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Wales - The Valleys

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Top 100 places to visit in Wales

7. Blaenavon Ironworks

Top 10 ten places to visit in Wales - The Valleys

Blaenavon Ironworks

South Wales's industrial history is recalled at  Blaenavon, one of Europe's best-preserved 18th century ironworks. The works, located in the old iron and coal producing town of Blaenavon in the eastern valleys of south Wales, date from 1788. They soon became the second largest in Wales, and after a period of prosperity in the early and mid 19th century fell into decline with the coming of steel.

Built in the 1780s, Blaenavon was at the cutting edge of new technology. Unusually for the time, the furnaces did not rely on waterwheels for their blast. Instead, a steam engine allowed the construction of the first purpose built multi-furnace works in Wales, a milestone in the Industrial Revolution. Remains of a row of blast furnaces survive dominated by the tall shell of an ingenious water balance tower which transported materials.

Visitors to the site can still trace the entire process of production, from the charging at "furnace top" with coal, iron ore and limestone to the casting of the molten metal in the yard below. Alongside the works are the cottages of Stack Square. These small terraced dwellings were built between 1789 and 1792 for key workers and housed families of up to eight plus lodgers.

Blaenavon Ironworks Address:
Blaenavon Ironworks
North Street
Blaenavon
Torfaen
NP4 9RQ
Wales, UK

Blaenavon Ironworks Opening Times:
1st April to 13th October, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
10.00am - 5.00pm Saturday
10.00am- 16.30pm Sunday
 
Winter bookings
Contact Torfaen County Borough Council, +44 (0)1633 648081

Blaenavon Ironworks Admission:
Adults £2.50
Concessions £2.00
Families £7.00

T  +44 (0)1495 792615

F  +44 (0)1495 792615

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