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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Memories & Memorabilia

Old School

Geography Field Trips
Some items from the late Tom Evans’ Album

Many thanks to Gwyn Evans for sending this instruction sheet from his late father’s collection.

This is an instruction sheet for a visit to the Sgwd yr Eira waterfall written by Tom Evans.
We don’t know when, or for what group, it was written.
The route from Penderyn is one that had been used by the school for trips since the school opened back in 1896, and certainly in the 1930s by Tom, and in 1961 when I, (CR), followed the exact route on a geology field trip.
A transcript of Tom’s sheet
A walk to the Scwd yr Eira Waterfall (About 3½ miles)

This is the most well known and in wet weather particularly, the most spectacular waterfall in the whole area. It is on the River Hepste, which just below the waterfall, joins the River Mellte which in turn flows in to the River Nedd (Neath) just a short distance above the starting point of our last walk.

Our starting point today is a side road just behind the Lamb Hotel in Penderyn. At the end of this road is a track marked by a public footpath notice, which leads through an old quarry to a stile. From here we cross about a mile of what was once open moorland, but trees have now been planted by the Forestry Commission. Our route brings us at last to a path above the River Hepste which we follow as far as a very large boulder. We can now hear the waterfall below us. The way down to the fall is very steep and rocky.

You must be very careful in walking down.

The waterfall is caused by the river flowing over a ledge of very hard rock onto weaker rocks which are easily worn away. These weaker rocks extend back under the ledge of the hard rock and have been eroded (worn away) by the spray caused by the falling water, to form a hollow. This allows us to pass under the waterfall even in very wet weather. This path has been used by farmers and their animals for hundreds of years.

On our return, we follow the river upstream. To do this, we take a path to the left, which begins just below the fall, and climbs through the wooded valley side. It is very narrow and the valley side is very steep, so again you must be very careful. This will bring us to another track which leads back to the quarry and our starting point.


The respectful tone of Tom’s instructions suggests that they have been written for an adult group
rather than a group of schoolboys!