"The valley stretched for a distance of eight or ten miles between two nearly parallel lines of hills, broken by a succession of cliffs of singular beauty....... The emerald greeness of the meadows in the valley below was most refreshing...... The air is aromatic with the wild flowers and mountain plants. A Sabbath stillness reigns .... it is the gem of Glamorganshire. " Charles Cliffe, The Book of South Wales, 1847
"The river Rhondda is a dark turgid, and contaminated gutter, into which is poured the refuse of the host of collieries which skirt the thirteen miles of its course. The hills have been stripped of all their woodland beauty, and there they stand, rugged and bare, with immense rubbish heaps covering their surface .... The whole length of the valley has become transformed ... the din of steam engines, the whirr of machinery, the grating sound of coal screens, and the hammering of the smithies proceed increasingly night and day, year in and year out. An unheard of wealth of industry and a great population have simultaneously sprung up together during the past sixty years ... The industrial townships of this valley appear to be inseparably connected in one continuous series of streets of workmens' cottages to Pontypridd. " A Morris, Glamorgan, 1908.
The above contrasting descriptions of the Rhondda appear in David Egan's Coal Society (A History of the South Wales Mining Valleys, 1840-1980). Published in 1987 by Gomer Press.
Here is a substantial reading list of books which relate to Glamorgan, either county or parish.
Index to the book Rhondda, A second selection [The archive photographs series], provided by Allen Powell
Description and Travel
Images of the Rhondda - on Phil Evans's site
Rhondda Cynon Taff Heritage Trail site - sections for Cynon, Rhondda and Taff Ely
Rhondda Heritage Park
Historic Landscape Characterisation: The Rhondda - on the CADW site.
Fully explore the site - there are separate detailed sections for places in the area
"The Rhondda represents a rare and important historic landscape and as such is included in the national Register of Landscapes of Historic Interest in Wales: Part 2:2: Landscapes of Special Historic Interest (2001)."
Rhondda Cynon Taff - on Wikipedia
Historical snippets re 'the Rhondda', various contributors
Rhondda Cynon Taf Photographic Archive contains digital images of the people and places of Rhondda Cynon Taf taken from the collections held by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Libraries. Over 14,000 images are available on the site that illustrates all aspects of life in the County Borough area from around 1880 to the present day.
Any entries included here because not clear where exactly the colliery was
Some of the hamlets, towns and villages within this area
Rhondda in the County of Glamorgan