Pontyclun Institute Athletic Club

Pontyclun Athletic Club

Pontyclun Institute and Athletic Club comprises of a main building with bowling green and car parking behind. It can be found on Castan Road in Pontyclun.

The institute was built by Godfrey Clark in 1910 to help enrich the social and cultural lives of the residents of Pontyclun.

Godfrey Clark was the son of George Clerk the Ironmaster who built Talygarn House. He was an industrialist, Justice of the Peace and High Sherriff of Glamorgan in 1897.

During the First World War the institute was used by the British Red Cross as a temporary hospital.

The hospital opened for care on 24 March 1915 and closed in February 1919 and treated around 660 injured servicemen. Inside the institute is a plaque, paid for by Mr Wyndham Damer Clarke (son of Godfrey) which commemorates this period.

There were 3 wards, offices and conveniences and plenty of outside space. The hospital was mainly worked by volunteers from the Pontyclun, Llantwit Ffardre and Llanharan Women’s Voluntary Aid detachment, though there were also some paid staff. In total over 70 people worked at some time in the Hospital.

Information about its role as a WW1 hospital can be found here

By 1941 it had acquired a bowling green and tennis courts though in the late 1950’s the Institute had fallen on lean times and a decision was taken to rename it the Pontyclun Athletic Club, which would also cater for soccer, rugby and cricket.

By the 1960s Pontyclun RFC was based at the Institute and had a reputation for great hospitality there. Teams would often march from the institute to the pitches led by a band making it a great spectacle.

The tennis courts are now long gone having been converted to car parking

For more information about the history of the community of Pontyclun please visit our online museum