Ancient Monuments

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Clydach Ironworks (remains) and Smart's Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Llanelly (Llanelli), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.8125 / 51°48'45"N

Longitude: -3.1196 / 3°7'10"W

OS Eastings: 322914

OS Northings: 213247

OS Grid: SO229132

Mapcode National: GBR F1.WWB9

Mapcode Global: VH6CP.WP5W

Entry Name: Clydach Ironworks (remains) and Smart's Bridge

Scheduled Date: 29 March 1961

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1788

Cadw Legacy ID: BR161

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Industrial monument

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Llanelly (Llanelli)

Built-Up Area: Clydach

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of structures related to the production of iron. The Clydach Ironworks, founded between 1793 and 1795, had four blast furnaces (built in 1793, 1797, 1826 and 1842-4), associated charging-houses and a cast-house. The blast for the furnaces was supplied by a Boulton and Watt engine driven by a 42ft (12.8m) diameter cast-iron water wheel. A counter-balanced railway inclined plane was also located on the site, built before 1811, which allowed pig iron to be lifted to the rolling mills located on higher ground to the east of the ironworks. Smart’s Bridge, built in 1824, carried a tramroad from the ironworks across the River Clydach, and connected with the Clydach Railroad. Recorded production from the ironworks was 1,660 tons in 1796, 2,658 tons in 1816, 6,771 tons in 1830 and 10,038 tons in 1840, by which time the site employed around 1350 people both in the ironworks and the associated iron ore quarries and coal mines elsewhere in the valley. The site was never very successful and was put up for sale in 1813 and 1833, finally going into decline in the 1850s and closing in 1861. The site was partially excavated in 1986.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge and understanding of the development of the iron industry. An ironworks may be part of a larger industrial complex and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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