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Site Details

NPRN 34071

Map Reference SN81SE

Grid Reference SN86781042

Unitary (Local) Authority Neath, Port Talbot

Old County Glamorgan

Community Onllwyn

Type of Site IRON WORKS


Period 19th Century, Post Medieval

Site Description 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.

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