History & Heritage

Our ambition is to preserve and celebrate the site’s precious history, enabling people to experience and understand the historic importance of the land and its contribution to the greater Merthyr story, the history of the town, the borough, and the South Wales region and its unique and fascinating place at the centre of the industrial revolution.

We have engaged and consulted with Cadw over many years and we want to ensure the site’s history, heritage, and ancient monuments are protected.

In consultation with Cadw, we will be creating a Heritage Trail, within the development boundary, that will allow controlled and managed access to two scheduled monuments (Cyfarthfa Balance Pond and Leat and Cwm Pit and Head of Railway) and a listed building (the Grade II listed Base of Chimney at Cwm Pit) all of which are closely associated with Cyfarthfa ironworks and the wider industrial history of the town. Currently, these assets are situated on private land in locations that are compromised by dense vegetation and thus are not publicly accessible and have little prominence within the wider historic landscape of the town.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments at Rhydycar West, all will be preserved.

  1. Vale of Neath Railway Cutting and Tunnel Portal
  2. Cwm Pit and Head of Railway
  3. Cyfarthfa Balance Pond and Leat
  4. Black Pins Early Ironstone Workings
  5. Cwm Glo pit and ironstone tip
  6. Cwm Glo Chapel
  7. Cwm Du Air Shaft and Fan
  8. The Cyfarthfa Canal Level
rw-heritagetrail.jpg Proposed Heritage Trail

The History of Rhydycar West with Christopher Parry

Cyfarthfa Castle based historian, Christopher Parry gives us an insight into the history and significance of the Rhydycar West land.

Heritage Locations

Historic spots.


Cyfarthfa Balance Pond & Leat

The proposed scheduled monument comprises the earth and stone work remains of a large pond and associated former leat.

Cyfarthfa Canal Level

The Cyfarthfa canal level monument consists of two sections of the former Cyfarthfa canal including an entrance to a mining level.


Grade II Listed Base of Chimney At Cwm Pit

The building dates from the 1820 - 1840s and originally supported a very tall square stack (as depicted in the historic photograph) situated to the south of the engine house at the Cwm Pit Colliery.

Vale of Neath Railway Cutting and Tunnel Portal

The Vale of Neath Railway cutting and tunnel portal comprises a cutting into bedrock, that once carried a single broad-gauge railway track, and an entrance arch into a tunnel that carried the railway under Aberdare Mountain for approximately 2495 yards.


Cwm Glo Chapel

The scheduled monument comprises the remains of Cwm Glo Chapel. The chapel was one of the earliest non-conformists chapels in South Wales.

Cwm Pit and Head of Railway

The scheduled monument comprises the remains of Cwm Pit coal mine and the head of the Cwm Pit Railway. Cwm Pit is one of the larger mining complexes within the site, with some of the best preserved upstanding remains.


Cwm Du Air Shaft and Fan

The Cwm Du Air Shaft and Fan consists of a mechanical colliery ventilation fan and shaft associated with 19th and 20th century mine workings at Cwm Du.

Black Pins Early Ironstone Workings

The proposed schedule monument comprises an area containing the remains of former iron stone workings, at a location known as the Black Pins.


Cwm Glo Pit and Ironstone Tip

The proposed scheduled monument at Cwm Glo Pit (Also known as Robbin's Pit) consists of the core area related to mining operations at Cwm Glo.

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