Cyfarthfa Castle Museum
Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art Gallery was built in 1824 and described as the most impressive monument of the Industrial Iron Age. Now home to a fantastic collection of artefacts spanning 2000 years of Merthyr’s history, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum houses the first steam whistle, the first voting ballot box and dresses by Laura Ashley and Julien McDonald, both born in Merthyr Tydfil.
The surroundings, Cyfarthfa Castle, home to William Crawshay II and family, serve as a reminder to the Ironmasters dominance over the town and the wealth the iron industry brought to the area, Merthyr Tydfil was once known as the Iron capital of the world. At the Castle you can admire the extensive fine and decorative art collections. This includes Swansea, Nantgarw and Wedgwood porcelain and art by Penry Williams, the Welsh Turner, and George Frederick Harris. Stroll through the atmospheric social and industrial history galleries which chart the rise of this once great ironmaking town. At Cyfarthfa Castle Museum learn about Richard Trevithick’s Penydarren Locomotive of 1804, the first locomotive to pull a load along rails. Discover the roots of the Labour movement, from the Merthyr Rising of 1831, and the martyrdom of Dic Penderyn, to the first Labour MP Keir Hardie.