SARON GRAVEYARD PROJECT – THE WHERE, WHAT & WHY
Troedyrhiw (in Welsh Troed-y-rhiw meaning ‘foot of the hill’) is a village in the valley of the River Taff situated some 3 miles (5 km approx.) south of Merthyr Tydfil. The growth and development of this settlement from the early part of the nineteenth century onwards was linked to the exploitation of the locally abundant iron and coal reserves.
Like many valleys communities Troedyrhiw has its historic graveyard which is a site rich in heritage and local meaning. Names and dates are carved into headstones which have become a fixed part of the landscape and are part of the identity of this place. The above link to Google Maps is centred on 40 Chapel Street, Troedyrhiw which is immediately adjacent to Saron Graveyard.
Friends of Saron was formed as a community group in 2009 with the primary aim of rescuing the graveyard of the former Saron Chapel, Troedyrhiw from almost 30 years of neglect. The group have produced draft proposals to turn what has been a blot on the village into a community asset by creating a low-maintenance Memorial and Wildlife Garden on the Saron site.
Hedd, perffaith hedd?
(Peace, perfect peace?)
A Welsh Government funded programme of clearance work was carried out in the graveyard in the early part of 2012 under the Tidy Towns scheme. This was followed up by the application of herbicides over the site under the supervision of Keep Wales Tidy.
In addition to the main focus of the project which is on the graveyard itself the group is involved in a range activities which include:-
Research into the history of Saron Chapel and the village of Troedyrhiw.
Creation of as complete a burial record as possible in the absence of the original.
Printing and distributing occasional newsletters.
Production of an Education Pack for use by local schools and youth groups.
Production and maintenance of this website/blog.
Promoting and contributing to a range of public events.