Industrial Wales - South and Mid-Glamorgan
Cardiff and the South Coast
From Cardiff City to Bridgend via Barry and Aberthaw.
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The industrial history and archaeology of Cardiff and South Glamorgan

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Cardiff City

Curran Road, Cardiff

The West side of Curran Road, along the banks of the River Taff, is ripe for re-development. Luckily it's still a jumble of old warehouses and industrial units with a lot of embedded track that led off the Riverside branch. The locations in the captions refer to the 1954 OS maps.

From the City centre to the docks

Other interesting odd spots around the City centre

Above Caerphilly Tunnel and Cefn Onn caves

From :-
The gated entrance did have a padlock on it, but not only was this padlock not attached to anything, the hole underneath the gate was more than large enough to get through. The shaft was straight and about 75-80 metres long, with a number of drill holes, so obviously man made, ending when you arrive at a curved brick wall, obviously another ventilation shaft for the railway. We could hear a significant (small waterfall size!) amount of water through a hole in the shaft wall, but couldn't see down to where it came from.

The little hole that I had crawled into as a lad was less interesting. We moved a boulder and dropped into it (tight and steep, much much harder to get out than to get in!) and there was probably about 7-8 metres of standing room passage that abruptly ended. We wondered if the railway workers had started to dig here before stopping for some reason.

Cardiff's outskirts

Old photos around Cardiff

Some 1960s photos at Cardiff General and Cardiff Canton Open Day in August 1985

Penarth, Lavernock and Dinas Powis


The Islwyn Ramblers walk from Penarth to Sully and I find some Industrial Archaeology as usual.

Lavernock Point gun battery

This WW2 anti-aircraft gun battery was armed with four 3.7" guns and a 40mm Bofors gun and consisted of gunpits, command post, magazine, workshops and a searchlight. It was unusual because gunpits 1 and 2 had steel doors so they could engage shipping if needed.

Dinas Powis limekiln - ST 1396 7328.

A very decrepid limekiln from the mid 1800s.

From Barry to Rhoose

Woodhams Yard in the 1960s and 1975

Barry, Old harbour - ST 1067 6681

A couple of old hulks and the limekilns

Barry West pier - ST 1220 6665

Some rails are still surviving on the breakwater at Jackson's Bay.

Porthkerry Quarries - ST 0753 6595

Between c1912 and c1931 a 3'0" gauge railway ran around these quarries. The bridge abutments and stonework may be connected with this line.


Aberthaw Pebble Limestone Company

Lime-making at Aberthaw had been in production since the 1750s on a fairly small scale producing a good quality hydraulic lime that could set underwater. So in 1888 the Aberthaw Pebble Limestone Company was formed to take full advantage of the limestone pebbles on Aberthaw beach. There were originally two kilns and a further two were added c1895 after the opening of the TVR branch from Cowbridge. The works closed down in 1926.

General views of the limeworks

The three-storey mill building

The boiler house

The original 1888 kilns

The new kilns built after the TVR branch from Cowbridge was opened, c1895

Around the outside

The Taff Vale Railway at Aberthaw


Around the Station and along the Coed Ely branch.

The rest of South and Mid Glamorgan

Around Bridgend and the Ogwr Valley

Llangeinor level crossing - SS 9131 8771

The Garw Valley line level crossing and a Saab Draken parked beside it.

Candleston Farm and Quarry - ST 8640 7800

A small quarry and limekiln next to Candleston Farm and the ruined outbuildings at the farm, all dating back to at least 1880.

St Brides Major, limekiln - ST 9129 7520
'Ffynnon-y-Pant' - ST 8809 7570

Another very ruinous limekiln near Castle-upon-Alun, St Brides Major.
A rather elaborate old well in the dried-up valley of Pant Mari Flanders, in existence by 1877

Tresilian, Llantwit Major - ST 9473 6777

There are three World War 2 pillboxes surrounding Tresilian, a large seaside house, near Llantwit Major.

St Donats Castle - ST 9345 6800
Dunraven Castle - ST 8893 7345

St Donats Castle once boasted an outdoor swimming pool and this chimney and flue appear to have been part of the heating system, unusual with the chimney some way away from the pool like the old lead-smelting flues.
There's not much left of Dunraven Castle itself but the gardens are very pleasent. There's an old barn not far away with cast-iron pillars supporting the roof.

Other Locations in Mid-Glamorgan

St Fagans Folk Museum

The Llantrisant No.1 Railway at ST 1196 7907

The Llantrisant No.1 Railway ran from Waterhall Junction to Llantrisant. A footpath crosses under the line near Rhydlafr and planning notices show that no less than 5970 houses are to be built here very soon!

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins