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Disgwylfa Tramroads

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8185 / 51°49'6"N

Longitude: -3.1387 / 3°8'19"W

OS Eastings: 321607

OS Northings: 213933

OS Grid: SO216139

Mapcode National: GBR F0.WQ2F

Mapcode Global: VH6CP.KK19

Entry Name: Disgwylfa Tramroads

Scheduled Date: 14 December 2007

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4303

Cadw Legacy ID: MM340

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Tramroad

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Llanelly (Llanelli)

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

Description

The main limestone quarries at Disgwylfa were worked by Nantyglo Ironworks. The quarries were certainly in use by 1813, but were abandoned in the 1830s, a result of the opening of the more successful Llangattock Quarries. The main tramroad is exceptionally well preserved, running around the SE flank of Mynydd Llangattock. The majority of the tramway survives as a raised causeway, often revetted with stone and boasting numerous stretches of complete rows of stone blocks. Several branches leave the main tramroad, linking it to smaller quarries both above and below Darren Disgwylfa - and S of the junction between the branch of the tramroad leading to Disgwylfa East and the main line there is a stretch of dual trackway measuring about 80m in length. This may represent a siding for storing trams. A recumbent inscribed stone slab lies at the S end of these sidings, immediately to the W of the tramroad. The inscription reads 'The foundations of God standeth sure. Having this seal the Lord knoweth them that are his', a passage from Timothy 2:19. This slab is presumably contemporary with the trackway - tangible social history relating to the quarrymen. The main tramroad continues beyond Darren Disgwylfa (although its structure has been lost within the quarries) and survives as a well preserved causeway and large raised embankment.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the development of industrial transportation in the nineteenth century. The Disgwylfa Tramroads played a vital role in the development of the iron industry along the Heads of the Valleys and thus also the communities that were supported by them. The rare surviving sections are a vivid illustration of the scale of the industrial ironworking landscape, their short development and use representing a well-preserved single phase in the development of early limestone transporting tramroads. The track bed, embankments and revetments may all be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to construction techniques and functional detail.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is linear, following the route of the original tramroad and its surviving branches over the course of about 2km.

Source: Cadw

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