Project Map


ATTRACTION TYPE Heritage attraction/historic property


BUDGET £50,000,000*


Cyfarthfa Castle is the Grade I-listed centrepiece of Cyfarthfa Park and is home to a museum, art gallery and until 2014, Cyfarthfa High School. The grand mansion, a vast building with 15 towers and 72 rooms, was completed in 1825 by the architect Robert Lugar for ironmaster William Crawshay II and his family who controlled the largest ironworks in the town. Now a major redevelopment project to reinvigorate the historic assets within the area and imagine contemporary, complementary ways to elevate the park’s status as an attraction, re-energise the area and cultivate people’s pride in their history, culture and environment is underway. The project will be undertaken in phases across two decades, with a focus on restoring the mansion and expanding the park to encompass the remains of the 200-year-old Cyfarthfa furnaces, a scheduled ancient monument opposite the castle. The museum and art gallery, which houses a selection of displays from work by Welsh artists to items and exhibits documenting Merthyr’s huge importance as a steel town, only uses about 10% of the mansion. The rest of the building is inaccessible to the public, having fallen into disrepair. In May 2023, award-winning architect Anna Baker was appointed as project director for the Cyfarthfa Foundation, the charity set up to transform Cyfarthfa Castle and Park into an international cultural and heritage destination. The foundation is funded by Welsh Government and is independent of, but works closely with, the council and Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust. An ambitious and wide-ranging set of options for redeveloping the castle and park have been put forward in the Cyfarthfa Plan, a 20-year vision developed by Ian Ritchie Architects, landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman and heritage consultant Fourth Street to support the regeneration of the Cyfarthfa site. In total, around 70 possible projects are included in the plan and about 50 of them are building-centred. Ideas range from large-scale new developments such as a university to smaller initiatives such as landscape trails. The plan is currently being reviewed after the original consultation process was disrupted by Covid-19 and in April 2023, the foundation launched a survey and a series of drop-in sessions to canvas local views on which plans should be prioritised to fulfil that vision. The Foundation has also been approached by the Welsh Government to enter a competition for the castle to become the possible ‘anchor site’ of a new National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales. The estimated cost of the project is anticipated to be £50 million just for the castle. The Welsh Government has provided the Cyfarthfa Foundation with £1.2 million in funding including £146,480 from the Welsh Government’s Cultural Transformation Capital Programme to develop an off-site storage space, which will allow for the relocation of the museum’s art store and provide better public access to the collection. Once a more defined plan has been laid out later this year, additional funding will be sought from the Welsh Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Due to the early stage of this project, our opening year and budget are currently estimates. (Updated 24 May 2023)

Site Image
Gustafson Porter + Bowman


The Cyfarthfa Foundation

C/O Mitchell Meredith
The Business Centre
Triangle Business Park
Merthyr Tydfil
CF48 4TQ

Mari Lowe
Project Coordinator

Wren Bull
Finance Manager

Anneleise Shepherd
Community Development Manager

Geraint Talfan Davies

Anna Baker
Project Director


43 Graces Road
London, SE5 8PF

020 7701 1063
Lily Pender

Ian Ritchie Architects

110 Three Colt Street
London, E14 8AZ

020 7338 1100
Ian Ritchie

Gustafson Porter + Bowman

1 Cobham Mews
London, NW1 9SB

020 7284 8950
Mary Bowman
Founding Partner

Fourth Street Limited

5 Maidstone Building Mews
72-76 Borough High Street
London, SE1 1GN

020 4551 2559
Dan Anderson

Barker Langham
1 Naoroji Street
London WC1X 0GB
020 7278 7847
Eric Langham