Steelmaking at the Port Talbot complex began with the Margam Iron and Steel Works (nprn 408513), completed between 1923 and 1926 and closed in 1953.
After the Second World War, a group of south Wales steelmakers formed the Steel Company of Wales to erect a modern integrated steelmaking site using imported ore on the Port Talbot site. The new Abbey Works was planned in 1947, opened in 1951 and fully operational by 1953. By the 1960s, the works was the largest steelworks in Europe. In 1967, the company was nationalised and became a part of British Steel.
By 2000, following privatisation, the works was part of Corus. Together with Llanwern works (nprn 86821), the plants produced up to 3.5 million tonnes of hot rolled steel strip per year. The output was taken by railway to Shotton (nprn 300212) for coating, to Trostre (nprn 300213) for tinplating, to Ebbw Vale (nprn 34135) for rolling and coating, or direct to the Midlands motor industry.
In 2007 Corus was taken over by the Tata Group. By January 2008, 3600 employees were producing some 4.7 million tonnes of steel a year, rolling about 3 million tonnes at Abbey Works and sending the rest to Llanwern for rolling.
The original four storey office block, dating from the early 1950s, still stands at National Grid Reference SS 78150 86920.
B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, 09 October 2013.