Aberdare is an industrial town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales, at the confluence of the rivers Dare and Cynon. Aberdare is 20 miles north-west of Cardiff and 22 miles north-east of Swansea.
The county borough was formed in 1996 following the abolition of the county of Mid Glamorgan. Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council was formed by the merger of the former Mid Glamorgan districts of Rhondda, Cynon Valley and Taff Ely (with the exceptions of Creigiau and Pentyrch). The population of the county is 234,300 (Census 2011), consists of 99,700 households (Census 2011) and has 7 neighbouring local authorities.
Aberdare, during its boom years was considered a centre of Welsh culture; it hosted the first National Eisteddfod in 1861, again in 1885 and in 1956 at Aberdare Park where the Gorsedd standing stones still exist.
Aberdare is the birthplace of the second World War poet Alun Lewis, and there is a plaque commemorating him, including a quotation of his poem; ‘The Mountain over Aberdare’. The founding members of the rock band ‘The Stereophonics’ originated from the nearby village of Cwmaman.
Griffith Rhys Jones or Caradog as he was commonly known, was the Conductor of the famous ‘Cor Mawr’ of some 460 voices (The South Wales Choral Union) which twice won first prize at Crystal Palace choral competitions in London in the 1870s. He is depicted in the town’s most prominent statue by sculpture Goscombe John, unveiled on Victoria Square in 1920.
A mile up the road from where we have our monthly meetings at Ty Newydd, lies the village of Penderyn; the home of Penderyn Welsh Whisky. The distillery is located in the old village of Penderyn, nestled in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons where the best little distillery in Wales has the smoothest wysgi on earth. http://www.welsh-whisky.co.uk/