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Cyfarthfa Park & Castle

It's more than just a Castle, Park, Museum & Art Gallery... it's a testament to Merthyr's spirit!

Discover Cyfarthfa Park & Castle

The Grade II* registered Cyfarthfa Park is one of the most frequently visited free tourist attractions in Wales.

Covering 65 hectares it occupies a prominent position overlooking the town of Merthyr Tydfil and the historic site of the Cyfarthfa Ironworks. The Park also provides a beautiful backdrop to the Grade I listed Cyfarthfa Castle, former home to the illustrious Crawshay family, and is recognised as being the best example of a 19th-century Ironmaster’s residence to have survived in South Wales.


Throughout the year Cyfarthfa Park is frequently used as a destination for events ranging from large-scale concerts and firework displays to craft demonstrations, fun runs and charity events.


Suitable for groups, meetings, conferences and celebrations bookings can be made by contacting the Museum.

Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Commissioned and built in 1824-25, Cyfarthfa Castle was constructed for ‘The Ironmaster’ William Crawshay II, who was one of the most influential men in Wales at the time. It is now home to a popular Museum and Art Gallery which is open to the public throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy a yearly programme of walks, talks, workshops and exhibitions or explore the Museum which is a testament to the spirit of the working man, Merthyr's spirit and the story which makes Merthyr so important in history for Wales and Britain as a whole.


This grand, castellated mansion overlooked his immensely successful ironworks and is known for being “the most impressive monument of the Industrial Iron Age in South Wales”. In 1910 it was developed into the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art Gallery and to this day houses historic artifacts linked to Merthyr Tydfil’s past - ranging from a distinctive art collection to the world’s first steam whistle.


Cyfarthfa Castle Museum offers audio tours in a number of languages and can cater for guided groups/individual tours if requested in advance. Furthermore, the facility houses a popular Tea Room with an exquisite range of homemade food and drinks available all year round.


Refreshments are available at Cyfarthfa Tea Rooms which can be found within the Castle, the Canolfan Cyfarthfa and Bothy can be found within the grounds.


Book your museum & art gallery visit here! 

Currently open Tues – Sun – 1000hrs – 1630hrs (last admittance 1600hrs). Closed Mondays

Miniature Railway

The Miniature Railway Engineering Society and Miniature Railway Company’s steam train rides provide brilliant family entertainment in Cyfarthfa Park.


Situated next to the beautiful Cyfarthfa Lake picturesque fun-filled trips are available throughout the year with themed rides regularly advertised on their Facebook page.

The Lake

The lake was built in 1824 as part of the original romantic style landscape design.  The lake was, and still is, one of the most significant features in the park. It was also however, an essential reservoir providing water for the ironworks. It’s claimed that the lake, with its feeder canal, cost as much as the house itself to construct. The lake is fed via the 1.6km long Gurnos quarry feeder, a canal sometimes referred to as the Leat, which runs above the earlier tramway built in 1792.


At some point after 1902, when Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council purchased the property for use as a municipal park, a boathouse was added where visitors could hire a rowboat for the afternoon.


The brand new Bothy Heritage Centre is open at Cyfarthfa Park – it’s where the adventure starts! 

Open daily from 10am to 4pm. Monday to Friday.


It’s also where you’ll find – Merthyr Gold honey, discover art, heritage and the natural world.


Visit the Hive Café to fill up on tea and cake before perusing the arts and crafts or heritage books on offer. Or why not get involved in the adventure of discovery by taking one of the creative workshops. But remember ‘One should never go adventuring on an empty stomach’ Winnie the Pooh’.


Perfect to hire for meetings, training sessions and celebrations.


Run by a combination of volunteer bodies such as The Merthyr Naturalists, Brecon Bees, the Melting Point and Active Heritage with a regular programme of events run throughout the year.


If you would like to be contacted about our activities email

Canolfan Cyfarthfa

The recent refurbishment of the Canolfan at Cyfarthfa Park provides a perfect spot to sit back and relax whilst watching your children enjoy themselves in the new play area and splash pad.


Take in the views across the park from the new café, decking and alfresco seating area.

The Canolfan also offers toilets and accessible changing rooms at the Splash Pad.

Cyfarthfa Ice House

One of Cyfarthfa Park’s hidden gems is the recently restored Ice house.  At 30 feet deep, it could store up to 18 tonnes of ice from the winter through to the summer. It is thought that during winter, ice and snow was gathered from the feeder ponds above the castle. This was then used to fill the ice house and during summer months blocks of ice would be taken and put into the castle to cool the rooms down.

The Glass House

The glasshouses at Cyfarthfa Park have been a longstanding feature. Once the pride and joy of the head gardener Mr Bartram, the glasshouses produced plants, palms and prize winning pineapples amongst a variety of other edibles. 


The Annual Flower Show in the 1860’s saw many first prize awards. 

The Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian on 19th August 1864 reported -



There were cherries with their glossy coat, and gooseberries just emerging into maturity. Melons and pineapples, too, the finest were shown by Mr. Crawshay."


During the Second World War, the gardens were used to produce food as part of the Dig for Victory campaign. In more recent years the greenhouses have been used to grow the thousands of bedding plants needed for the Borough’s parks and open spaces.

Cyfarthfa Ponds

The recently refurbished ponds at Cyfarthfa Park played a vital role in keeping Cyfarthfa Castle self-sufficient. They had three main functions:


  1. As balancing ponds, constructed soon after the building of the castle, to regulate the water level of the lake.
  2. As feeders, through recently discovered sump and stone cut pipe systems for the extensive greenhouses.
  3. To replenish the ice house with snow and ice during winter.

© Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council 2024