Delving into History to Learn How the Cradle of the Industrial Revolution Can Face the Future with Confidence; 'THE STORY OF MERTHYR DIDN'T END WITH INDUSTRIAL DECLINE'

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 9, 2012 | Go to article overview

Delving into History to Learn How the Cradle of the Industrial Revolution Can Face the Future with Confidence; 'THE STORY OF MERTHYR DIDN'T END WITH INDUSTRIAL DECLINE'


Byline: JUDITH ALFREY

* ERTHYR TYDFIL has an assured place in the annals of history. Chris Evans explains eloquently that it was the place where the Industrial Revolution attained its most complete expression.

It epitomised the industrial way of life. It was, for a time, the largest town in Wales and was hailed as the iron and steel capital of the world in the mid-19th century.

But that was then. The ironworks have all long since closed, leaving only a few obvious landmarks.

The grim realities of economic collapse that began to assert themselves in the 1920s and 1930s and the determined renewal that followed have also left their mark.

The impact of redevelopment in the 20th century is inescapable - Merthyr is as much a modern town as a historic one. History didn't stop here when the industrial focus shifted elsewhere.

So what does this proud industrial past mean in modern Merthyr Tydfil? How has that past influenced the present townscape? Are there other stories in the streets that add to what the history books say? And what does this mean for the future? To try to answer these questions, Cadw has been looking at the town to uncover its distinctive historic character. Here - as in a number of towns throughout Wales - we are using a process called urban characterisation.

By looking at the history of a place, the patterns of the streets, the types of buildings and their construction, we can build up a picture of what makes it unique, and gives it its own special sense of place.

These factors all help to create a sense of identity and local pride which can be harnessed to ensure that we keep the best of the past for the future - and make sure it works to stimulate social, economic and environmental wellbeing.

History in Merthyr Tydfil didn't begin or end with the Industrial Revolution.

Traces of an earlier agricultural past survive in a handful of buildings and in place names that recall old farms and pre-industrial patterns of land use. But, eventually, land holdings came to be exploited largely for the value of their mineral resources.

Vast estates of coal, iron, ironstone, limestone and even water were gathered and brought to the major ironworks.

Traces of this working industrial landscape survive all round the town, but the best are those associated with the Cyfarthfa Ironworks and its subsidiary at Ynysfach.

Here, the remains of the ironworks still stand as powerful monuments of industry.

Cyfarthfa Castle, too, is a reminder of the astounding wealth generated by iron.

Yet although Merthyr Tydfil became a major town, its early growth was haphazard and opportunistic.

At first, it was made up of isolated rows of housing built along roads and tramroads close to the ironworks. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Delving into History to Learn How the Cradle of the Industrial Revolution Can Face the Future with Confidence; 'THE STORY OF MERTHYR DIDN'T END WITH INDUSTRIAL DECLINE'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.