At the start of the nineteenth century The Taff Bargoed Valley was home to a few scattered hill farms
By 1925 the population had risen to over 10,000, mostly miners attracted by the expansion of the coal
mining industry into the valley as the British Empire demanded ever more coal, iron and steel.
It is probably no exaggeration to say that the British Empire was built on the sweat and blood of the Welsh coal mining industry.
At its height the three main pits in the valley (Deep Navigation; Taff Merthyr; and Trelewis Drift) worked day and night producing coal, the Bargoed Taff river ran black with coal dust and the area was surrounded by heaps of mine waste. When mining finished in the mid nineties the valley was left a black waste-land, a scar not only on the landscape but in the minds of the community who had been intimatly involved with the mines for generations.
Parc Taf Bargoed was developed with all the communities involved from the very begining, the community saw an opportunity to create a living green space for themselves and their children, Parc Taf Bargoed was born from this desire.
The coal mines have gone, the once black river is home for dippers and wagtails, the pit heaps that marred the skyline have been replaced with wooded hillsides. Climbers come from around the country to the Welsh International Climbing Centre located on the old site of the Taff Merthyr Colliery between Trelewis and Bedlinog. The centre has one of the largest indoor climbing walls in the country and offers all sorts of other sports and activities.
With help from European and millennium funds the three pit sites have been transformed into a country park, lakes, walks and bike trails. Increasingly the valley attracts a new type of visitor.
The Taff Bargoed Valley is situated within the Brecon Beacons National Park and comprises the town of Treharris and the villages of Trelewis and Bedlinog.
Recent news - 3rd Nov 2010
|Work starts on Parc Taf Bargoed centre
|A 'cutting of the sod' ceremony has been held to mark the start of work on a new environment and heritage centre at Parc Taf Bargoed, South Wales.
The new facility is designed to provide a 'focal point' for visitors and a venue for events and activities, while also celebrating the heritage of local communities.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has secured £1.6m from the Welsh Assembly Government's Heads of the Valleys project and the Valleys Regional Park initiative.
European convergence and Interreg funding has also helped to fund the Parc Taf Bargoed facility, which forms part of the wider Communities Changing Landscapes: The Parc Taf Bargoed Story - funded through the big Lottery Fund.
For further information contact: Taff Bargoed Regeneration Manager, Civic Centre, Castle Street, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8AN
Tel: 01685 725474