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Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf facts for kids

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Ferndale, Rhondda Valley - - 52041.jpg
Ferndale is located in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Population 4,178 (2011)
OS grid reference ST000964
Principal area
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Ferndale
Postcode district CF43
Dialling code 01443
Police South Wales
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
  • Rhondda
Welsh Assembly
  • Rhondda
List of places
Rhondda Cynon Taf
51°39′40″N 3°26′53″W / 51.661°N 3.448°W / 51.661; -3.448

Ferndale (Welsh: Glynrhedynog) is a town and community located in the Rhondda Valley in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. Neighbouring villages are Blaenllechau, Maerdy and Tylorstown. Ferndale was industrialised in the mid-19th century. The first coal mine shaft was sunk in 1857 and was the first community to be intensively industrialised in the Rhondda Valley.


In Welsh Ferndale is known as Glynrhedynog, the name of one of the old farms on which the town is built. In its infancy Glynrhedynog was also known as Trerhondda after the name of the first large chapel to be built in the town. The naming of settlements after chapels was widespread in Wales at the time, as is shown in village names such as Bethesda, Beulah and Horeb, but neither Glynrhedynog nor Trerhondda was destined to be used for long.

The Welsh word Glynrhedynog is made from the words "glyn" meaning valley and "rhedynog" meaning ferny, and so coal from the Glynrhedynog pits was marketed as Ferndale coal, a much easier name for English buyers to assimilate. The Ferndale pits are what drew the workforce and their families to the area, and by the 1880s "Ferndale" was well established as a thriving town. With the phasing in of bilingual road signs from the late 1980s onwards, the name Glynrhedynog gradually reappeared and is now the officially designated Welsh language name for Ferndale. The Welsh language is on the increase in Ferndale after the village adopted the English language during the Industrial revolution. A Welsh language school is situated near the park and the school is named after the park's lake, 'Llyn-y-Forwyn.' (The Maiden's Lake)

Ferndale Colliery disasters

Two large coal mining colliery disasters occurred in Ferndale during the 19th century. The first occurred on 8 November 1867, when an underground explosion killed 178 miners at the Ferndale Colliery owned by David Davis and Sons Ltd. The second disaster happened on 10 June 1869 when a further explosion resulted in the death of 53 miners.

Modern Ferndale

Ferndale has developed over recent years. Some new features have been added such as a new astro-turf field, car park and an all weather cricket training enclosure. The Sky1 TV comedy series Stella is largely filmed on location in Ferndale.


Between 1849 and 1856, the Taff Vale Railway opened the Maerdy Branch from Porth, including a station at Ferndale. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1964 but coal trains continued until August 1986 when the line closed completely. Coal from Mardy Colliery was then raised through Tower Colliery. The track was lifted in 1996. Since 2005, the southern section from Porth to Pontygwaith is now the A4223 Porth and Lower Rhondda Fach Relief Road (Porth Bypass). The upper section including the section passing Ferndale has become a branch of the Taff Trail cycleway.


Ferndale, view over the town

Ferndale is home to rugby union club Ferndale RFC, whose first XV team play in the Welsh Rugby Union leagues.

Adjacent to Llyn y Forwyn is an astro-turf football field that, during the Summer, annually becomes the ground of sports days for many of the local junior schools. Also within the confines of Darran Park can be found a tennis court and bowling green.

In December 2006, the Ferndale Skate Park was opened with indoor ramps and other equipment available to BMX riders, rollerbladers and skateboarders. The skatepark began with the aim of improving the prospects of school leavers in the area and an attempt to bring sports and healthy living to the area in a novel approach. It has since received National Lottery continuation funding as well as a Rhondda Trust grant to secure the future for an additional 3-year period. It closed in 2014.

Notable people

Further information:
  • Sir Stanley Baker (1928–1976), actor
  • Roderick Jones (1910–1992),
  • Meirion James Trow (1949-), author
  • The Welsh nationalist writer D.J. Williams of Rhydcymerau, Carmarthenshire, worked as a teenager in local mines, and lodged at 32 Dyffryn Street, circa 1905.
  • Sir Wyn Lewis Williams, High Court judge, was born in Ferndale.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ferndale (Gales) para niños

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