Clydach Ironworks - furnace site remains

Clydach Ironworks at NGR SO229132 was excavated and part restored in 1980s. The works was built due to the proximity of iron ore, coal and limestone, by 1795 and exploited the recent introduction of coke as fuel. The blast furnaces here were in production for over 65 years. In 1841 over 1,350 people (including 133 children under 13) were employed, mostly involved in mining iron ore and coal higher up the valley. By 1813 there were two furnaces, by 1833 there were three with blast supplied by a Boulton & Watt engine and a 42 foot wheel, four furnaces were recorded by 1844. Recorded production was 1,660 tons in 1796, 2,658 tons in 1816, 6,771 tons in 1830; 10,038 tons in 1840. However the business was never really successful, being up for sale in 1813 and 1833. Between 1841 and 1845 the works suffered further financial losses, and by the 1850s was in decline. Production ceased in 1861, and despite the works being sold as a 'going concern' three years later and again in 1878, it never returned to production. Of particular note here is Smart’s Tramway Bridge on the approach to the furnace remains which are fairly considerable.

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