At Abbey Tintern Blast Furnace probably operated from the seventeenth century to circa 1826. Present remains indicate a furnace of 3m diameter. It was probably the first charcoal house to be equipped with blowing cylinder and not with bellows. A circa 502m (1,650ft) dry leat can be traced from the attractive pond to the receiving pond at the furnace. Stone pillars carried water to the wheel. The wheelpit survives, as do the ore dressing-floor, the casting beds, bellows site and the furnace, to full height.
The site was operated by the Foleys since at least 1669, with John Hanbury of Pontypool in partnership from 1699. It was later leased and run by David Tanner. The fuel used was charcoal, cast-iron latterly being sent to Stour valley forges. At the end of the 1700s the bellows were replaced by iron blowing cylinders - a world first. Gwent County Council excavated the area in 1979-81 and interpretative panels have been erected. The site has been recorded during aeial surveys by the RCAHMW and the aerial photograph numbers are: AP94-CS 1219, RCAHMW AP945064/59; 945146/45-6.
Claire Parry, RCAHMW, 28 July 2011.
Source: A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of South East Wales, AIA, 2003