Traditionally a farming community, Bedwas was originally called Lower Bedwas. Maesycwmmer, a small village not far from Bedwas, was called Upper Bedwas. The two villages became known as what we know them today in the 19th century.

Bedwas owes much of its own development to the development of the South Wales coalfield and the Welsh coal mining industry. This is depicted in the early Census records.

According to the 1811 census, Lower Bedwas consisted of 47 occupied houses and 65 families, 59 of these families were engaged in agriculture and 6 in trade, manufacture and handicraft. There were 254 residents in Lower Bedwas in 1811, 130 males and 124 females. By 1911 the population had risen to 3231 according to the census. In the late 19th century it was home to four coal pits and the construction of a large-scale colliery, Bedwas Navigation Colliery, had been completed by 1913. The colliery had an explosion in 1912

Bedwas Navigation Colliery, along with other collieries, closed in the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85, and did not re-open.

Light industry replaced mining as the main local employer. Bedwas House Industrial Estate houses the home of the nationwide brand Peter’s Pies, a local depot for Stagecoach Buses, DAS Motor Claims Centre, and formerly a warehouse for General Electric.

The parish church is dedicated to St. Barrwg, who was a disciple of St. Cadoc, and had a hermitage on what is now Barry (Barrwg) Island. The church is affiliated to the Church in Wales. It has a saddle-back tower, and dates back at least to the 12th Century, first appearing in historical records in 1102.