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Cefn Railway Viaduct

A Grade II* Listed Building in Park (Parc), Merthyr Tydfil

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Latitude: 51.7586 / 51°45'31"N

Longitude: -3.4061 / 3°24'21"W

OS Eastings: 303049

OS Northings: 207597

OS Grid: SO030075

Mapcode National: GBR HM.0HYP

Mapcode Global: VH6CX.X264

Entry Name: Cefn Railway Viaduct

Listing Date: 11 July 1951

Last Amended: 19 December 2002

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11377

Building Class: Transport

Location: On the SW side of Cefn Coed-y-cymmer crossing the valley of the Afon Taff Fawr.

County: Merthyr Tydfil

Community: Park (Parc)

Community: Cyfarthfa

Locality: Cefn Coed-y-cymmer

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Merthyr Tydfil


Railway viaduct, built 1866 by Henry Conybeare and Alexander Sutherland for Savin and Ward at a cost of £25,000. Sutherland was a friend of Robert Crawshay of the nearby Cyfarthfa Iron Works. The viaduct carried the former Brecon and Merthyr Railway over the Afon Taff Fawr and was built on a curve to satisfy conditions laid down by the Crawshay Estate. It was planned to be constructed entirely of limestone like the nearby Pontsarn Viaduct but a trade union strike by stonemasons in February 1866 caused the company to buy 800,000 bricks from Hirwaun and Welshpool and use bricklayers to complete the fifteen arches. Most of the masons were sacked shortly after returning to work. The first arch from the Vaynor side was keyed on 12 May 1866 and the last on 27 August 1866. The viaduct was built for double-line working but a single track only was installed, on the N side.


Railway viaduct; abutments, tall slender piers and parapets of coursed irregular sized rock-faced limestone blocks and fifteen ring-built semi-circular brick arches each of six courses. The piers have a projecting impost band and there are 2 projecting string courses below the parapets. The viaduct is built on a gentle arc some 235m long and has a maximum height of approximately 36m. An inscription on the S side reads ''''Built by Savin and Ward 1866''''.

Reasons for Listing

Included at II* as one of the most historically interesting and architecturally impressive railway viaducts in Wales.

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