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Site Details

NPRN 420199

Map Reference SO20SW

Grid Reference SO24840300

Unitary (Local) Authority Torfaen

Old County Monmouthshire

Community Abersychan


Broad Class DEFENCE

Period 19th Century

Site Description On the upland margin (440m ASL), above and to west of Abersychan, was located a rifle range positioned on the crest of a narrow valley. Depicted on the Ordnance Survey First Edition six-inch plan (1885) is a firing line of approximately 900 yards at the south-east end of which is a rectangular structure annotated 'butt' and nearby is a small shelter or matelet. The site however, is described as 'Old Rifle Range' by the time of the second edition map of 1901. The butt was probably a 15m long bank, as suggested by later map editions. Firing positions are not shown though press reports refer to ranges at 200, 500 & 600 yards. The range had possibly closed down before 1900 in favour of the another a short distance to the north (NPRN 000000).
Local newspaper reports refer to the range as early as 1863 as a venue for competitions. The land on which the range lies is open access but is close to the site of Cwmbyrgwm Colliery. The development of the colliery may have led to the closure of the range. Later grading of coal waste and land reclamation may have buried or destroyed any upstanding features.

David Leighton, RCAHMW, 29 June 2014