Cyfarthfa in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil


"CYFARTHA, a chapelry in Merthyr-TydviI parish, Glamorgan; on the N verge of the county, 1 mile N of Merthyr-Tydvil town and r. station. It was constituted in 1846.  ... Great iron-works here were begun, about 1765, by Mr. Anthony Bacon; passed through several hands, into the possession of Messrs. Crawshay and Hill; and include now seven furnaces, besides vast puddling and rolling mills. Cyfartha Castle, a good modern edifice with a round tower, situated immediately above the works, is the residence of R. Crawshay, Esq. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Llandaff. Value, £300. Patron, alternately the Crown and the Bishop. The church is recent." [From John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)  on Vision of Britain]


Business & Commerce Records

  • Crawshay Brothers (Cyfarthfa) Limited, iron and steel manufacturers and colliery proprietors
    • 1786-1902: letter books, accounting records, premises papers
      [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: Cyfarthfa Papers]
    • 1862-1911: miscellaneous business and personal papers
      [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records
    • 1791-1846: Cyfarthfa works ledgers (3)
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D Cy 1-3]
    • 1805, 1862-1919: letter books, directors' attendance book, miscellaneous papers relating to works and mines
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/DG: Letter Books; Section B box 5; Section G box 3]
    • 1788-1797: letter book of Richard Crawshay
      [Gwent Record Office, County Hall, Cwmbran NP44 2XH - Reference: D2.162]

Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
Baptisms Marriages Burials Banns Bishops Transcripts
1857-1916 1857-1928, 1944-1989 - 1857-1976 -

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Cyfarthfa Ecclesiastical Parish records  ........ including churchwardens accounts, 1898-1959; faculties, 1893-1928; church fabric inventory, 1948; plans, 1853-1928; kirkhouse memorial hall records, 1915-1965; church affairs, 1897-1940; parochial church council, 1920-1966; vestry amd civil records, 1843-1920"

Description & Travel

Cyfarthfa on Alan George's site

Conservation Areas in Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmfelin, Cyfarthfa Park, Dowlais, Morgantown, Thomastown, Treharris

You can see pictures of Cyfarthfa in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil which are provided by:



From Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923  (ArchiveCDBooks)  - transcribed by Gareth Hicks

  • CYFARTHFA, a quarter of a mile north-west from Merthyr Tydfil, is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1846. Christ Church, in George Town, on a lofty eminence, and erected in 1857, is a structure in the Decorated style... : there are 6oo sittings. The register dates from the year 1857. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff and the Board of Patronage, ... The Cyfarthfa works and collieries are the property of Messrs. Crawshay Bros. Cyfarthfa, Ltd. Near the Cyfarthfa iron works is the northern extremity of the Glamorganshire canal, 568 feet above the sea level; it was navigable in the year 1793 only for about 12 miles from Cyfarthfa to Newbridge, but in 1795 it was made navigable for another 12 miles to Cardiff, and in June, 1798, it was opened to the sea. Formerly a railroad from Merthyr Tydfil ran parallel with the canal, but on the opposite side of the river and terminated at the basin. Cyfarthfa Castle, formerly the residence of the Crawshay family, was purchased by the Corporation, in 1908, for £18,500, including the park of about 600 acres, overlooking the iron works and the town of Merthyr. It was built in 1825 by the late William Crawshay esq. of Caversham Park, at a cost of £30,000. It is proposed to use the main reception rooms as an art gallery and museum, and the rest of the building as a secondary school for 500 boys and girls. Behind the Castle tower is Morlais height, with the remains of a very ancient fortress, once the seat of the Princes of Brecon; beyond are the Welsh hills. A fine pond of 6 acres faces the Castle. The population in 1911 was 6,795.


The transcription of the section for Cyfarthfa from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Cyfarthfa in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Crawshay Family of Cyfarthfa
  • Letter book of Richard Crawshay, ironmaster, 1788
  • Merthyr Tydfil, Cyfarthfa Castle
  • The steam locomotive 'Cyfarthfa', was built in 1870 and withdrawn from service in 1896. It was photographed after it was sold to the Crawshay Brothers of Cyfarthfa Ironworks.


Cyfarthfa Castle School War Memorial - on the Roll of Honour site


Land & Property

  • Crawshay family of Cyfarthfa
    • 18th cent-19th cent: deeds, estate and business papers
      [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: Cyfartha Papers]
    • c1756-c1940: deeds, family and estate papers
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SO042074 (Lat/Lon: 51.757066, -3.389365), Cyfarthfa in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil which are provided by:



Cyfarthfa Ironworks - on Wikiped"

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Cyfarthfa Iron Works records  1791-1846 "Iron production at Cyfarthfa (Glamorgan) was started by Anthony Bacon (1718-86) in 1765. In 1786, the ironworks were leased to Richard Crawshay (1739-1810) and in 1794, he became the sole owner. By 1803, the Cyfarthfa works employed 1,500 people and was said to be the biggest in the world. When Richard Crawshay died in 1810, the works passed to his son William Crawshay (1764-1834), who was deeply immersed in his work as an Indian merchant and had no time for the Cyfarthfa works. He in turn appointed his son William II (1788-1867) to manage the concern. It was during this period that the works achieved its greatest production levels. ..................................................."
  • Cyfarthfa papers  [1706]-1878
  • Crawshay, Robert Thompson  1827-1883  ".................... Robert Thompson Crawshay was born in 1817 at Cyfarthfa and was the son of William Crawshay II and his second wife Elizabeth Thompson. He took a great interest in the works and on the death of his brother William he became acting manager of the works. On the death of his father in 1867 Richard Thompson Crawshay became the sole manager of the business. He extended and improved the works and the coal-mines.................................."

'Cyfarthfa Works and Waterwheel' by William Pamplin, 1791-1800 - on the People's Collection Wales site



Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Cyfarthfa Castle Municipal Secondary school records  " ....... comprising of letters and circulars, 1908-1909; board of education inspection report, 1913; specification and tender, 1910; plan of library, 1923; golden jubilee booklet, 1963"

Cyfarthfa Castle Secondary School opened on January 16th 1913 for the purpose of educating 300 girls and 200 boys. This magazine was written by pupils of the Girls’ school. - on the People's Collection Wales site


Social Life & Customs

The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box