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From the Spring at the Birthplace of James James, the composer of

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

The Welsh National Anthem

Picture of James James

James James the composer of THE WELSH NATIONAL ANTHEM was born in The Ancient Druid Inn in 1832. It is believed that he lived here till he was 16 years of age, moving away once then returning shortly after.

Evan James was the Innkeeper at The Ancient Druid when his son James was born. He apparently also ran a Wool Mill lower down the river (which is now long gone) at the same time.

Very little is known about James at all, his early years would have been quite wonderful compared to most people in those days. He would have seen a lot of his father compared to most children, the majority of men locally working very long hours 6 days a week in the mines.

Although there was a lot of heavy industry to the North, this part of the valley was relatively free from it. There was a mining store about half a mile North of the Inn quite close to the river, which was similar in size to the Ancient Druid Inn, possibly larger (some remnants of the walls still remain), this served the Hollybush Mine. The only other industry close by was the Markham Mine, which was about a mile to the South.

Growing up in Wales with all the music and choirs that abounded in those days must have been wonderful if you enjoyed singing, but growing up in an Inn James would have probably found it hard to get totally away from music and singing even if he wanted to.

In those days there was no running water, so the Inn would have obtained its water from the spring that rises just a few feet to the South of the main building (in times of drought or very heavy frost the whole village apparently used the spring).

This water is extremely clear (and very cold) and it has a beautiful taste. The spring is fed from a deep rock aquifer, the water flowing from it at the same speed and temperature week in week out, year in year out.

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