Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil. Its name is explained by a legend that takes Merthyr, as it is generally called, back in time to the emergence of Wales as a national entity from the last days of the Roman world. For Tudful, they say, was a British princess, daughter of the Lord of Brycheiniog (Brecon), the Brychein after whom his province was named and “grandson” of the Cunedda who marched from the North to hold the centre of both Wales and England with the state of Powys. She was a Christian, and she was martyred for her faith. Martyrdom and faith have occupied a large place in the history of the town.
It played its part in the wars that resisted the Norman penetration from the southern coastline along the deep valleys descending from the Ellennith; 2 miles away on Morlais hill, a Norman castle that was never finished makes its ruins a monument to those times. But Merthyr has been shaped by a different kind of history. It is a county and parliamentary borough, set in the valley of the Taff rather below the junction of its two major tributaries, the Taf Fechan and the Taf Fawr. Southwards from Merthyr once stretched the mighty coalfield, but, although the town owed much to its association with the coal industry, its own former greatness was due to ironstone deposits and to iron-working.
When the Industrial Revolution first launched itself into an expanding world, large ironworks were built to exploit Merthyr's natural resources to the full. They were built at Dowlais, Cyfarthfa, and Penydarren; Merthyr grew to be the greatest iron and steel manufacturer in the world, linked by rail and canal with Cardiff. In 1811, Daniel Paterson's Direct and Principal Cross Roads takes care to emphasize this point, and it adds the remarkable fact that a regular post was established between the two places, operating five days in the week. The Dowlais works were laid down in 1759, and had the distinction of being the place where the chemical and engineering innovations introduced by Josiah Guest were followed by Bessemer steel-rail rolling in 1856. The Cyfarthfa works were founded in 1765 by Bacon, managed after 1794 by Crawshay, and became steel-foundries in 1883.
Nearby towns: Aberdare, Abergavenny, Brecon, Caerphilly
Nearby villages: Aberaman, Aberbargoed, Abercanaid, Abercynon, Abernant, Bargoed, Bedwelty, Cefn-coed-y-Cymmer, Deri, Dowlais, Ebbw Vale, Ferndale, Fochriw, Gelligaer, Hengoed, Hirwaun, Llanwonno, Maerdy, Maesycwmmer, Merthyr Tydfil, Mountain Ash, Nant-y-Bwch, Nelson, Pant, Penderyn, Pengam, Pontsticill, Quakers Yard, Rhondda, Rhymney, Sirhowy, Tir-Phil, Tredegar, Treharris, Treherbert, Treorchy, Troedyrhiw, Ystrad Mynach
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation