Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Neath Abbey Ironworks Dam

A Scheduled Monument in Dyffryn Clydach, Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Latitude: 51.6735 / 51°40'24"N

Longitude: -3.8249 / 3°49'29"W

OS Eastings: 273909

OS Northings: 198767

OS Grid: SS739987

Mapcode National: GBR H2.5SPY

Mapcode Global: VH4K5.N69F

Entry Name: Neath Abbey Ironworks Dam

Scheduled Date: 18 December 1978

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 617

Cadw Legacy ID: GM395

Schedule Class: Water Supply and Drainage

Category: Dam

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

Community: Dyffryn Clydach

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of a dam, a masonry barrier built across a river to create a reservoir of water for industrial usage, dating to the 19th century. The dam was built over the River Clydach to dam water in the Cwm Clydach Pond for the purposes of the Neath Abbey Ironworks (GM389) to the south. The dam stands to an impressive height on the south side, which is finely built of shaped masonry supported by three buttresses extending almost to the full height of the dam. Two circular openings at the base of the dam and the rectangular openings at the top released a flow of water regulated by the machinery still surviving on the north, slighter, side of the dam. The parapet has mainly been replaced and recapped. The dam now supports a minor roadway.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 19th century water supply, drainage and industrial practices. It retains significant archaeological potential and features, particularly considering the associated machinery surviving in-situ. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques. The group value of the dam is enhanced by the association with Neath Abbey Ironworks.

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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