The Sirhowy Valley throughout the 1800's attracted a flood of newcomers into the area.
The region, predominantly Welsh speaking, found itself having to undergo a radical change in order to accommodate the new influx.
Tredegar, in particular, became host to an invasion of population from all parts of the British Isles - Ireland, Scotland, rural West Wales, Midlands, North East, Cornwall - all flocked there to take advantage of the new work opportunities.
This mixture of different cultures often led to conflict.
Tredegar experienced many unsavoury incidents - some of which would today be referred to as 'Race Riots'
Irish presence in Tredegar had been significant for many years but the relationship between locals and the Irish community had always been fragile.
There was a basic difference in religious practices - Valley people were largely Non-Conformist and at odds with the Catholic doctrine.
There was also a perception, stemming from many years previously, that Irish workers would 'undercut' wage structures - being prepared to work for less wages than their Welsh counterparts.
The most serious outbreak of violence occurred in July 1882.
On a Saturday, which was both a Pay Day and Market Day large crowds had congregated in the streets, many the worse for drink, a common situation on Pay Days.
What began as a minor stone throwing incident quickly escalated into a major riot.
Crowds rampaged through the town, attacking Irish houses and wrecking property.
The Riot Act was read but order was not fully restored until the following Monday when a contingent of 200 soldiers arrived to reinforce the local police force.
By that time some 60 houses belonging to Irish residents had been completely destroyed and many more severely damaged.
Although scores of people were injured during the disturbances, the only recorded death was that of a woman who expired from a heart attack brought on by the violence.
A sizeable Jewish community had grown in the town by this time.
Most were traders and merchants who had also acquired property in the area which they rented out, sometimes at exorbitant rates.
In an official report, the Chief Constable of Monmouthshire stated:
"Though they usually arrive apparently without means they soon establish themselves in business and acquire house property. As soon as they become landlords they raise rents very high and, I am told, make tenants deal at their shops. There is in consequence a very strong feeling against them."
In August 1911, tensions were running high - a railway strike had produced a shortage of many goods with a corresponding rise in prices.
A series of coal strikes had occurred in protest at wage reductions and many people in the town were suffering extreme financial distress.
Trouble began on Saturday 20th August shortly after pub closing time when hundreds of men began roaming the streets in an angry mood.
A Jewish owned shop in Castle Street was the first to suffer attack. The premises were broken into and the contents looted.
Police arrived quickly and managed to disperse the crowd but by now the numbers had swelled and the mob moved on uptown, wrecking and looting any property having Jewish connections.
The violence continued throughout the night and by the morning 18 shops had been destroyed and their contents plundered by the rioters.
Cohen's Drapery, Queen St.
Troops were despatched to the town but did not arrive until Monday by which time the mood had quietened and no further incidents occurred.
The majority of the Jewish community, however, was not deterred by these events and continued to maintain a strong presence in Tredegar for many years afterwards.