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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
Source ID: 24890
Building Class: Commemorative
Location: In the churchyard on the S side of the church.
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Built-Up Area: Pontypridd
Traditional County: Glamorgan
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.
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