Industrial Wales - Monmouthshire's Clydach Gorge
Blaenavon Stone Road
from Waunllapria to Pwlldu and beyond !
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The Industrial Archaeology and History of the Clydach Gorge

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The Blaenavon Stone Road

The Blaenavon Stone Road or Common Road was proposed in 1797 and opened from 1799. It ran from Waunllapria to Pwlldu and eventually Blaenavon, connecting Clydach Ironworks, via the Llanelly Hill inclines to the Pwlldu and Blaenavon Tramroads. Within a few years it was rebuilt as a 4'4" tramroad through to Blaenavon, sometimes referred to as the Clydach to Blaenavon Tramroad. It probably closed c1812 when Clydach Ironworks could use the completed B&A canal. It was re-instated in 1829 to carry cinders from Garndyrys to Clydach until after 1836.


Quick links to :- Waunllapria     Blaen Dyar     Blaen Pig     Tramroad plates and sills

Along the route

Jones Colliery, Llanelly Hill - SO 2280 1200

The ruined cottage above Coedcae Newydd - SO 2310 1223

Blaen Dyar

Quick links to :- Waunllapria     Blaen Dyar     Blaen Pig     Tramroad plates and sills

The Blaenavon Stone Road at Blaen Dyer

This stretch of the route is relatively undisturbed with a lot of stone sleepers to be seen.

Blaen Dyar colliery - SO 2345 1215

This colliery straddles the Clydach - Blaenavon Tramroad with quite extensive tips. It appears on the tithe map of 1843, owned by the Clydach Iron and Coal Co of Clydach Ironworks. Todays' drainage level may well have been the main haulage road, given its relationship with the tips. There were modern re-workings between 1930 and 1970 in the same area.

The causeway at Blaen Dyar- SO 2375 1215

The Stone Road runs down to the causeway across Nant Dyar with many stone sleepers in evidence again.

Having performed a U-turn on the causeway, the Stone Road climbs up the Eastern side of Nant Dyar to a reversing spur to continue along the modern lane to Pwlldu. More sleepers and a buried tramplate can be found here.

Blaen Dyar Farm - SO 2369 1223

Blaen Pig

Quick links to :- Waunllapria     Blaen Dyar     Blaen Pig     Tramroad plates and sills

Blaen Pig beerhouse - SO 2360 1180

The building here is marked 'BH' for beerhouse on the 1879 OS map but most of the surrounding 'old workngs' had ceased so it probably reverted to a smallholding. Behind it is a very narrow level possibly a drainage level for one of the larger levels.

Around Blaen Pig - SO 2340 1170

The very heavily eroded canyon coming down from Blaenavon's opencast workings.

Tramroad plates, sills and ironmongery

Quick links to :- Waunllapria     Blaen Dyar     Blaen Pig     Tramroad plates and sills

A walk around Blaen Pig and Blaen Dyar turned up some very interesting relics of tramroad days. Someone had cleared some land beside the Blaenavon Stone Road and unearthed a nuber of tramroad plates and tiebars or sills. They are narrow-gauge so probably from the colliery at Blaen Dyar.

Possibly the underframe of a wooden dram

Tramplates and tie-bars or sills

A 9ft long iron column

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks to :- Chris George, Richard Preece and Brynmawr Historical Society for their photos and information.
'Early Limestone Railways' by John van Laun

A Guide to the Website

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins