Cardiff audio tour: Disaster and Hope in Senghenydd: A Walk Through 1,000 Years of Welsh History

Disaster and Hope in Senghenydd: A Walk Through 1,000 Years of Welsh History

Walking Tour

35 mins

About the Tour

When you think of South Wales’ valleys, perhaps the Industrial Revolution comes to mind, when the air was thick with coal dust, the rivers choked with dirt, and miners’ wives hung bright white washing on lines while their husbands whistled their way to work. That’s just one version of the past and, on this walking tour, you’ll discover that there’s much more to the small mining town of Senghenydd in the Welsh Aber Valley.

Starting with stories from medieval times when the environment was quite different, our tour retraces the path miners followed on their way to work at the Universal Colliery. I’ll tell you how this village is linked to the magnificent Caerphilly Castle, and the lengths that a Welsh Lord would go to in order to save his lands.

We’ll stop at the Welsh National Mine Memorial, and consider the true price of coal before backtracking along Commercial Street to meet some of the people caught up in the terrible events of 1913. Finally, you’ll hear a few stories about local characters, as well as Wales’ history, before arriving back at your starting point outside the Heritage Centre.

Wales is a country with so much to offer, and this little slice of Welsh hills and valleys is a glorious microcosm of the history of Cymru Wales.

Tour Producer


Suzie Rees

I'm an actor, storyteller, and unicorn collector. I'm also passionate about history in general and about Welsh history in particular. Wales is my homeland and I am very proud to call myself "Cymraes" - a Welsh woman.
Growing up I didn't realise how unusual it was to have a medieval castle as your playground but its strories always fascinated me. The more I learnt about the castle the more Iearnt about local history and the more I wanted people to see the amazing place I live in as I do. A place of mystery, rebellion, heartbreak and madness all linked to a town with a history going back 2000 years.
My tours will take you on a walk through that history, not only in Caerphilly town but in the surrounding valleys too.
Thanks to Voicemap you can join me on a socially distanced tour while I tell you stories of my homeland.

Major Landmarks

  • Welsh National Mine Memorial

Directions to Starting Point

Start outside the Aber Valley Heritage Centre in Gwern Avenue CF83 4HA
From Cardiff leave the A470 at the Caerphilly exit. At the first large roundabout take the second exit for the A469 signposted Newport and Ystrad Mynach. At the next roundabout take the first exit signposted Abertridwr on to the B4263. Follow this road to Senghenydd. Gwern Avenue is the left hand turn opposite the clock.
From Caerphilly, leave the Twyn car park next to Coffi Vista and turn right onto the B4263. At the second set of traffic lights turn left on to the B4600. Follow this road up to the large roundabout then follow signs for the A469 as above.
On public transport take the B bus service from the bus terminal next to Caerphilly train station. If you're unsure where to get off just ask the driver and they should be able to help.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

There are few facilities in the village itself. There is a chip shop on the square and also a corner shop selling snacks and drinks. The village of Abertridwr also has some take aways and cafes but if you want something more substantial then you will probably need to go to Caerphilly.
If you fancy a detour by car then follow the signs for Eglwysilan in Abertridwr square. The route will take you up a narrow country road to the hamlet of Eglwysilan where you will find a church and the Rose and Crown pub. The church is believed to have been founded in the sixth century CE and the current buidling has many medieval features. There is also a carving of a Celtic warrior displayed in the church. The graveyard contains many graves of interest, many in Welsh, and several victims of the 1913 disaster are buried here. The pub is also a historic building and has been recently refurbished.

Best time of day

During daylight hours is the best time. Also, it is best to check the opening times of the Memorial Garden and the Aber Valley Heritage Centre if you wish to visit. The tour is suitable for all times of the year but please note that the weather in Wales, particularly in the valleys, can be changeable so come prepared.


The route to Senghenydd is along narrow roads, often with cars parked on both sides. Therefore caution is advised.
The walk will take you along a road so please be aware of traffic.
Although there is pavement for most of the walk not all of it is paved so again, please be aware of approaching traffic.
This walk is taken under your own responsibility and Caerphilly Audio Tours are not responsible for any injuries or incidents to walkers.


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Disaster and Hope in Senghenydd: A Walk Through 1,000 Years of Welsh History