Industrial Wales - Monmouthshire's Clydach Gorge
The Clydach Gorge - the Northern side
Including Black Rock, Cheltenham, Gilwern, Glangrwyney and Llangattock
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The Industrial Archaeology and History of the Clydach Gorge

This page covers the Northern side of the Clydach Gorge.

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or to the places they served :-                    


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Baileys Disgwylfa Tramroad

Baileys Disgwylfa Tramroad

Baileys Disgwylfa Tramroad ran from Nantyglo ironworks to the quarries at Disgwylfa. The route through Brynmawr can be followed along the roads but the tramroad proper begins to the Southeast of Cairn Mound Reservoir and runs across the remote moorland above the Llangattock Tramroad.

The Disgwylfa Quarries - SO 2180 1430

Bailey's Llangattock Tramroad

Coed Cae Mawr - SO 1983 1301
Cwm Nant Melin - SO 2001 1257

Ancient and modern workings to the North of the tramroad. Coed Cae Mawr working an 18" seam on and off until the late 1980s or early 90s, leaving behind quite a bit of ironmongery around a corrugated iron shed. Cwm Nant Melin, 400 yds away, worked around the end of the 19th C, leaving an interesting run of collapses running through the field behind the adit.

Pant-mawr Quarry - SO 2205 1310
Coed Pantydarren Quarry - SO 2200 1375

The monument stood beside the road near the quarries but has been vandalised and the ironwork stolen.

Craig-y-gaer Quarry - SO 2240 1325

A very old, bench-worked quarry connected directly to the tramroad.

Craig-y-gaer sewage tank or limekiln? - SO 2230 1307

This structure turns up on the 1899 OS map and is described as a sewage works of Brynmwr UDC with an aqueduct approaching it from Brynmawr. So it stays up to 1948 but on the 1965 map it's become a disused limekiln. It's on the side of a very steep hill, the inside is cylindrical rather than cone-shaped and there is no drawhole. So given the pipework coming down the valley past the Hafod Bridge, I think the original surveyors knew exactly what it was!

Llangattock Quarries and tramroad to canal - SO 2004 1592

Ancient and even more ancient workings

Clydach Railroad

Pont Clydach - SO 1960 1214
Brecon Boat Co levels - SO 1999 1217

The original Pont Clydach is under the Heads of the Valley road roundabout at the entrance to Brynmawr. It carried both the Turnpike and the Railroad until the A465 arrived and I believe it has survived the dualling of the road. The Brecon Boat Co levels (occasionally known as Clydach Colliery) were served by a short spur off the Railroad and later a siding off the MTAR with Coal Tar Houses next to them.

Hafod Arch - SO 2021 1226

The Hafod Arch was rebuilt in 2011 after becoming dangerously unstable. The setting is rather spoilt by the Brynmawr sewerage pipeline running above it (subject to blockages, don't stand underneath!!).

Black Rock Quarry - SO 2135 1255

Opened by 1811 and closed after 1944, a tunnel under the turnpike connected the quarry to the Clydach Railroad.

Black Rock Limeworks and Daren Ddu Quarry - SO 2184 1275

Opened in the 1790s, the current kilns date from the end of the 19th century and were connected to the Clydach Railroad by a short incline. A much longer incline leads up to Daren Ddu quarries.

Craig-y-Ffynnon cave at Daren Ddu Quarry

There's a cave (not a mine, a cave) up on Daren Ddu, all safely locked up, but if you're an experienced caver and you know the man with the key, then you're in. And you're in for a surprise! Inside there's a short length of tramway and a couple of wagons that were used for securing the entrance. Thanks to Jamie Larke of the Gwent Caving Club for sharing this little gem.

Cheltenham - SO 2265 1310

The Railroad approaches the Abergavenny - Merthyr Turnpike level crossing from the West, the cellars of the three-storey houses could have been warehouses. The collection of tinplate signs includes an 'Abergavenny - Monmouth Road' station sign at the top - and as for 'Ringer's Shag', the less said, the better. The cast-iron sign is headed 'Roads Act 1920, Section 7 (4)' and the footer lists the exceptions.

Gilwern canal tunnel - SO 2349 1451
Llanelly Wharf- SO 2424 1469

The Clydach Railroad, built in 1810, left Maes-y-gwartha Road at Machine House (SO 2416 1439) to drop down and cross the Llammarch Tramroad just before the dock. After passing through a substantial stone tunnel under the canal at SO 2440 1450 the route carries on as a road to Glangwyney Forge. A branch of the Railroad continued along Maes-y-gwartha Road from Machine House to Llanelly Wharf and limekilns. These are heavily overgrown but can be viewed from the towpath, (preferrably in Winter).

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins