Merthyr Tydil is one of the most important industrial towns in the world. Today the town may have lost it’s industrial heritage, but in the late 1740s the first iron was smelted in the town and that sparked a growth that dwarfed anywhere in the world at that time.
Richard Crawshay, a Yorkshireman, was one of the men who founded Merthyr’s greatest industrial dynasty. In 1786, he purchased the iron works at Cyfarthfa when Anthony Bacon died. His empire grew and between 1824 and 1825, he spent £30,000 building Cyfarthfa Castle on a hill to overlook the town and his iron works. The building is more of a fortified building than a castle and the imposing grandeur of the decor both internally and externally is worth seeing.
Cyfarthfa Castle is situated in beautiful grounds and gardens to the North of the main Merthyr Tydfil town. As you drive up along the main arterial road (A470) it is impossible not to see the castle poised on the hillside, looking out over the town.
My father’s side of my family is from Merthyr and, as a child, I can remember playing in the local park and looking at this amazing castle in the distance. For those workers in the iron works of the 1700s, the castle must have been a continual reminder of the power of the owners of the iron works.
I was at Cyfarthfa Castle to take some pre-wedding photographs of a lovely couple as part of Double Take Photography. The couple were from Merthyr and we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful gardens. With any pre-wedding photoshoot, the aim is to get to know the couple and produce a photograph that can then be mounted and displayed at their wedding reception, which guests then sign.
This is one of several blogs about castles in Wales and the others are: