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The word 'merthyr' translates to 'martyr' in English and the name of this town is said to be for a local girl named Tydfil, the daughter of one of the chieftains around year 480, who was slain for converting to Christianity.

Since then, Merthyr Tydfil has come on in leaps and bounds and during the time of the industrial revolution, its proximity to vast natural reserves of iron ore, coal and limestone made it the ideal place to erect ironworks, which in turn bought the canals and railways with them. With the decline of coal and iron after the Great Wars, the factories fell silent and into subsequent decline.

Today, the town remains at an economic and social disadvantage in many aspects. That said, it certainly knows how to make the most of what it has got, with some of the world's best male voice choirs calling Merthyr home. Culturally, the town is buzzing and it remains a mainstay of the Welsh language with it championing many poetry and book festivals dedicated to this colourful language. In addition, the town is located just to the south of the Brecon Beacons National Park, which is a huge draw to the area and pulls tourists from its lofty hills into Merthyr to find out more about its industrial heritage.

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