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Upper Swansea Valley
The Story of Iron 6

by Len Ley

The Evans brothers foundry at

Photograph from
the collections
of the late
John Morris

Ynyscedwyn Foundry
Brothers David and Thomas Evans took over the Ynyscedwyn site creating the Crane Iron Foundry at some time in the last quarter of the 19th century. This consisted of an iron foundry capable of producing castings of up to 2 tons and the iron was cast once a week Scrap metal was normally used and this was melted in a cupola furnace. Much of the work was for the local coal industry and mainly consisted of supplying tram wheels and rail points for the colliery tramways.
  The proprietor had acquired a license to produce and use a semi-steel, under US patent. This metal was highly ductile and mainly used for tram wheels. A small brass foundry was part of the works and most of its products were for industrial use, although some brass fireside fenders were made for local domestic use.

Cast iron door
with Crane motif
from Ynyscedwyn

By kind permission of Brecknock Museum

At the foundry, the Pattern Maker was the prime craftsman in the production of metal castings. The art had progressed from the early casting of pig iron to the more accurate clearances required in the casting of the more refined metals. The pattern maker would fashion the shape required, giving the pattern a slight bevel that enabled it to be removed from the mould without disturbing the sand. Somewhere close to the foundry had stood the Siop-y-Cwmni, or company shop. This had been the Ynyscedwyn Truck Shop and had sold everything from food to the final coffin. The church records show that a William Petherick had been the grocer at the works shop during the years after 1891.

The Ynyscedwyn
site in 1887

County Archives


The map reproduced above is from an 1887 First Edition Ordnance Survey map, showing the canal and railway links, and the Glamorganshire border.

There are7 pages on The Story of Iron. Use the box links below to view other pages.