Places of Interest

It is said that the past is a foreign country – if so Merthyr’s heritage is a veritable United Nations. Here is a small selection of the county’s historic places.

Ponticill Reservoir

Ponticill Reservoir

The beautiful Pontsticill Reservoir, originally Taff Fechan Reservoir, was opened in 1927 to supply water to much of the South Wales Valleys.

The 110ft high embankment is holding back 15,400 megalitr…

Cyfarthfa Iron & Steelworks

The Cyfarthfa Works were, for a generation at the beginning of the 19th century, the largest ironwork in the world and the source of great wealth to its owners, the Crawshays.

The impressive remains t…

Cyfarthfa Iron & Steelworks
Cyfarthfa Leat & Tramroad

Cyfarthfa Leat & Tramroad

The Cyfarthfa Leat is an old watercourse, running approximately 1000m from its source on the banks of the Taff Fechan to Cyfarthfa Lake and was originally built to also convey water to the ironworks. …

Cefn Viaduct

The viaduct is the third largest in Wales and is now a Grade II listed building. It was designed by Alexander Sutherland in conjunction with Henry Conybeare and partly built by Thomas Savin and John W…

Cefn Viaduct
Pontsarn Viaduct

Pontsarn Viaduct

The Pontsarn Viaduct was built in the 1860’s to carry the Brecon and Merthyr Railway over the river was designed and built by Savin and Ward and their engineer Alexander Sunderland (as was the Cefn vi…

Trevithick Tunnel

On the 21st February 1804, Merthyr witnessed the first ever steam locomotive journey, as Richard Trevithick’s ‘Pendydarren Locomotive’ travelled down through Pentrebach and on to Abercynon.

Trevithick…

Trevithick Tunnel
Pont-Y-Cafnau Bridge

Pont-Y-Cafnau Bridge

South Wales played an important part in the development of structural cast-iron. Here in Cyfarthfa one such cast-iron structure is significant, not only for its innovative design and that it carries b…

Pontygwaith Bridge

This Grade II listed hump back bridge over the River Taff has links as far back as the 1540’s.

The current incarnation was assembled in 1811 with attractive Pennant Sandstone and Is well worth a visit…

Pontygwaith Bridge
Natural Reserves

Natural Reserves

Taf Fechan

The nature reserve is a 2.5km stretch of dramatic wooded limestone gorge cut by the River Taf Fechan, between the bridges of Pontsarn and Cefn Coed to the North of Merthyr Tydfil.

It lies …

Parks and Playgrounds

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is custodian to 619 hectares of publicly owned open space. We believe it is important to look after, protect, and develop our parks and public open spaces ranging…

Parks and Playgrounds
Morlais Castle

Morlais Castle

Overlooking Trefechan are the remains of Morlais Castle.

It was originally built around 1270 by the Earl of Gloucester and Lord of Glamorgan, Gilbert de Clare, on land claimed by Humphrey de Bohun - T…

St Gwynno’s Church

Travel to the remote hillside near Pontsticill to St Gwynno's Church (better known as Vaynor Church), and you’ll find the grave of Merthyr Tydfil ironmaster Robert Thompson Crawshay, who had the origi…

 St Gwynno’s Church
Gelligaer Common

Gelligaer Common

Despite at first glance appearing deserted there is more to Gelligaer than meets the eye – its complex history of fact and legend has left interesting Roman and Medieval remains. Among its gems are a …