In 1868, the parish of Aberdare contained the following places:
"ABERDARE, a parish in the hundred of Miskin, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles to the S.W. of Merthyr Tydfil, 19 miles to the E. of Neath, and 23 miles N.W. of Cardiff. It has a station on the Taff-Vale Line, by which it communicates, via Cardiff, with London, 194½ miles. It comprises the hamlets of Cefnpennar, Cwmdare, Forchaman, and Llwydcoed. The situation and surrounding scenery of Aberdare are particularly pleasant. The village lies on the banks of the river Dar, near the point of its junction with the Cynon, in the romantic vale of Cynon. Groves of oak and fir are intermingled with green meadows and corn-fields, with rugged rocks, and the windings of the stream. Coal and iron ore are found; and the works furnish employment for 8,000 hands. The works at Llwydcoed and Abernant are capable of producing 1,400 tons of iron weekly. There are other extensive iron-works in the parish. A canal, 7 miles in length, connects these works with the Cardiff canal, and a railway, 8 miles in length, connects them with the Taff Vale railway. There is also a railway to Neath, and another to Hereford. By the Reform Bill of 1832, Aberdare is made to form part of the borough of Merthyr Tydfil. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Llandaff, with St. Elvan's and Hirwain annexed, value £305, in the patronage of the Marquis of Bute. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is ancient, small, singularly plain, and has no steeple. There are, besides the parish church, three handsome new churches, and a fourth, dedicated to St. Fagan, which is now a perpetual curacy, value £120, in the patronage of the Bishop of Llandaff. There are also places of worship for the Independents, Baptists, Unitarians, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Dyffryn, in this parish is interesting as the birthplace and the residence of Owen (Jenan dda ab Davydd-ab-Owain), the poet and patron of bards, who lived about the middle of the 15th century. It is also the birthplace of Edward Evan, the Congregational minister, distinguished both as poet and divine, who exerted himself so zealously for the preservation of the bardic institutions in his country. He died in the year 1798. This parish was the scene of a fierce contest, in the reign of William Rufus, between the forces of the British and the Normans; the latter being led by Fitzhamon, who defeated Jestyn, and divided his territories between himself and his followers."
"ABERNANT, in the parish of Aberdare, in the hundred of Miskin, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, close to Aberdare. Here are extensive iron works, which, with those at Llwydcoed in the same parish, are capable of producing above 1,500 tons of iron weekly."
"CEFNPENNAR, a hamlet in the parish of Aberdare, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles S.W. of Merthyr-Tydfil. It is situated on the rives Cynon, near the banks of the canal. The inhabitants are engaged in the iron-works and collieries."
"CWMDARE, a hamlet in the parish of Aberdare, in the county of Glamorgan, 5 miles S.W. of Merthyr-Tydvillage It is situated on the rivers Cynon and Dar, and is included within the limits of the borough of Merthyr-Tydvillage"
"FORCHAMAN, a hamlet in the parish of Aberdare, county Glamorgan, 5 miles S.W. of Merthyr-Tydfil. It is situated near the junction of the rivers Amman and Cynon."
"LLWYDCOED, a hamlet in the parish of Aberdare, county Glamorgan, 5 miles S.W. of Merthyr Tydvil, in which borough it is included. It is a station on the Merthyr branch of the Vale of Neath railway. Here are collieries, and furnaces for smelting iron ore."