Merthyr, a former residential suburb that is now a locality in the southern part of New Farm, is 1.5 km east of central Brisbane. Separated from the city by the Brisbane River and Kangaroo Point, Merthyr is reached by Ann and Brunswick Streets.
In 1880 Queensland's Premier Samuel Griffith built his residence in Llewellyn Street overlooking Brisbane River, and named it Merthyr. Griffith's birthplace was Merthyr Tydfil, a Welsh iron town. Griffith died at Merthyr in 1920, and his life is remembered by Merthyr Road, Merthyr Park along the river's edge and Griffith Street.
Merthyr adjoins the river's Shafston Reach where there were a few industrial uses and Green's Wharf, north-west of Merthyr Street. In the other direction industry gave way to Merthyr Park. The shoreline was inundated in the 1893 flood, but above the flood level there were three hospitals/aged persons homes. The tram access from Brunswick Street was extended in 1897 with a U-shaped route through Merthyr, running along Barker Street, Moray Street and Merthyr Road (to New Farm). A cross-river ferry worked between Merthyr Road and Kangaroo Point.
Many inner-urban Brisbane River frontages have been recovered from industrial uses, but that has rarely been necessary in Merthyr. It has some of the most desirable river addresses in Oxlade Street, overlooking Merthyr Park and around to New Farm Park. Merthyr Street has trend-setting restaurants, but few are so successful as the Merthyr Bowls Club restaurant overlooking the river. Its social-club membership went from about 300 to 2500 during 2000-02. Merthyr has been described as the perfect dormitory suburb, close to town and no through traffic.
Merthyr Village has a supermarket and 13 shops and was opened in 1997.
Booroodabin: a sesquicentenary history of Breakfast Creek, Bowen Hills, Newstead and Teneriffe, 1823-2009, Bowen Hills, Qld Women's Historical Assoc. Inc, 2009
New Farm entry