Culturally Llantrisant has flourished as a town blessed with choirs, bands, actors and singers.
The 1890s alone saw three major events take place there. In 1892 David Evans, returned home as the Lord Mayor of London. He made a state visit to Cardiff in July and travelled to Llantrisant to open a bazaar, which raised £400 in aid of the parish church restoration fund.
Within a year, more than 20,000 people flocked to Llantrisant for a very different reason - to see its most notorious resident cremated on East Caerlan. Dr William Price planned his own cremation in every detail and his housekeeper, Gwenllian distributed entry tokens for the occasion
The list of parties, dinners, carnivals and celebrations which took place in Llantrisant, ranging from coronations and victory parties, is immense. Following the Great War of 1914-1918 many local war veterans were decorated with medals on the steps of the GuildHall before a huge crowds of well-wishers. At the same spot in 1921, a large group welcomed James Taylor, the Llantrisant-born Lord Mayor of Cardiff, to his hometown.
Probably the most popular social event in Llantrisant has been the Beating of the Bounds, held every seven years. During the 1980s and 90s the May Day Festival also drew thousands of visitors to the old town for the festivities.
In so many similar Welsh towns, one of the most important facets of everyone's social life was music. Often the origins came from the non-conformist chapels where the Gymanfa Ganu was born.
Musically the town blossomed with such organisations as Miss E. Bowen's Gipsy Chorus. William Davies lived here and composed the popular Welsh classic, 'O Na Byddai'n Haf O Hyd' ('Oh That it Were Always Summer'). Entertainer and radio producer Mai Jones was responsible for one of Wales’s most famous anthems, “We’ll Keep a Welcome”. She collaborated with lyricist Lyn Joshua and James Harper to create the standard which made its debut in February 1940. Lyn’s mother was Mary Rees of Llantrisant while his father Seth was a Welsh Presbyterian Minister.
In Llantrisant eisteddfodau were held in public houses, organised by the Cymreigyddion Society, which was formed at the Swan Inn in 1771. In 1865 a very successful eisteddfod was held in the market place to raise funds for a Reading Room and Library at Llantrisant. In 1898 the town enjoyed its own wax works. Their similarity to modern waxworks extended no further than the costumes worn by the characters represented. They assumed the likeness of Weary Will, Tired Tim, Funny Tom and the Emperor of Japan. The waxworks were part of the St David’s Day celebrations.
During the 1920s the Llantrisant Town Band was formed with players from Beddau, Cross Inn and Tynant. They rehearsed in the Cross Keys, before moving to the former jail house below the Guild Hall. The bandmaster was John M. Thomas of Tynant. Euphonium player Daniel Williams (Dan the Band) became conductor in the 1930s and they performed in the demonstration marches of 1934. It disbanded during World War II and the last performance was at the Armistice Parade in Beddau.
Llantrisant Orpheus Glee Society was also a prominent vocal ensemble with members S. Hayward, Jack. Lukey, J.I.Williams, Jack Barkle, William Griffiths (father of church organist Enid Lewis), Lemuel “The Milk” Evans, Evan Llewellyn, Jack Lamerton, H.H.Richards, H.Warburton, William Morgan (Bull Ring Farm). Tom Dyer (sanitary worker), G.Williams, David Lukey (whipper-in), Gregory Evans RCM (conductor), F.Wareham (secretary) W.Davies and Ivor Pickford.
The first record of a male choir in Llantrisant was during a concert on March 1, 1898 after a whist drive on St David's Day.
Llantrisant Opera Society’s performance of The Magic Key in 1927 was another memorable occasion in the cultural life of the town. Llantrisant and District Choral was formed by local GP Dr J.C.R. Morgan in 1929 and enjoyed considerable success.
Musically, two of the most influential characters were piano teachers Penelopen Price and Enid Griffiths (later Lewis). One of the most entertaining events took place in the late 1930s when bass-baritone Paul Robeson came to the town to film a scene for the famous cinema film 'Proud Valley'.
Worshippers at the parish church produced shows in the church hall for decades. Its most successful singer in later years was young Jeffrey Hooper of Dan Caerlan who won the TV talent show New Faces in May 1974 with the highest recorded scores of the series for his performance of .For The Good Times.
Several books have been written on the history of the town and its residents. The earliest versions by Sem Phillips (1866) and Taliesin Morgan (1898) called The History of Llantrisant proved hugely successful. Schoolteacher Dilwyn Lewis also produced copies in 1975 and 1982.
J Barry Davies has worked tirelessly on researching the history of Llantrisant and his books “The Freeman and Borough of Llantrisant” and “The Five Hamlets of Llantrisant” coincide with over thirty years of publications by the Llantrisant History Society. Journalist Dean Powell produced two photographic history books of the town in 2000 and 2002 followed by a comprehensive biography of Dr William Price in 2012.
To this day Llantrisant enjoys a reputation as the home of many solo musicians and bands who often play at one of many public houses throughout the town. The annual “Wheatstock” festival brought many of them together at the Wheatsheaf Hotel for a fundraising weekend. Llantrisant remains blessed with a wide array of weekly entertainment, usually provided by the talented residents themselves!