The Area

Why Visit the Merthyr Valley and its surrounding areas?
We have a wealth of history here, industrial and cultural.

Merthyr Tydfil , Wales’ most historic industrial town, was once the largest Iron manufacturing centre in the world.
Also where the 1st steam driven engine (Richard Trevithick), pulled a 10 tonne load of iron  with 70 passengers along rails, for a total of 9 miles Merthyr to Abercynon.

Cyfarthfa Castle which is now a museum, was the former home of the ironmasters – the Guest family.

The Merthyr Riots – uprising against the ironmaster giants who kept the workforce in poverty, poor housing and sanitation. Dick Penderyn was hung following these events, supposedly for attacking a police officer. He was innocent of the charge.

Joseph Parry
A prolific welsh composer and fine musician.
Renowned for writing the lyrics and music to “MAFANWY
His story is immortalised in Jack Jones’ novel “Off To Philadelphia In The Morning”.

Llancaiach Fawr: a semi-fortified Manor, having walls 4 foot thick, is now said to be haunted.

For more information on:
  • Places to visit
  • Local attractions
  • Where to eat
  • Local activities
  • Culture & Heritage
Go to the Visit Merthyr

The 1st “Modern” National Eisteddfod took place here in 1861. on alternating years , it is held in the North then the following year in the South of the country.

Kier Hardy
Lived in Aberdare, he was the 1st leader of the Labour Party, but actually hailed from Scotland.
At the most northern end of this valley, Penderyn, is well known for its’ Whiskey Distillery. tours and tastings are available!!

Mountain Ash
A few miles further south, Gutto Nedd Bran , ran the 1st , 4 minute mile, then collapsed and  died when being congratulated.

The biggest single arched bridge in Europe, was built 250 years ago, successful on its’ fourth attempt, by William Edwards, still stands today.
(there is a small replica to be seen in the cottage).

The Welsh National Anthem:- Mae Hen Wlad Fyn Hadau.
Was written and composed by Evan James and his son James James in 1856, from Pontypridd.
A statute commemorating their achievement is to be seen in Ynysanghared Park (Pontypridd Park)

Geraint Evans and Stuart Burrows – international Opera singers were born in this area and the legendary Pop Singer Tom Jones – what a wealth of talent from one small region.

Dr William Price- performed the 1st Cremation on his very young son he too was noted for being a vegetarian.
The Royal Mint: making coins of the realm is also situated in this small town.

Has an historical castle, with a tower it is said to be leaning more than the tower of Pizza.
It is complete with a water filled moat.

Was granted a few years ago “World Heritage” status.
Big Pit, an actual mine, that you are able to go down in the “cage” and walk some considerable distance underground, where the miners dug for coal, is quite some experience.

Aneurin Bevan, hailed from this valley town, Founder of the National Health Service in 1948.
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