Banwen Ironworks is the most complete example of an ironworks to survive on the anthracite coalfield. It was built in 1845-48 and may only have produced some 80 tons of pig iron. The cowhouse next to Tonypurddyn Farm was the carpenter's shop and smithy for the works, and a pond to supply condensing and boiler water to the blast engine remains to the rear. A small stone hut in a nearby field was a railway weighbridge house and the weighbridge itself survives intact although buried. To the south are the foundations and ruins of Tai-Garreg, stone houses which housed the workers. Between the farm and the River Pyrddinis a huge masonry chrging bank with two substantially intact furnaces and acrumbling blast-engine house.
(Site entry from "A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of the Swansea Region", Association for Industrial Archaeology, 2nd Edition, 1989)
J Hill 24.10.2003
The Ironworks were connected by an edge-railway to the Brecon Forest Tramroad which ran from the Swansea Canal at Cae'r-lan over the uplands of the newly enclosed Fforest Fawr to the Tramroad Wharf near Sennybridge.
Published as part of Stephen Hughes, 'The Archaeology of an Early Railway System: The Brecon Forest Tramroads' (RCAHMW, Aberystwyth, 1990), Fig. 13, page 27.
Stephen R. Hughes, 08.09.2007.