the Stradlings (originally "d’Esterling") of whom the best known was Sir Edward Stradling (1529-1609) who succeeded to the manor in 1575. As owner of St. Donats, Sir Edward Stradling was uncle to the Coity Heiress Barbara Gainage who defied Queen Elizabeth I to marry Robert Sidney of Penshurst in 1584. Sir John Stradling followed but the line died out in 1738 and the manor passed to the Bowens of Oystermouth. It was subscquently ownd by the Jones family of Bridgend who, in 1804, sold the Manor to Sir John Nicholl. Sir John built a new Merthyr Mawr House on a diffwerent site. The house is now Owned and occupied by Mrs. McLaggan (Nee Nicholl) and her husband Murray McLaggan the lord Lieutenant of Glamorgan.

The church is is a comparatively modern building, errected between 1847 and 1852 on the site of the much earlier church, the foundations of which can still be seen. Many early stone crosses and inscribed stones have been found nearby and are displayed under shelter behind the church. Having 120 sittings the church is small and the font (of Sutton Stone), the quatrefoil stone stoup (Norman) and the sundial on the south wall came from the old church. The two bells in the western turret are dated 1856. An effigy of a priest once inside the old church can now be seen outside the new church but within the old foundations.

Candleston is a corruption of the orriginal name CANTELOUPESTON, the original settlement (TON) of the Norman DE CANTELOUPE family. The ruined castle's the curtain wall and outer ward are medieval but the house dates from early 16th Century. The house its self was built by Griffith Williams, who was involved in the great dispute with Sir Edward Stradling over the lower Borrows. He also built the now ruined old house at Llantwit Major. Candleston Castle was inhabited until the late 19th Century. Historically significant remains were excavated from the dunes in front of the castle.

Now a Beefeater Restaurant, the original mill on this site was the manorial corn mill for the Lordship of Ogmore since Norman times. Destroyed in about 1403 by Owain Glyndwr, it was re-built a few times and served as a corn mill until 1872. The mill then became the pumping station for the Bridgend Gas & Water Company, exploiting the famous Schwyll Springs until the new Pumping Station opposite was opened in 1930. Used subsequently as a barn and a cattle shed, it became a Public House and Restaurant in the 1960’s . The millstream ran along the road from the Ewenny River to the Mill Wheel but was filled in many years ago.