Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,850 pages of information and 228,791 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Pentyrch Ironworks

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on the River Taff, north of Cardiff.

Founded in the 1740s, although iron was smelted in blast furnaces and worked at Pentyrch between 1564 and 1600.

After 1810 Richard Blakemore and Co acquired the Pentyrch Forge.

1830 One furnace. Owned by Richard Blakemore.

1865 Two blast furnaces. Owned by T. W. Booker and Co

A 1906 photograph shows the ruined ironworks in its broader context[1]. It was located to the west of the River Taff, and supplied with water from the river at Pentyrch weir via the Pentyrch Feeder Canal. The blowing engine house, the tall round stack, and two much shorter square stacks appear intact. Two square blast furnaces are truncated but largely intact, while the 1874 iron-clad furnace has collapsed. The remains of the coke ovens can be seen close by the ironworks. The photograph was taken from the hill (Little Garth) from which the ironstone and limestone were extracted. The photo also shows the quarry which provided clay for the brickworks, and the fan house of the Lan Colliery. Localism at its best!

The same source includes a late 19thC photo showing substantial stepping stones across the River Taff, providing access to the ironworks from the villages at Portobello and Walnut Tree (which later became Taffs Well). Along the west bank we see the tipped slag, which was later excavated and taken for land reclamation at the Queen Alexandra Dock.

The 1915 O.S. map shows the location of the coke ovens, and, further downstream, the Pentyrch Steel and Tinplate Works, previously the location of Pentyrch Forge, which worked iron from the company's blast furnaces a short distance upstream. The impressive Walnut Tree Viaduct was located immediately to the north of these works.

Further downstream was the Melingriffith Ironworks, which was also a customer for Pentyrch's iron..

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'The Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals' Volume 2, by Stephen Rowson and Ian L. Wright, Black Dwarf Publications, 2001.