Taff's Well (Welsh: Ffynnon Taf), is a semi-rural village, community and electoral ward located at the south easterly tip of Rhondda Cynon Taf, 6 miles (9.7 km) to the North of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Known locally as the 'Gates to the Valleys'. It is separated from Gwaelod Y Garth by the River Taff. Taff's Well is distinguished because it contains the only thermal spring in Wales. The tepid water is thought to rise along a fault-line from the Carboniferous Limestone, in somewhat similar manner to the warm springs at Bristol and Bath. Various religious groups regard it as a spiritual site.
Taffs Well railway station
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The Garth Mountain overlooks the village and was the inspiration for the fictional "Ffynnon Garw", featured in the book, and film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.
The name "Taff's Well" is derived from the situation of the village alongside the River Taff and the presence of the warm spring within Taff's Well Park.
Taff's Well Park (Parc Ffynnon Taf) is the site of the Taff's Well Thermal Spring, a well that reached its height of popularity for visitors to the village in the mid to late 1800s. It enjoys temperatures which average 21.6 degrees C. The Well at Taff's Well is Wales' only natural thermal spa..
Taff's Well is situated just off Junction 32 of the M4 Motorway and at the southern end of the A470.
Though administratively represented by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, Taff's Well is a commuter town for the City of Cardiff where many of its residents work.
Taff's Well grew into an important railway junction during the mid- to late nineteenth century, when Cardiff was a major global exporter of coal.
Taff's Well is a growing community which includes numerous districts: Glan-Y-Llyn, Rhiw Ddar and Glan Y-Fordd; Ty-Rhillage centre that consists of Alfred's terrace, Anchor Street, Church Street, Garth Street, Yew Street and Ty Rhiw through which the Taff Trail runs. Taff's Well is next to Castell Coch, which overlooks Cardiff.
The actor David Jason spent much time in Taff's Well and based the situation comedy Open All Hours based upon Arthur's shop which is one of many buildings to have been dismantled and sent to the St Fagan's Museum of Welsh Life.
Taff's Well is the original location of the story that inspired the film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, by Ivor Monger and Christopher Monger.
RCT Council Representative for Taff's WellEdit
Taff's Well is an electoral ward coterminous to the community boundaries and elects a county councillor to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Jill Bonetto (Labour) has represented the ward since 2012.
Taff's Well Community CouncilEdit
Taff's Well and Nantgarw are also represented locally by the Taff's Well & Nantgarw Community Council, which has 10 members. The Council hit the headlines in 2010 when it was criticised by the Wales Audit Office for breaching financial and corporate governance regulations with its financial records. Described as 'The Worst Run Council in Wales', there were calls for the 'wholesale sacking' of the ten members for breaching 'financial and corporate governance regulations because of its “inadequate” financial records, supporting paperwork and minutes between 2002 and 2006'.
Taffs Well railway station, which opened in 1863, is situated on the Rhondda and Merthyr Lines. Services are provided by Transport for Wales northbound to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil via Pontypridd and southbound to Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Central. The average journey time to Cardiff Central is 20 minutes at a frequency of 6 trains per hour.
The A470 road runs through the village between Cardiff Bay (9 miles (14 km) south) and Llandudno (179 miles (288 km) north). Taff's Well is situated 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Junction 32 (Cardiff North) of the M4 motorway.
Taff's Well has two active churches:
- The Anglican church of St Mary and St James dates from c. 1897 and is located on Church Street. It is a chapel of ease to St Michael's in Tongwynlais. The minister is Rev Zoe King.
- The Nonconformist Taff's Well United Church is located on Cardiff Road. It was founded as a Wesleyan Methodist chapel and took on its current name when it merged with the Taff's Well Baptist Church in the late 20th century. The minister is Rev Cathy Gale.
Like the neighbouring community of Tongwynlais, Taff's Well formerly had a number of other churches which have ceased to function and have either been converted into other purposes or been demolished:
- The Tabor Calvinistic Methodist Church was built on what became Tabor Street in 1843. It was rebuilt in 1864. It closed in c. 1990 and is now a commercial premises.
- The Glandwr Taf Welsh Independent Chapel was built in 1859. It was modified in 1898 (or 1895) and was rebuilt in 1905, being capable of seating 250. It is now a private residence.
- The Tabernacle English Baptist Chapel on the corner of Garth and King Streets was built in 1906. Its congregation later merged to form Taff's Well United Church. After the merge, the chapel was demolished and the site is now occupied by housing.
Ty Rhiw cemetery in Taff's Well was one of several cemeteries in Rhondda Cynon Taf where bodies were buried in the wrong graves. The errors were discovered in the early 2000s and resulted in a police investigation. In 2009 Taffs Well and Nantgarw Community Council planned to reuse the chapel at the cemetery for weddings and funerals, as was originally intended. A campaign against the decision was led by the Friends of Ty Rhiw Cemetery. There are seven Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials in the cemetery, marking the burial place of British sailors and soldiers from the First and Second World War.
- "Community population 2011". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Waters From The Deep: Taff's Well thermal spring" (pdf). Natur Cymru. Summer 2014. pp. 30–33. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- Farr, Gareth; Bottrell, Simon H (2013). "The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the thermal waters at Taff's Well, South Wales, UK". Cave and Karst Science. 40 (1).
- Rhondda Cyon Taff County Borough Council Election Results 1995-2012, The Election Centre. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
- County Borough Council Elections 2017, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
- "'Worst run council in Wales'". Pontypridd and Llantrisant Observer. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Hutton, John (2006). The Taff Vale Railway, vol. 1. Silver Link. ISBN 978-1-85794-249-1.
- Arriva Trains Wales Timetable: Valleys and Cardiff local routes
- Stagecoach service 132 timetable
- "ENGLISH WESLEYAN METHODIST CHAPEL (BAPTIST CHURCH), CARDIFF ROAD, TAFF'S WELL". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- "Taffs Well - Wesley Methodist Church, Caerphilly". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- "TABOR CALVINISTIC METHODIST CHAPEL, TABOR STREET, FFYNNON TAF; TAFF'S WELL". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- "Taff's Well in the Parish of Eglwysilan". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- "GLANDWR TAF WELSH INDEPENDENT CHAPEL, FFYNNON TAF; TAFF'S WELL". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- "TABERNACLE ENGLISH BAPTIST CHAPEL, GARTH STREET; KING STREET, FFYNNON TAF; TAFF'S WELL". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- "Excavations find empty grave". BBC News. 7 November 2003. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- "Protesters win battle over Ty Rhiw chapel". Wales Online. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- "Great Missenden (St Peter and Paul) Churchyard". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
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