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Troed-y-rhiw (The Foot of the Hill) is a small town just 3 miles from Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales. It is located in one of the valleys whose natural beauty charmed travellers and writers in the days before the Industrial Revolution. By 1850 terraces of small stone houses had been built for the families drawn to the area by the prospect of employment in the developing iron and coal industries. Please see the  Troedyrhiw Times site for more information about this attractive place and its history.

The overgrown area to the left of the picture is the site of Capel Saron and its graveyard. The remains of the chapel were demolished around 1980 and nature is slowly reclaiming the graveyard. 

We can assume that James Jones was familiar with this route up to the old chapel.

Brambles and ferns surround the elaborately carved headstones in the chapel's hillside graveyard. 

 

Some of the headstones are lettered in the Welsh language and they are of such quality as to imply a degree of affluence within the congregation. 
A stone terrace in Troedyrhiw. The windows have been modernised and the Welsh roof slates have been replaced with tiles in recent times.
The Carmel Chapel, built in the early 1850s. Troedyrhiw has an assortment of 19th century chapels, most of them now unused and sadly dilapidated. This is an austere example but many Welsh chapels, especially those built in the second half of the century, were very elaborate.     

 

    ©  John Weston / Data Wales, 2002
 
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