Ancient Monuments

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Merthyr Tramroad: Pont y Gwaith section and associated bridges

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

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Latitude: 51.6708 / 51°40'14"N

Longitude: -3.3296 / 3°19'46"W

OS Eastings: 308148

OS Northings: 197724

OS Grid: ST081977

Mapcode National: GBR HQ.5Z28

Mapcode Global: VH6DC.78MJ

Entry Name: Merthyr Tramroad: Pont y Gwaith section and associated bridges

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 319

Cadw Legacy ID: GM359

Schedule Class: Transport

Category: Trackway

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Community: Treharris

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved section of the Merthyr Tramroad, situated at Pont y Gwaith (between Mount Pleasant and Edwardsville). The section is an important surviving stretch of the nineteenth century Merthyr (or Penydarren) tramroad. Two associated bridges (at ST 0901 9654 and 0942 9628) are also included within the scheduling. The tramroad was built in 1793 and ran from the ironworks of Merthyr Tydfil to the Glamorganshire Canal at Abercynon. The tramroad ceased to be used in about 1880.

The great Railway Era was the product of two distinct lines of development: the growth of tramways and the appearance of the locomotive steam engine. These were first brought together, albeit in a tentative manner, by Richard Trevithick. On the 21st of February 1804, Richard Trevithick's high-pressure steam engine travelled the Merthyr Tramroad, pulling five wagons that contained ten tons of iron (the haulage of which was intended to discharge a substantial wager) and seventy passengers (the great majority of whom being last-minute opportunistic day-trippers). This was the world's first journey by a passenger-carrying railway locomotive.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge and understanding of the development of the transport network associated with the iron industry. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by the survival of detailed historical documentation, structural features such as stone sleepers and by its association with the early railway pioneer, Richard Trevithick.

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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