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Celebrating Rhondda's Rich History

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s rich and varied history continues to be proudly celebrated via the unique Blue Plaque Heritage Trail.

Years of hard work and commitment led to the launch of the initiative to remember and promote the iconic residents, buildings, sites and events boasted by the county.

castell-nosThis week saw new Mayor Cllr Robert Smith unveil a plaque marking the site of the legendary Castell Nos.

The remains of the castle lie in the forests on the mountains to the east of Maerdy. The castle is believed to have been built by the Welsh lords of Meisgyn, descendants of Iestyn ap Gwrgant, the last Welsh King of Glamorgan.

The castle once stood proud above the hills of the Rhondda, which remained in Welsh control long after the Norman marcher lords had conquered the richer lands to the south.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Libraries and Museums Service, in partnership with Maerdy Communities First, organised the event to mark Castell Nos.

The day began with a walk from Teify House to the site of the remains.

At a wall near the ancient building, Cllr Smith and local historian and author David Owen unveiled the Blue Plaque that will mark the site, before guests returned to Teify House for tea and cakes.

Cllr Robert Smith said: “The Council worked hard for years to organise a unique scheme that would mark the icons of our county. We have joined forces with voluntary and community organisations, as well as individuals, to identify the buildings, events, legends and residents to be recognised for their part in history.

“It was only thanks to the support of residents, who nominated their own icons, that we were able to select those to be commemorated via the Blue Plaque Heritage Trail.

castell-nos-unveiling“Thanks to the £49,200 secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are now staging events across the county in which we and the community celebrate our county’s history.

“As Mayor, one of my key roles is to promote RCT and, I have to say, the rich heritage and culture we boast is more than enough to put us on the international map.”

The Blue Plaque Heritage Trail has taken years to come to fruition and is now being delivered across the county. Residents and organisations have joined forces with the council to identify the people, places and events that have helped shape history in RCT that deserve to be recognised.

Via a series of ceremonies and events, Blue Plaques are being unveiled to mark these icons, as part of a wider celebration of the history and culture of Rhondda Cynon Taf.