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Iron smelting in the area  

As well as the forge at Glangrwyne other forges were set up along the river Clydach. The old engraving below shows one of the earlier charcoal-burning ones. You can see the water wheel for powering the machinery like the great hammers for pounding the hot iron into shape.

  Old engraving of the forge at ClydachPowys County Archives

A tramway was built up the Clydach valley for transporting materials from the canal to the forge and back. (See the map, right). These smaller forges were operating in the early Victorian period. Bigger coal-burning forges improved production. Another ironworks was built at Beaufort run by Joseph and Crawshay Bailey. This provided much employment locally.
Eventually these smaller forges found it difficult to compete with bigger ironworks elsewhere in South Wales and by 1870 they had closed down.


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