SN8610 : Blast Furnaces at Banwen Ironworks

taken 3 years ago, near to Dyffryn Cellwen, Neath Port Talbot/Castell-Nedd Port Talbot, Great Britain

Blast Furnaces at Banwen Ironworks
Blast Furnaces at Banwen Ironworks
This is a view of the remains of the two blast furnaces at Banwen. The furnaces and the engine house are spaced out along the line of the charging bank. The engine house is out of shot, behind the camera to the south-east. The furnace in the foreground is in the middle of the row and the one in the background is furthest away to the north-west.
Each furnace has an arched opening on each of its four walls.
Banwen Ironworks
Banwen Iron Works is a scheduled monument about 2Km south east of Coelbren. The main remnants of the works lie at low level on private land between a public footpath and the south bank of Afon Pryddin. It is part of Ton-Pryddin Farm - which is immediately to the west - and should only be accessed with the owner's permission.
The riverside remains are comprised of two blast furnaces, an engine house which powered them and a retaining wall creating the charging bank which gave access to fill the furnaces from the top.

CADW are currently interested in opening the site to the public and may fund the careful removal of the trees that grow through the masonry and shroud the site.

According to "The Archaeology of an Early Railway System: The Brecon Forest Tramroads" ...
In the 1840s Rowland Browne published a prospectus for the Banwen Iron Company. The iron works described would have six blast-furnaces. By 1846 he had scraped together just enough investors to get the company registered and then start construction. Production started around 1848.
The company miraculously failed to produce the tiny amount of iron required to meet the conditions of the lease and thus went into receivership. Financial irregularities from the start plus a conflict of interests for Browne left the shareholders out of pocket and ownership of the lease conveniently reverting to Browne himself.
In 1852 the works was sold to James Henty who produced little iron and then in turn sold to Llewellyn & Son in 1861. Iron production ceased for good in 1862.
Only two of the proposed six furnaces were ever built, the second of which was not even fully completed within Browne's disastrous tenure.
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SN8610, 17 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 5 July, 2015   (more nearby)
Sunday, 11 October, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Derelict, Disused  Woodland, Forest  Industry 
Primary Subject of Photo
Industrial Site 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 867 104 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:46.8626N 3:38.5580W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 867 104
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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