Places of Interest

Centuries-old churches, remains of a Norman castle, tangible reminders of history-making events and industrial and engineering firsts - and nature in all its glory, preserved and enhanced for today’s visitor… Merthyr Tydfil has an almost infinite number of places of interest.

Morlais Castle Aerial Image Credit: Paul R Davies www.ecastles.co.uk

Pontsticill Reservoir

Pontsticill 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 megalitre…

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

Built in the 1790's to carry water from a weir across the Afon Taf to Cyfarthfa Ironworks.

The Cyfarthfa Leat is an old watercourse, running approximately 1000m from its source on the banks of the Taf…

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
Nature Reserves

Nature Reserves

Taf Fechan SSSI

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 l…

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 & Old Vaynor 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 & Old Vaynor Church
Gelligaer & Merthyr Common

Gelligaer & Merthyr 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 th…

Dol-y-gaer

Located in the south of the Brecon Beacons, this stunning landscape amongst the rolling hills frames both Pen-twyn (Dol-y-gaer) and Taf Fechan (Pontsticill) Reservoirs. 

It’s steeped in history with a…

Dol-y-gaer
Penywern Ponds

Penywern Ponds

Penywern, built in 1839, was initially the main barracks for soldiers stationed to keep the peace in Merthyr Tydfil after the 1831 Merthyr Rising. It was owned by the Dowlais Iron Company which used t…

Quakers Yard Viaduct (also known as Goitre Coed Viaduct)

This viaduct, near Treharris, to the southeast of Quakers Yard Station, runs over the River Taff. Constructed as part of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s single-track Taff Vale Railway it connected Merthyr T…

Quakers Yard Viaduct (also known as Goitre Coed Viaduct)
Pandy Farm, Williamstown Cottages and Toll Houses

Pandy Farm, Williamstown Cottages and Toll Houses

Pandy Farm and Clocktower

Immediately opposite the entrance gates to Cyfarthfa Castle, the farm was built in 1816 and then the clock tower was added in 1856. The original clock had three faces with on…

Llys Janice Rolands Square, St Tydil's Parish Church and Lucy Thomas Fountain

Llys Janice Rowlands Square

The lower end of Merthyr Tydfil High Street at Gilar Street was redeveloped in 2013 as an events space framing both St Tydfil’s Church and the Robert and Lucy Thomas Memori…

Llys Janice Rolands Square, St Tydil's Parish Church and Lucy Thomas Fountain
Giant's Bite

Giant's Bite

High above the A470 to the north of Quaker’s Yard, the Giant’s Bite is a dramatic gap in the skyline quarried from the ridge top at the former Cefn Glas mine and quarry. 

The site was intensively graz…

Rhydycar Skew Bridge

The Vale of Neath Railway was begun in 1847 to link Merthyr Tydfil with the ports of Neath and Swansea and was completed to Merthyr in 1853. The engineer for the railway was Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1…

Rhydycar Skew Bridge