THIS week’s From the Archives shows a postcard and picture of Argoed in the 1900s.

The first item, a postcard posted in 1918, shows Court-y-Bella schools as viewed from the west.

The school was founded by Sir Thomas Phillips QC (1801-67) in 1842. Sir Thomas was a solicitor who became a prominent colliery owner with collieries at Manmoel and Court-y-Bella.

He became Mayor of Newport in 1838 and played a significant part in quashing the Chartist outbreak of 1839.

Court-y-Bella Colliery School, as it was named, was the first school in the area. It was built a few miles up the valley from Blackwood on the Mynyddislwyn side of the Sirhowy river.

For his services to the country Sir Thomas received a knighthood from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.

In contrast, the second photo shows Court-y-Bella Church, Argoed, built in 1857, in the 1950s.

The church served the Anglicans of the area including Oakdale, until a building made of timber and corrugated sheeting was erected at the bottom of Central Avenue, Oakdale, in 1921.

Court-y-Bella church was dedicated to Saints Philip and James - the surname of Sir Thomas and his wife’s maiden name.

The first minister, the Reverend Rees Jones, lived at Myrtle Grove, Blackwood, which was adjacent to the railway station.

As there was no Anglican cemetery in Blackwood, burials took place outside the town.

The most favoured burial ground was St. Sannan’s Bedwellty, but many locals favoured Court-y-Bella.

The Caerphilly Campaign would like to thank historian Ewart Smith for his help in our From the Archives section.

All photographs and information are available in Mr Smith's Blackwood Yesterday series of books, available from shops and online.