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summit of the 1,960 feet high cliffs of Craig-y-Llyn on Treherbert Mountain offers
the most spectacular views across the Cynon and Rhondda valleys on either side
of the mountain. The winding ascent from the Cynon side of the valley, passing
Tower Colliery's deep mine and its opencast working, levels out on a summit where
a natural viewpoint allows passers-by to stop and gaze at the panorama of mountains
beyond mountains, misty with distance. Fifty years ago, Bronze Age artefacts such
as axes, breast plates and cauldrons were found in the waters of Llyn Fawr that
lies at the foot of Craig-y-Llyn.
Church of St John the Baptist
Built in the late twelfth century by the Cistercian Monks, the building is Norman in design. The iron gates outside the west door were made in the Abernant iron foundry in the nineteenth century. The church is surrounded by an ancient cemetery which, in springtime, is a wonderful carpet of violet and white crocuses and golden daffodils.
Valley Country Park and its Visitor Centre complex are open to the public throughout
the year (apart from Christmas to New Year) - and there are no admission charges,
not even for parking! The Centre complex comprises a Visitor Centre which serves
food and refreshments, an Inheritance Centre which interprets Cynon Valley and
its landscape, a gift shop, two exhibition galleries and a Residential Centre
offering high quality accommodation to groups and individuals. There is also a
caravan and camping site.
In the churchyard of St Gwynno's Church in Llanwonno is buried Gruffydd Morgan or Guto Nyth Bran, as he was known. Guto was one of the fastest runners ever known and legend has it that he could outrun a hare, keep up with hounds and win races with horses. In 1737, an English soldier by the name of Prince, who was stationed at the barracks in Monmouth, heard of Guto's prowess and challenged him to a race over twelve miles - which Guto ran in 53 minutes and won. Tragedy overtook triumph when Guto's girlfriend Sian slapped him on the back to congratulate him, displacing his heart. He dropped dead on the spot. In 1866 a large tombstone was erected in his memory and can be seen just behind the wall of the south porch of the church. A sculpture to Guto can be seen in Oxford Street, Mountain Ash and the Nos Galan races are an annual celebration of this incredible athlete.
This mountain-top footpath runs along the borough boundary between the Cynon Valley and Merthyr Vale, offering spectacular views across both valleys. It can be accessed from a footpath on the A4059, close to the A470.
Scwd yr Eira
river Hepste falls as Scwd yr Eira at the confluence of three counties:
Rhondda Cynon Taff, West Glamorgan and Powys.
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