Ancient Monuments

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Gurnos Quarry Tramroad & Leat

A Scheduled Monument in Gurnos (Y Gurnos), Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

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Latitude: 51.7619 / 51°45'42"N

Longitude: -3.399 / 3°23'56"W

OS Eastings: 303545

OS Northings: 207953

OS Grid: SO035079

Mapcode National: GBR HM.05S3

Mapcode Global: VH6CR.1ZF5

Entry Name: Gurnos Quarry Tramroad & Leat

Scheduled Date: 13 March 1995

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2299

Cadw Legacy ID: GM478

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Industrial monument

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Community: Gurnos (Y Gurnos)

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of the remains of a tramroad and leat dating to the 18th century. The tramroad was built in 1792 to carry limestone from the Gurnos quarries to the Cyfarthfa Ironworks. The venture was funded by William Crawshay, with authorisation from the Glamorganshire Canal Company. The leat was constructed in 1825 to provide water for the ironworks and the ornamental lake at Cyfarthfa Castle, which were connected by siphon. The tramroad and leat run parallel with one another to Gurnos Quarry and are functionally related to Cyfarthfa Ironworks and Pontycafnau, the iron bridge on which the tramroad crossed the Taff. They are built onto the bank of the River Taff Fechan and into a cliff on its east side with extensive dry stone terraced walls. A number of paired stone sleeper blocks survive on the upper section of the tramroad. The leat also includes a weir on the Taff Fechan with an entrance sluice, a culverted section beneath the quarry floor and an impressive overflow near the southern end. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the development of industrial transportation in the 18th and 19th century. The track bed, bridges, drainage systems, embankments and revetments of the tramroad may all be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to construction techniques and functional detail. The leat itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques and may be part of a larger cluster of monuments 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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