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Aberdare

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Wales  /  South Wales  /  Rhondda Cynon Taf  /  Aberdare
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Aberdare is a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, at the confluence of the Rivers Dare and Cynon. The population at the 2001 census was 31,705 . Aberdare is 4mi south-west of Merthyr Tydfil, north-west of Cardiff and east-north-east of Swansea. During the 19th century it became a thriving industrial settlement, which was also notable for the vitality of its cultural life and as an important publishing centre.HistoryAberdare dates from the Middle Ages. It was originally a small village in an agricultural district, centred around the Church of St John the Baptist, said to date from 1189. By the middle of the 15th century, Aberdare contained a water mill in addition to a number of thatched cottages, of which no evidence remains. In the early 19th century the population grew rapidly, owing to the abundance of coal and iron ore,: the population of the whole parish, 1,486 in 1801, increased tenfold during the first half of the 19th century.Two major industries supported the growth of the community: first iron, then coal. A branch of the Glamorganshire Canal (1811) was used to transport these products; then the railway became the main means of transport to the South Wales coast. From the 1870s onwards, the economy of the town was dominated by the coal mining industry, with only a small tinplate works. There were also several brickworks and breweries. During the latter half of the 19th century, considerable improvements were made to the town, which became a pleasant place to live, despite the nearby collieries. A postgraduate theological college opened in connection with the Church of England in 1892, but in 1907 it moved to Llandaff).
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