Natural environment

This is a mountainous area of South Wales with a number of generally parallel valleys running from North to South, carrying rivers down to the sea. The mountains and valleys are timeless of course and, although affected temporarily by pits, mines, and industrial complexes, retain their fundamental character long after those activities have ceased. The modern views of the Valleys on this page - if they can be imagined minus the houses - reflect the true nature of the area as it has been for millennia. Although the harsh reality of working in the mining industry must have stamped itself on our ancestor's characters, we can be sure that the raw, natural beauty of their surroundings did too.

This map is fairly specific to our Fosters of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and contains most of the main communities in which they lived. (The other famous valleys of the area, the Rhondda Valleys, are off the map to the West.)

 

 

Merthyr Tydfil from the surrounding mountains in the mid-19th Century


 

 

Fishing in the River Taff below Cyfarthfa Castle, Merthyr Tydfil

 

 

The view from Merthyr Tydfil looking North to the Brecon Beacons


 

 

Abercarn and the Ebbw Valley in 1847, a few short years before our ancestors moved there

 

 

 

The Ebbw Valley today with |Abercarn in the far distance

 

 


A view of Abercarn from across the Ebbw River


 

 

The Ebbw River near Abercarn


 

 

The Cwmcarn Valley, a few minutes walk from Abercarn


 

 

Rhymney Valley, with Pontlottyn in the middle distance


 


Rhymney Valley (right) and Sirhowey Valley (left) looking south from the Heads of the Valleys


 

 

Sirhowey Valley, seen from the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway