Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Iron Ore Scours and Patch Workings at Winch Fawr, Merthyr Tydfil

A Scheduled Monument in Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

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Latitude: 51.752 / 51°45'7"N

Longitude: -3.4244 / 3°25'27"W

OS Eastings: 301773

OS Northings: 206881

OS Grid: SO017068

Mapcode National: GBR HL.0Z80

Mapcode Global: VH6CX.L7J8

Entry Name: Iron Ore Scours and Patch Workings at Winch Fawr, Merthyr Tydfil

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2001

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3863

Cadw Legacy ID: GM554

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Iron mine

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Community: Cyfarthfa

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of the remains of an iron mine and areas of patching and scouring, used for the extraction of iron ore. Scouring was the process of damming water and releasing it suddenly at localised points to remove overburden or to sort mined ore from shale heaps placed in the stream. Two deep scours remain with the bank of a large reservoir at their head, and hand-dug watercourses supplying them. The workings were associated with Cyfarthfa Ironworks. Minerals were excavated from the outcrop on a contract basis, patch by patch, in which miners sub-leased sections of the seams and often worked them in family groups, including young children. The mineral leases appear to have extended over this area from 1765, and it is believed to have been worked intensively until the early 19th century. At this time Cyfarthfa was the largest ironworks in the world. The workings followed the Seven Foot seam and Lower Coal Measures.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of iron mining practices. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits.

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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