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Brecon-Merthyr: the Gap Rd.


The Gap Road to Merthyr


The Merthyr Tydfil ironworks were the largest and most productive in the world from the late 18th Century to well into the 19th, providing rails for the Trans-Siberian Railway as well as cannon for Nelson’s navy.  Close to supplies of iron ore, coal, limestone, timber and water – all essential ingredients for making iron – the Dowlais ironworks under John Guest employed 7,300 men at its peak in 1852. 


So, Merthyr needed meat, and most of the meat came from Llandovery via Brecon.



(This road is made for people who hate reading maps; it takes you there, as long as you have the breath to climb a hill or two.)



We joined it at SN 038282, where the path crosses the Bailyhelig Road opposite Christ College School, Brecon, and goes up and up – till we had a marvellous view at the top of the town below and where the pines had gone wild!  (#4,5)  Meanwhile, we had started on tarmac, crossed the A40 bypass on a spectacular footbridge and avoided ending up at Pen-y-lan Stable Cottage by taking the old route to the left.


And before that, well, drove-maniac’s delight as we were surrounded by a huge holloway all the way to the top (#1-3).  Then we had to go back because of a long drive ahead, but nous reviendrons aussitot que possible!  There are so many question marks: for instance, The Gap (presumably Gap in the hills): where is it and what does it look and feel like going through?


More of this before long.  Promise.

Brecon-Merthyr: the Gap Rd. image 1
Still on Tarmac
Brecon-Merthyr: the Gap Rd. image 2
After Penland
Brecon-Merthyr: the Gap Rd. image 3
Beeches
Brecon-Merthyr: the Gap Rd. image 4
View of Brecon
Brecon-Merthyr: the Gap Rd. image 5
Pines!