Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Dyfi Blast Furnace and Charcoal Store

A Scheduled Monument in Ysgubor-y-coed, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.5381 / 52°32'17"N

Longitude: -3.9403 / 3°56'25"W

OS Eastings: 268500

OS Northings: 295133

OS Grid: SN685951

Mapcode National: GBR 8Y.F4HB

Mapcode Global: VH4DV.NG8M

Entry Name: Dyfi Blast Furnace and Charcoal Store

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2571

Cadw Legacy ID: CD128

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Ironworks

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Ceredigion

Community: Ysgubor-y-coed

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


This monument comprises the remains of a charcoal-burning blast furnace. Built around 1755 by Vernon, Kendall and Co, Dyfi Furnace was built to take advantage of the local charcoal supplies produced from the surrounding woodland and water power from the nearby Afon Einion. Dyfi produced pig iron which supplied forges in the Midlands and nearby.

The main building housed the blast furnace, charging platform, bellows, water wheel and casthouse. A separate building to the south contained stores of iron ore and charcoal. When the furnace was in blast, the iron ore and charcoal would have been taken from the store and tipped into the furnace via the charging platform on the upper floor. The draught to create a high enough temperature to smelt the iron was produced by bellows housed on the ground floor, and powered by a water wheel driven by water channelled from the river along a leat. The original leat would probably have been an open channel but evidence of this has been destroyed.

The existing water wheel is a later wheel, but is in the same position as the original blast furnace wheel. The water used to turn the wheel then ran back into the river from the wheel pit via the underground tailrace. The molten pig iron produced in the furnace would have run from the furnace bottom into moulds or ‘pigs’ in sand beds in the casting house. Only the footings of the cast house walls survive and have recently been excavated; they can be seen on the opposite side of the building to the wheel. The larger arched opening to the right of the furnace is the entrance to the room which would have housed the 2 bellows.

Dyfi Furnace seems only to have been in use for about 50 years and by 1810 it was abandoned. It was later converted into a sawmill, and it is to this period that the present water wheel belongs.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge and understanding of the development of the iron industry. The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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