River Taff: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Taff.

  • The River Taff is formed at Cefn-coed-y-cymmer in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales at the confluence (meeting point) of the rivers Taf Fechan and Taf Fawr.

  • It flows through Pontypridd, underneath the M4 Motorway and Cardiff. It’s mouth is in Cardiff Bay, close to the mouth of the River Ely.
  • The River Taff is 64 km long.
  • Some of its tributaries include, the River Cynon, the River Rhondda and the Nant Clydach.
  • In the mid-1800s, Isambard Kingdom Brunel came up with plans to divert the River Taff to the west, away from its old course around Cardiff Castle. This allowed for Cardiff Central Station to be built in an area that had previously been prone to flooding.

River Taff

  • The river now flows next to Cardiff Arms Park and the Millennium Stadium.
  • The River Taff used to be heavily polluted by industry along its banks. In recent years, the water quality has improved and it is becoming one of the best rivers for salmon and trout in all of Wales, although there is concern about the numbers of grayling in the river.
  • The Taff Trail follows the course of the River Taff, and takes in the sites of Castle Coch, Rhondda Heritage Park and Cyfarthfa Castle.

The River Taff

  • The Pont-y-Cafnau (the Bridge of Troughs) which crosses the River Taff in Merthyr Tydfil, is the world’s earliest surviving iron railway bridge.
  • In 1795-6, J. M. W. Turner created a painting of the construction of a new bridge in Cardiff over the River Taff.

What next? Discover some more facts about rivers.

10 Facts About Wales

Here are ten facts about Wales.

  • Wales is part of the United Kingdom. The small country covers an area of just over 20,000 square km and lies between England to the east and the Irish Sea to the west.
  • The actors Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins are from Wales. The comedians Griff Rhys-Jones and Tommy Cooper were born there, as well as the singer Tom Jones.

  • Cardiff has been the capital of Wales since 1955, making it one of Europe’s youngest capitals. Wales is also home to the UK’s smallest city, St. David’s with about 2,000 people.
  • Llandudno is one of Wales’ most popular seaside resorts and was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The Italian looking town of Portmerion was the setting for the cult 1960s television show The Prisoner.
  • Wales is home to the highest mountain in England and Wales, Mt. Snowdon at 1085 metres. The Snowdon mountain railway has been taking visitors to the summit since 1896.
  • Wales has more castles per square km than any other country. One of the most impressive is Caernarvon Castle, built in the 13th century and site of the 1969 investiture of Prince Charles.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of the Welsh people can actually speak Welsh, although road signs are in both Welsh and English. The Welsh alphabet doesn’t contain the letters K. Q, V and Z.
  • There are four times as many sheep as people in Wales, and the country’s long and often rocky coast make it a favourite haunt of a variety of sea birds.
  • Wales has the longest place name in the UK. The town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch on the island of Anglesey is usually just abbreviated to Llanfair PG.

Flag of Wales

  • Wales is the only UK country not to be shown on the Union Jack flag. The Welsh flag contains a red dragon, possibly originating from a legend about the magician Merlin fighting a dragon.