Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Ystradgynlais
The story of iron smelting
 
  Iron working in the Upper Swansea Valley  
 

In the half century before Queen Victoria came to the throne, there were enormous changes taking place in Britain.
The making of a great many things that people used in their lives, was increasingly done by machines. The most efficient way to do this was to put all the machines in one building and power them by water power or steam power. This was a factory.
The factory would then need
good transport links to bring in raw materials and take out the finished products. New roads, canals, tramways, and later railways, were built to do this.
All of this change is called the Industrial Revolution, and it needed iron in huge quantities.
The Upper Swansea Valley was one of the major iron producing areas in Britain and for a while was the leading area in Europe for new developments in the making of iron.
Use the menu below to see how ironmaking developed in the area, and how it affected the area in Victorian times.

 
The beginnings of an industry
How ironmaking began in the valley
 
 
New developments in the valley
David Thomas and the hot-blast furnace
 
 
Heyday and decline of iron working
Last days of iron producing at Ynyscedwyn
 
 
A foundry and tin plate works
a new use for an old site
 
 

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