Cyfarthfa Castle, a prominent fixture of Merthyr Tydfil, is
a reminder of great wealth and great suffering. It was built by the well known ironmaster, Richard
Crawshay II, as his family home in 1824. It has been called the most impressive monument of the industrial
iron age in South Wales. The Crawshays gained the great wealth needed to build such an edifice on the
backs of the iron and coal workers in the valleys. The discrepancy between the wealth of the "iron families"
and the pitifully poor living conditions of the workers in their industries contributed to the
Merthyr Rising of 1831.
The castle and grounds now belong to the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and much of
the building has been converted into a museum.
Many of the rooms have been restored to how they might have been furnished when it was a home.
Other rooms have become art galleries or displays of the industrial days when Merthyr Tydfil was arguably the
iron capital of the world. There is also a gift shop and a delightful café inviting
guests to sit a while and enjoy a sandwich and a hot cuppa.
The parkland features well tended gardens, a lake, a children's playground, golfing, tennis and other
leisure pursuits. The hillside location affords an engaging view of the valley below and the incredible
fourteen-arch railway viaduct which crosses the Taff Valley.