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NANT-Y-GLO IRONWORKS

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 421363

Cyfeirnod Map SO11SE

Cyfeirnod Grid SO19061074

Awdurdod Lleol Blaenau Gwent 

Hen Sir Mynwy

Cymuned Nantyglo and Blaina

Math o Safle GWAITH HAEARN

Dosbarth Cyffredinol DIWYDIANNOL

Cyfnod 19eg Ganrif, 18fed Ganrif

Disgrifiad o´r Safle Nant-y-glo Ironworks was located towards the head of the Ebbw Fach river, a short distance to the south of Brynmawr. Its history began in 1791 when the works was conceived by partners in the Blaenavon Iron Company who intended to exploit their mineral grounds. This led, in the following year, to a partnership between Hill & Co of Blaenavon and Harford, Partridge & Co to set up a new works. Although completed in 1794, the furnaces blasting in 1795, the works became idle soon after because of disputes between the partners. But in 1802 the Nant-y-glo Iron Company was set up consisting of the partners of the Blaenavon Ironworks and Joseph Harrison. However, a contract to supply iron weekly, then quarterly, to Penydarren became part of a legal dispute and by 1805 the furnaces were again idle. In 1811 the works were sold to Joseph Bailey and Matthew Wayne who modernised the machinery.

With the replacement of Wayne by Crawshay Bailey in 1820 the works thrived with five furnaces producing 17,500 tons of iron in 1823 rising to 23,883 tons in 1830 after more furnaces were added. Nant-y-glo operated in tandem with the Beaufort Ironworks (NPRN 421358) which was purchased in 1833 purely to supply pig iron to the puddling furnaces and rolling mills at Nant-y-glo. Expansion was aided by the purchase of beam blowing engines from Neath Abbey. The business prospered during the 1830s and 1840s by exploiting the demand for wrought iron rails. The Bailey Brothers sold the business in 1871 to the Blaina Iron & Coal Co. just as the demand for iron peaked. The sale involved 14 furnaces, 67 puddling furnaces and four rolling mills. The subsequent decline in market conditions saw the closure of Beaufort Ironworks in 1873 followed soon after, in February 1874, by the closure of Nant-y-glo. Associated collieries were sold off separately and the ironworks buildings leased for conversion into a tinplate works.

Visible traces of the former works have been all but obliterated by later developments and reclamation.

Sources:
L.Ince, The South Wales Iron Industry 1750-1885 (1993), 129-30.
GGAT, Southeast Wales Industrial Ironworks Landscapes (unpublished report).

RCAHMW, 20 January 2016