Aberdare is in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff situated at the confluence of the River Dare and Cynon. It is approximately 8 miles south-west of Merthyr Tydfil and 22 miles north west of Cardiff.
From being, at the beginning of the 19th century, a mere village in an agricultural district, grew rapidly in population owing to the abundance of its coal and iron ore, and the population increased tenfold during the first half of the 19th century.
Ironworks were established at Llwydcoed and Abernant in 1799 and 1800 respectively, followed by others at Gadlys and Aberaman in 1827 and 1847. These have not been worked since about 1875. There were also several brickworks and breweries.
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.
The Coliseum Theatre is Aberdare's main arts venue, containing a 600-seat auditorium and cinema. It is situated in nearby Trecynon and was built in 1938 using miners' subscriptions.
The original founding members of the rock band Stereophonics originated from the nearby village of Cwmaman
Some Famous Connections
Stereophonics - All three original members, Kelly Jones, Richard Jones and Stuart Cable where all brought up in Cwmaman, Aberdare.
Ioan Gruffudd - Actor born in Llwydcoed, Aberdare
Patrick Hannan (presenter) - Welsh broadcaster
Roy Noble - popular Welsh broadcaster has lived near Aberdare for the past 30 years
David Young - Rugby player and Wasps coach raised in Penywaun. Lions tourist and former Wales' captain.