The village is split into two halves - East and West Aberthaw, separated by the River Thaw. It is home to Aberthaw Cement Works and Aberthaw Power Station a coal power station plant that was linked to the South Wales Valleys via railway in nearby Fontegary. The village, near Rhoose has a notable pub (The Blue Anchor, founded 1380) and a local church (Bethel Baptist Church.)
There is a beach in front of the Power Station, well known for its sea fishing .
Originally a station on the Barry Railway, and a junction for its connection to the Cowbridge and Aberthaw railway , the station closed together with the rest of the line to passengers in the early 1980s. Although the line reopened to passengers in 2002, Aberthaw remains closed except for its signal box, which controls access to Aberthaw Power Station