Ancient Monuments

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Ynysmaerdy Railway Incline

A Scheduled Monument in Briton Ferry (Llansawel), Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Latitude: 51.6403 / 51°38'25"N

Longitude: -3.8047 / 3°48'16"W

OS Eastings: 275212

OS Northings: 195044

OS Grid: SS752950

Mapcode National: GBR H2.7ZMX

Mapcode Global: VH5GV.01GC

Entry Name: Ynysmaerdy Railway Incline

Scheduled Date: 20 February 1996

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1430

Cadw Legacy ID: GM489

Schedule Class: Transport

Category: Railway

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

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

Community: Briton Ferry (Llansawel)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of the remains of a 19th century railway system. It opened in 1863 and is one of the last generation of rope hauled railway inclines, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 1850s. It was constructed for the broad gauge South Wales Mineral Railway to link the collieries of the upper Afan Valley with a new dock at Briton Ferry. The incline was operated by a steam winding engine and was 1 mile in length. It was constructed to form a straight plane over its whole distance despite the steep hillside, by way of cuttings, embankments and bridges. Winding engine bases and rope routes among low walls in a level cutting remain at its eastern end. The incline begins in a cutting, and traversed a short embankment and another cutting. The large embankment is cut by a minor road, which passes under the incline through a fine stone skew bridge. The lower parts of the incline are in Jersey Park, where a footpath overbridge retains fixings for signalling wire underneath. The incline ends with a level area for disconnection of trains on an embankment.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the development of industrial transportation in the nineteenth century. The track bed, embankments and revetments may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to construction techniques and functional detail. 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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