History in Structure

Merthyr Road Railway Bridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Llwydcoed, Rhondda Cynon Taff

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Latitude: 51.7346 / 51°44'4"N

Longitude: -3.4625 / 3°27'44"W

OS Eastings: 299104

OS Northings: 204994

OS Grid: SN991049

Mapcode National: GBR HK.1V3F

Mapcode Global: VH5GF.XNWN

Plus Code: 9C3RPGMQ+R2

Entry Name: Merthyr Road Railway Bridge

Listing Date: 27 June 2003

Last Amended: 27 June 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 81246

ID on this website: 300081246

Location: Towards the N end of Llwydcoed where the Merthyr Road rises over the disused railway cutting.

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Community: Llwydcoed (Llwytgoed)

Community: Llwydcoed

Built-Up Area: Aberdare

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Tagged with: Road bridge

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Built by the Vale of Neath Railway whose broad-gauge line to Merthyr was begun in 1847 and opended in November 1854. The engineer was the renowned I K Brunel of London and the main contractors were Hunt, Humphries & Edwards. Merthyr Road bridge was built to accommodate a single line of broad gauge track (7 foot width) which ran from Gelli Tarw Junction to Merthyr Tunnel. Delays in opening were caused by the construction of the Merthyr Tunnel (to SE of Llwydcoed) and the diversion of the company''''s efforts to the Aberdare line where the coal trade had expanded dramatically. In the mid 1860''''s, the Vale of Neath Railway was absorbed into the Great Western Railway and by 1872 the line was converted to standard gauge. The line was nationalised in 1948 and subsequently closed in 1962.


Single-arch over-bridge of wide elliptical proportions (to accommodate Brunel''''s broad gauge track). Coursed hammer-dressed masonry with droved margins to voussoirs and tall plinth courses. Coursed masonry to arch soffit. Broad string-course at road level links to cappings of ramped and splayed abutments which flank the track-bed. Parapets with blocked cappings and twin stone piers to pedestrian entrance and ramp leading down to former platform at NW side of bridge. Modern tubular bridge for pedestrians (by Saunders Tubecrafts of Liverpool) is attached to E side of roadway.

Reasons for Listing

This is a well-preserved over-bridge of distinctive character associated with the renowned engineer, I K Brunel. The modern tubular bridge is not included.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II War Memorial
    At the top of Llwydcoed Park immediately to S of the area of Tre-Gibbon.
  • II St James' Church
    Set in a slight slope on the corner with Merthyr Road at the NW end of the village. Opposite the junction with Cwmynysmintan Road.
  • II Llwydcoed Tramroad Bridge
    Spans the River Cynon at the boundary between the Communities of Aberdare and Llwydcoed. Reached by a lane from the roundabout to SE, past the factory; in the area known as Gelli-Isaf. Steep wooded
  • II Vicarage to St Fagan's Church
    Immediately to NE of the Church, slightly stepped down. Reached up a lane from the street; also direct from the churchyard.
  • II St. Fagan's Church
    Reached by lane from the street and tree lined path. Set at the northern end of a sloping, walled, churchyard. Vicarage immediately to NE.
  • II Gate Piers at former Railway Crossing
    At the northern edge of Trecynon; beside the road at the 'S' bend.
  • II Hall attached to Capel Y Bedyddwyr
    Built in l852 to the design of Thomas Joseph, local coal owner and engineer; cost รบ920. Became a self-governing church in l855 and then in l893 was extensively remodelled. In l904 further alteration
  • II Heol Y Felin (Capel Y Bedyddwyr)
    Above the road and set back behind forecourt including small burial ground.

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