Cefn Viaduct, 1 of 3

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Cefn Viaduct

Merthyr Tydfil
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River Taff below.

Cefn Viaduct
The impressive Grade II* Listed Viaduct was built in 1866 by Messrs Savel and Ward at the cost of 25,000, and was designed by Alexander Sutherland, a friend of Robert Thompson Crawshay.

The viaduct was built to carry the former Merthyr-Brecon Railway line over the Afon Taf Fawr and Cefn and is the third largest in Wales. The structure was built in a gentle curve to satisfy specifications to not cross his land.

The viaduct consists of fifteen semi-circular arched openings on tapering piers, the tallest of which is 30m in height. The bridge was built by stonemasons, though the arches are unusual in that they are constructed of brick underneath and stonework on the upper half. The bridge was intended to be built entirely of limestone, however a trade union strike by stonemasons in 1866 caused the company to purchase 800,000 bricks from Hirwaun and Welshpool and used bricklayers to finish the arches.

The bridge is a very large structure which is prominent in views from both sides of the valleys.

The setting of the viaduct is important to the attractiveness of these views. The viaduct also acts
as a landmark entry into the built up areas of Merthyr Tydfil from the Heads of the Valleys Road.

The bridge is used to carry the Taf Trail across the valley towards the Brecon Beacons.
Photographer: John Crellin

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24 January 2010  
24/01/2010 13:08:31
1/100 sec - F/8
Focal Length: 24mm
Lens: VR 24-120mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Exposure Mode: Shutter Priority
Metering: Multi-pattern
Focussing: AF-S
Sensitivity: ISO 320
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