Cyfarthfa Park

Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales

Photos taken February 2001

Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita.*

Many thanks to my 'editor' John Ball, without whose help the information on these pages would be full of errors!

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.

Cyfarthfa Castle

Above: The mock gothic design of this grand house of the post regency period was designed by architect Robert Luger in 1824. Its setting on 160 acres of parkland once overlooked the Crawshays' industries below.

Grounds with lake

Above: Sloping front lawns lead down to the lake below. This February was still too cold for the flower gardens around the fountain to begin to show their colors. The above mentioned fourteen-arched Taff Vale railway viaduct is seen at the far right.

Front fountain

Above: A closer view of the fountain. There was no water running, probably having been turned off for the winter.

Cefn Coed viaduct

Above: Below the lake and beyond the viaduct lies Cefn Coed y Cymer where many iron and coal workers lived in the 19th century. Newer homes have been built in front of the viaduct on land that was once the site of great iron works.

South garden

Above: A sculptured formal garden graces the south entrance. A wide variety of trees and shrubs provide year-round greenery which enhances the contrast of the gravelled walkway and standing sundial.

Entry to Castle

Above: The main entrance is guarded by two cannons, one on either side of the doorway. Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Park has become a popular year round visitors' site.

*Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita, who also holds the copyright. Should you wish to download any of them for any reason (other than your own enjoyment), please credit  Venita  as the photographer and add my URL:

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