Bryncoch General View
Bryncoch is a suburb of the town of Neath in Neath Port Talbot County Borough, Wales. The name derives from the Welsh 'red hill' (bryn coch), originally the name of a nearby farm.
Bryncoch is divided into two wards: Bryncoch North and Bryncoch South. The area is one of the most affluent parts of the county borough, with 29% and 35% of households in the Bryncoch North and Bryncoch South respectively earning what could be called an executive income
Historically the village of Bryncoch was centred on Main Road and a few adjacent streets, but the village expanded considerably in the 1960s with the building of the Furzeland Drive and Elias Drive developments. This area makes up the council ward of Bryncoch North, which has only one small street of social housing at Heol Pant Glas, named after a nearby farm located at the furthest northern corner of the ward. The council ward of Bryncoch South includes the distinct areas of the Rhyddings, Gilfach, Penywern, Leiros Parc, and the large social housing area of Caewern, which used to be a council estate.
There are two village primary schools: Blaenhonddan and the Bryncoch Church in Wales school. There is also a special school, Ysgol Hendre. The offspring of Caewern inhabitants attend the primary school of Waunceirch, located in the social housing area. The nearest secondary school is Dwr Y Felin Comprehensive. Some village children also attend the Welsh-language Ysgol Gyfun at Ystalyfera.
Bryncoch was once the principal site of the Main Colliery Company, an important coal mining employer in the area up until 1928. The philanthropist Howel Gwyn MP lived at the now demolished Dyffryn mansion on the outskirts of the village and built the parish church of St Matthew on his estate in 1871. The renowned scientist Alfred Russel Wallace lived at Bryncoch Farm while working as a surveyor for the Great Western Railway company. He developed the theory of evolution alongside Charles Darwin.
The village has three pubs: the Dyffryn Arms to the north of Bryncoch, the Lamb and Flag on the Main Road (acquired by the Co-op for a convenience store) and the Bryncoch Pub.