Category Archives: Latest News

This community project needs a bit more help

As a group of community volunteers with no religious, political or other affiliations we have been working hard to rescue the graveyard of the former Saron Chapel in Troedyrhiw from the effects of many years of neglect. We are extremely grateful to the landowner and leaseholder for making it possible for urgently necessary structural work to be carried out in the near future. Our small but dedicated team have made significant improvements to the condition of the site but there is much still to be done. We are now appealing to individual members of the community, organisations and local businesses to actively support us in any way that you can so that our vision of creating a low maintenance memorial and wildlife garden can be achieved within a reasonable timescale. So why not come along to our next committee meeting on 30 May or pop in to our next Volunteer Day on 01 June? You can be sure of receiving a warm reception. You might like to contact us by email at or call us on 01623477141.


Babell Graveyard Project

This is a very interesting project that has similarities to the Saron Graveyard Project, Troedyrhiw.

Richard Hopkins has bought an abandoned graveyard in Swansea to stop anyone building on top of five generations of his ancestors.

This has led to the Babell Graveyard Project.

Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum – The Latest Talk

Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum was recently very pleased to welcome Huw Williams as guest speaker at one of its meetings held at Carmel Chapel in the village.

As one of the Borough’s most prominent local historians Mr Williams was able to bring his considerable knowledge and experience to bear on his theme. This was the serious public health situation in the town in the middle years of the nineteenth century and the story of how, despite the obstructive attitude of the ironmasters and coal owners, improvements in water supply and sewerage were eventually made. This involved, amongst other things, the construction of a main sewer which by 1868 was emptying raw sewage from Merthyr into the River Taff below Troed-y-hiw. By 1871 a more satisfactory solution was in place with the completion of a sewage farm on a 70-acre site next to the original sewage outfall. Here, in what was probably a ‘world first’, the sewage was successfully treated by a method known as downward intermittent filtration that had previously only been demonstrated on a laboratory scale.

Following his talk Huw Williams took some questions from the audience and then joined us for a cup of tea and an informal chat. He left with our grateful thanks taking with him our best wishes to Merthyr Historical Society in return for those that he had delivered from them to us.

Friends of Saron AGM

Friends of Saron held their Annual General Meeting last Friday at the Willows Centre, Troedyrhiw. The bad weather limited the number attending but this was a very positive meeting. The main points of discussion arose from the welcome news that urgently necessary structural work will soon be carried out on a retaining wall at the expense of the leaseholder. It was strongly felt that the project needs greater support from the community to achieve its goal of creating a low maintenance memorial and wildlife garden on the Saron site. Much time and energy and a certain amount of money have been invested in the restoration programme – but this will count for nought unless the local community values the graveyard as an asset.

Full minutes of this AGM will, in due course, be posted in the ‘Documents’ section of the Friends of Saron blog at  (access from the foot of the home page).

Volunteer Day Washout. Let’s hope for better luck next time!

Many thanks to the volunteers of Saron Graveyard Project, Troedyrhiw who had made themselves available for last Saturday’s Volunteer Day only for it to be cancelled due to the bad weather. This is only the second time since the project began that this has been necessary. A quick look into the graveyard recently showed that many of the plants that we have put in are doing well but so, unfortunately, are the weeds! We would like to see as many helpers and supporters as possible at our next scheduled session on Saturday 1st June.

Can you support this community venture?

Please think about coming to see what is going on at Saron Graveyard, Chapel Street, Troedyrhiw on our next VOLUNTEER DAY. You might even decide to stay for a short while and give us a hand. You can be sure of a warm welcome on SATURDAY 27 APRIL from 10.00am.

An invitation to you

Dating from the 1830’s the graveyard of the former Saron Chapel in Troedyrhiw is an important part of the historic fabric of the village. This group have been working hard to reverse the effects of a lengthy period of abandonment through the creation of a memorial and wildlife garden that we can be proud rather than ashamed of.You are warmly invited to attend our AGM to learn about what has been achieved so far and, if you wish, to participate in discussions on the way forward. There will also be an election of group officers for the coming year and, of course, TEA/COFFEE & BISCUITS. We look forward to seeing you there.

April Meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum

We are fortunate to live in a country and at a time when clean water and sanitation are things that we can take for granted. This has not always been the case.This talk will deal with the history of some of the developments in our local area that were to lead to general improvements in public health and life expectancy across our nation.
Please put this date, time and place into your diary. We hope that you will be able to make it to what is sure to be another interesting and enjoyable session.

Remembrance of a departed sister

Earlier this year while Friends of Saron volunteers were working in Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw they received a visit from Pat Smith. She was looking for the burial place of a sister who had died shortly after birth in 1940.

In the absence of a headstone carrying an inscription Friends of Saron began to carry out some detective work. They were able to discover from a reliable source the area in the graveyard that had been used for the interment of children that had been stillborn or had died in infancy. This location had suffered considerable disturbance when, during a long period of abandonment, trees and shrubs had become established and the ground had subsided. A number of stone grave markers, obviously out of their original positions, came to light when volunteers began to level this area. Amongst these was the stone inscribed ‘W. E.’ that had been used to mark the grave of Pat Smith’s sister.

When Pat Smith revisited the Saron site recently she brought with her a small metal plaque that had been engraved with her departed sister’s details. Friends of Saron were pleased to attach this to the grave marker which has now been placed in an area that will be devoted to the remembrance of those whose exact places of burial cannot be determined.


At a recent Volunteer day held in the graveyard the programme of maintenance and restoration work moved forward another step or two as the images show.

We now need to recruit more volunteers to ensure that the interior of this historically important site is returned to a condition that makes it, once again, a community asset that we can all be proud of.

1. Volunteering is a very rewarding thing to do.
2. Gain confidence.
3. Make a difference.
4. Meet people.
5. Be part of a community.
6. Learn new skills.
7. Take on a challenge.
8. Have fun!

As a volunteer you will not be expected to be an expert. There is something for everyone however physically fit you are and however much time you wish to devote to the project.

a. Keep an eye on this page or on the Friends of Saron blog for Volunteer Day news (our next session will be on Saturday 27 April).
b. Just turn up at any time from 10.00am onwards to see what we are doing and maybe lend a hand.
c. Get in touch with us at or ring 01623477141

We look forward to seeing or hearing from you.