In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Merthyr Tudful like this:
Merthyr-Tydfil, parl. bor., par., and market town, Glamorgan, 22 miles NW. of Cardiff and 190 miles W. of London by rail - parl. bor. (comprising most of the par. of Merthyr-Tydfil, the par. of Aberdare, and parts of the pars. of Llanwonno and Vainor, the latter in Brecknockshire), 29,954 ac., pop. 91,373; town and par., 17,400 ac., pop. 48,861; 2 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. Merthyr-Tydfil is situated at a high elevation among the bleak and wild hills of Glamorgan. ...
It is the great centre of the iron mfr., and the whole locality abounds with the heaped and smouldering refuse of the works. Before 1755 it was a small and almost unknown village, but about that time some furnaces were erected, giving it an initial prosperity which ever since has been continually and largely augmented. Every branch of iron and steel mfr. is here conducted on a gigantic scale. The coal supply is abundant. A remarkable scene at Merthyr-Tydfil is the lurid appearance of the country in the night time when the furnaces are at work. Merthyr-Tydfil returns 2 members to Parliament; it was made a parl. bor. in 1832.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Merthyr Tudful has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Merthyr Tydfil. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Merthyr Tudful and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Merthyr Tudful, in Merthyr Tydfil and Glamorgan | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 11th December 2013
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