Industrial Wales - Monmouthshire
Newport City Suburbs
from Castleton through Rogerstone to Ponthir and Llanwern
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The Industrial Archaeology and History of Newport and Monmouth County

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Rogerstone, Bassaleg and Coedkernew     Caerleon, Ponthir and Uskmouth
The Usk Valley     Sudbrook and the Severn Estuary     The Wye Valley

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Rogerstone, Rhiwderin and Bassaleg

Quick links to :-     Rogerstone, Rhiwderin and Bassaleg     Coedkernew and Duffryn
    Ponthir and Caerleon     Uskmouth

Tredegar Park and Bassaleg

Tredegar Park Forge - ST 2811 8640
Tredegar Park Tramroad - ST 2843 8662

The Tredegar Park Forge and its' tramroad are a little-known feature next to the very famous 'Golden Mile'. The forge was established in 1690 and owned by the Harfords of Melingriffith in 1791 until closure in 1822. A leat following the route of the current dock feeder fed a waterwheel powering beehive furnaces. The tramroad ran along the causeway over the river on a wooden bridge and up to the Sirhowy Tramroad or possibly on to the canal. The current 1870 stone and iron bridge replaced the original but used the same wooden pile foundations.
More information is in this article by OHIHS member, Robin Williams

Pye Corner

The Sirhowy Tramroad did a loop at Pye Corner that the later railway straightened out but the route still exists behind the old 'Three Salmons' pub. Paddy Murphy visited some inaccessible parts of the Pye Corner bridge and found a post marking the start of the 'Golden Mile' through Tredegar Park, the bridge builders plate and some sleepers from the Sirhowy or MRCC tramroad.

The Brecon and Merthyr Railway through Bassaleg

The Brecon and Merthyr Railway was originally the 'Rumney Railway', the plaque on the viaduct being dated 1826.

Rhiwderin - The Garth Sheet Iron Co

Garth Iron and Tinplate Works - ST 2632 8729

Neither the iron or brick works are on the 1843 Tithe map. The subway under the B&MR gave access to the iron works by 1869 but the works went into liquidation in 1878 and the site was vacant in 1901. The Garth Sheet Iron Co was owned by Robert Nurse,who was connected with sale of bankrupt Holywell Tin Plate Co in 14 April 1870. He was the Machen agent for the Universal Provident Life Association in 1853 and died on 5 December 1879. The ironworks site was taken over by the Tredegar estate works department and by Periams 'Monmouthshire Brush Factory'.

Rhiwderin brickworks - ST 2630 8785

It appears that Rhiwderin brickworks was owned by the Garth ironworks. The 1882 OS map shows 'old brick kilns' and 'old claypits' here. The brick kiln doesn't appear again but the clay pits are still there.


Coedkernew and Duffryn - South West Newport

Quick links to :-     Rogerstone, Rhiwderin and Bassaleg     Coedkernew and Duffryn
    Ponthir and Caerleon     Uskmouth

Pencarn Lane and Green Lane

Cleppa Park house and long barrow - ST 2752 8512

Cefn Logell fish pond - ST 2737 8510

Later used as a reservoir

Pen-Sidan-Fach - ST 2675 8533

Pen-y-lan gun emplacement - ST 2628 8532

A Second World War gun emplacement and searchlight battery

Pant-yr-eos reservoir and tramway - ST 2535 9166

Pant-yr-eos reservoir was proposed in 1871 by the Newport and Pillgwenlly Waterworks Co and completed by 1878 using stone from a quarry below the Risca to Twmbarlwm lane (ST 2496 9187). An incline ran down from the quarry to the dam construction site. The trackbed of the incline is faint but can be traced. The company became part of Newport Corporation in 1888. See links in the 'Sources' at the end.

Ponthir and Caerleon - North East Newport

Quick links to :-     Rogerstone, Rhiwderin and Bassaleg     Coedkernew and Duffryn
    Ponthir and Caerleon     Uskmouth

Caerleon (or Porthmawr) Tramroad - ST 3407 9028

Tramroad wharf - ST 3407 9028

You can just make out the remains of the wharf here, the final terminus of the Caerleon Tramroad. The tramroad passed between the river and 'The Hanbury Arms'and along the lane between the new apartments to meet the main road at the sharp bend. It then, rather obviously, went up 'Tram Lane', across the main Usk road and under the railway to Caerleon Ironworks.

Tramroad milepost - ST 3389 9058

The only surviving milepost from the Caerleon Tramroad is in front of the school on the main road through the village. It was dredged from the Afon Llwyd close to where it would have stood beside the tramroad.

Caerleon Forge and Ironworks - ST 3688 9158

Originally opened in the 1750s, the Caerleon Forge and Ironworks has been used since the 1940s by various light engineering companies. The remaining buildings are corrugated iron but still worth a look. The leat can be seen next to the main road.

Ponthir Road bridge - ST 3329 9205

Ponthir Road bridge was built to cross the GWR mainline when it opened in the 1870s. Two small arches crossed the tramroad and the works leat as well. The leat used the lower, Southern arch and the tramroad used the other. The tramroad arch was used for some kind of experiments in the 1960s and 70s using a small headframe. To the South, the tramroad disappears into the works yard but the leat is still present next to the main road as it gets closer to the works. To the north, the course of the tramroad and original turnpike road can be seen going through the field in front of the old farmhouse.

Ponthir Tinplate Works - ST 3250 9262

The site of Ponthir Tinplate Works has reverted to agricultural use, a modern barn having been erected on top of the massive foundation walls. The tree-lined Southern boundary of the field is the course of the tramroad to the riverbank but no trace remains of the river bridge. In the field, parallel to the tramroad, are two depressions which were the outlet leats. To the North, beside the lane, the stonework of the inlet leats is very well preserved up to the site of the weir.

The works were established around 1758 and generally continued in use until being marked 'disused' on the 1920 OS map, for many years owned by the Jenkins family. Originally connected to the Caerleon Tamroad, a siding was laid into the works from Ponthir Station from around 1875. According to the 1881 Census, my Gt. Gt. Grandfather worked here and lived in Laburnam Cottages on the main road.

The Star Brick and Tile Co Ltd - a brickmaking empire

The Star Brick and Tile Co Ltd began life in 1881 at Llantarnam Road, Cwmbran and by the end of the 1930s the new site at Penrhos, Caerleon had been built and they had acquired Russells brickworks, Waunfawr, Risca and the Allt-yr-yn brickworks in Newport. Tunnadine's brickworks, Malpas Road, Newport and Graig brickworks, Morriston, Swansea had joined the empire in the late 1950s.

Meanwhile in England, Neal and Co. Ltd were producing bricks at Heather, Leics and by 1903 they had changed the company name to the National Brick Co. Seemingly in the 1950s they amalgamated with the Star Brick and Tile Co. Ltd to form the National Star Co. In 1971 the National Star Co was acquired by Butterley Brick / Hanson Plc 1973 seems to be the end of the Star Brick and Tile Co, although National Star Ltd, Newport continues to be mentioned up until 1978.

Towards the end of the Star group in the 1960-70s, bricks were being produced with the generic die "National Star Newport" and small letters to the lower left or right of the stamp to indicate the works of origin. The letter 'A' is for Allt-yr-yn brickworks; 'G' for Graig, Morriston, Swansea; 'L' for Llantarnam, Cwmbran; 'M' for Malpas, Newport , 'P' for Penrhos and 'RC' for Waunfawr, Risca. 'R' and 'C' on their own seem to be misprints of 'RC'.

Penrhos Brickworks - ST 3335 9215

The chimney of Penrhos Brickworks still dominates the surrounding area. The woods to the South conceal a few tramway remains and the ford over the river to the claypits.

'Star' bricks

Not surprisingly, there are a great many variations of empire's imprints and these are just the 'STAR' varieties that I know about up to now.

Uskmouth - South East Newport

Quick links to :-     Rogerstone, Rhiwderin and Bassaleg     Coedkernew and Duffryn
    Ponthir and Caerleon     Uskmouth


Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks to Paddy Murphy, Ian Pickford, Trefor Puw, Richard Paterson, Jim Sparks, Old Frechevillian for adding to the various brickworks sections.
Pant-yr-eos Reservoir - London Gazette entry on proposals
Pant-yr-eos Reservoir - London Gazette entry on re-organisation
Lawrence Skuse - Welsh bricks and brickworks - Welsh bricks and brickworks

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