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From Cyfarthfa (Merthyr Tydfil) to Cardiff, 25.5 miles.
The canal head at Cyfarthfa was 568 ft above O.S. datum, and the canal joined the Bristol Channel via the Sea Lock.
The canal was joined by the Aberdare Canal at Abercynon.
1790 Construction started; Thomas Dadford was engineer. An extension from Merthyr Tydfil to Richard Crawshay's Cyfarthfa Ironworks was also built, although payment for it had to be settled by arbitration. Plans to build a branch to the Dowlais Ironworks and Penydarren Ironworks, which would have risen 411 feet in only 1.75 miles was dropped, to be replaced by two tramroads.
1792 The Merthyr to Newbridge (Pontypridd) section was completed
1794 Fully opened.
1794 December: The canal breached but Thomas Dadford refused to start repairs without payment. The canal company attempted to recover £17,000 from the Dadfords, and had them arrested. Two independent surveyors largely supported the Dadfords; only £1,512 was refunded
1898 From this time, the canal closed progressively as a result of subsidence and competition from the railways
1951 Completely shut
Melingriffith Water Pump: It quickly became apparent that the canal was short of water below Melingriffith. A waterwheel-driven pumping engine was built in 1795, with the agreement of the Melingriffith Tinplate Works, to pump water back into the canal after the water had been used to drive the machinery in the works. The pump is preserved in situ.
'The Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals' Volumes 1 and 2 provide a superb source of information about the canal, with numerous maps and excellent illustrations