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Pont-hir Tin Works;pont Hir Tin Works;caerleon Forge At Pont-hir

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Map ReferenceST39SW
Grid ReferenceST3252092600
Unitary (Local) AuthorityTorfaen
Old CountyMonmouthshire
PeriodPost Medieval
1. 'In his work "The industry in South Wales before the Industrial Revolution", J. F. Rees says that the "Caerleon Forge at Ponthir" was originally founded as copperworks but turned to tinplate in 1747. He does not say where he got this information...There is no evidence of any copper-industry in Ponthir, in the local documents. Nor is there anything to tell of tinplate industry there before 1758.

John Griffiths did not stay in Caerleon very long but emigrated to America.... After that year, there was another John Griffiths in Caerleon, whose name frequently appears in the Caerleon Mills Books. (10) He is always called Mr. John Griffiths - as opposed to the workmen whose names have no Mr. in front - and he seems to be in charge in some way or another. He could be the first John Griffiths' son, left in charge and to teach all the mysteries of the works to the next owner's son, Hamman Davies.

...The works for some reason were called Caerleon Mills, although they were not in Caerleon at all but one and a half miles away in Ponthir. It is possible that there was a forge in Caerleon, at the site still called by that name, on the road to Ponthir. The Caerleon Mills Cash Book of the year 1756 tells that the Caerleon "New Mill" or the 'Plack Plate" (sic!) mill existed but does not define its situation.'

Extract from: Eija Kennerley, Caerleon Mills and Ponthir Tinplate Works, Gwent Local History No. 49, Autumn 1980

2. While very little survives intact on the site of the eighteenth century Pont-hir tinplate works today, apart from some surviving sheds towards the centre of the former complex, Royal Commission aerial reconnaissance on 22nd July 2013 revealed extensive parchmarks of building foundations across the site, together with the lines of the former mill races, tramways and other structures recorded on the nineteenth century County Series mapping, covering some 1.3 hectares. However, the aerial photography shows parchmarks of building footings and structures which are not depicted on the historic mapping, suggesting the existence of further structures which pre- or post-date those mapped by the Ordnance Survey. The aerial reconnaissance demonstrates the survival of extensive below-ground structural remains on this undeveloped site.

The Ordnance Survey mapping shows the tinworks as disused by the 3rd Edition and partly cleared by the 6-inch 3rd edition. Clearly there is much potential for industrial archaeology remaining on site.

T. Driver, RCAHMW, 2013.