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EBBW VALE STEELWORKS, EBBW VALE

Site Details

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

NPRN 34135

Map Reference SO10NE

Grid Reference SO1719208443

Unitary (Local) Authority Blaenau Gwent

Old County Monmouthshire

Community Ebbw Vale

Type of Site IRON WORKS, STEEL WORKS

Broad Class INDUSTRIAL

Period 19th Century, 18th Century

Site Description Ebbw Vale Steelworks originated in 1789-90 and were developed out of the iron works established by Watkins, Craycroft & Homfray. The site was taken over by Harfords of Bristol circa 1817 but was forced into liquidation by their banker's failure in 1842 and was subsequently purchased by Darbys of Coalbrookdale. The world's first steel rail was rolled at Ebbw Vale in 1857, and from 1868 to 1880 the works were extensively modernised for steel production by the Bessemer process.

The early twentieth century decline was halted when the works were purchased by Richard Thomas & Co in 1935 and there was a complete reconstruction to form an integrated blast furnace and stripmill complex. Steelmaking ceased in 1970s after which the site specialised in rolling and coating coil steel produced at Llanwern (nprn 86821) and Port Talbot (nprn 91392) steel works.

In 2002 the shut down of the tinplate plant, owned by Corus, marked the end of over 200 years of iron and steel making in Ebbw Vale. The site was demolished between 2002 - 5. .

Following demolition the remnants alongside Steelworks Road, south of Big Arch included the 1915 Steelworks Office Building (nprn 408715), clock tower and former ironmaster's residence, Ebbw Vale House. The furnace bank (at SO17170969) is a grade 2* Listed Building.
In 2009 it was reported that there were proposals to house the Gwent Records Office, a visitor centre and a steelworks exhibition, featuring artefacts from the Ebbw Vale Archive Trust, in the Steelworks Office Building. The National Eisteddfod of Wales was held on the site during August 2010.

RCAHMW, 29 June 2011.

Sources:
RCAHMW notes by B.A. Malaws, T. Driver & others
South Wales Argos, 30 June 2009.
A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of South East Wales, AIA, 2003

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