Merthyr Marathon MM4 - Hand of Crawshay
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This is the fourth in a series of caches aimed at exploring Merthyr Tydfil. You will need information gathered on the first two to do this five-stage cache. The first four stages are virtual caches, the fifth is a plastic screw top tub ("turtle"). It should be possible to complete this cache on foot in 2 hours - less if a car is used between the first three virtual caches.
The Crawshay family were Ironmasters of Cyfartha Ironworks and one of the richest families in Britain. As well as Cyfartha Castle, they had offices in London and a family estate in Berkshire. Each part of this cache takes you to a structure that owes its existence to this remarkable dynasty. From being a boom town in the early 19th century, Merthyr was badly hit by the recession in the 1930's when six out of ten workers were unemployed. One report at this time recommended that Merthyr be abandoned and the population moved to the coast or the Usk Valley.
The location given above defines the general area of this quest, but it is too damp to be a sensible starting point!
THERE IS A "WHEELCHAIR FRIENDLY" CONVERSION AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST EIGHT OF THE MERTHYR MARATHON SERIES. PLEASE CONTACT US BY EMAIL IF YOU WANT DETAILS.
The letter/number codes used in previous caches in this series no longer apply.
Virtual Cache 1 N 51 45.jtr W 003 23.kqk
… where the letters represent the numbers to be found from:-
- the Duchess of York opened the restored Ynysfach Engine House on j1.0t.8r
- the year the first steam locomotive ran on rails less 1400 = kqk
(Tough, we know - but we did draw your attention to this information during MM2!)
The 72 room castle was built in 12 months in u8p4-5 and had its own dairy, icehouse, brewhouse, stables, coach house and hot houses for growing fruits such as grapes and pineapples.
Virtual Cache 2 N 51 45.uvj W 003 23.qtv where:
v = p multiplied by k
Strangely, there is nothing to tell you that this is St Tydfil's Well Church, the only clue to its dedication being the name of the terrace opposite. The church is in the middle of The Quar, which is certainly the densest area of terraced housing in Merthyr - and a real challenge to get into by car, unless you either know the one-way system in the vicinity ... or are lucky!
Virtual Cache 3 N 51 45.qpu W 003 23.upr
This museum is well worth a visit, but has limited opening hours. However, for the moment, you need to note that there are m letters in the first name of the composer who was born here. Georgetown is part of the development that sprang up to house the workers employed by the Crawshay family. But note also the remains of the chapel from which this row takes its name and the fragment of the former Glamorganshire Canal - another Crawshay enterprise, essential to the efficient transport of iron products to the coast at Cardiff
Virtual Cache 4 N 51 45.upj W 003 23.mtt
Much of the Cyfartha Ironworks site has been cleared, but what remains gives an impressive hint of what used to be. With care, you can explore the access passages around the furnaces. It was the biggest ironworks in the world at the beginning of the 19th century and was visited by Lord Nelson in 1802, such was its importance in the production of cannons and other weapons. The biggest arch is about 40 feet high: on either side are smaller arches, though still about 10 feet high. As you face these arches, count the 10 foot ones on the right - the result is s. Sadly, nature is once again starting to take over and these arches are no longer easily visible, but they can be found by closer inspection - but watch out for holes! The terrain rating for the whole cache has been increased by 1, because of this.
Regular Cache 5 N 51 45.pts W 003 23.tsp
The ironworks was hungry for limestone, which was obtained from quarries in the gorge of the Taf Fechan at Gurnos. A tramroad was constructed beside the river from the quarries to the ironworks and its route is nowhere better evident than here at Pont y Cafnau.
Remember - clues from this cache may be needed for later caches in the series!
Hcfgernz bs gur oevqtr, nobhg 5z oruvaq vasbezngvba obneq.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum