Industrial Wales - Monmouthshire and the Forest of Dean
The Wye Valley
The Wye Valley from Chepstow to Monmouth
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The Industrial Archaeology and History of the Wye Valley

The Wye Valley is the now the official Welsh - English border so industries and transport links criss-cross the border regularly. This page covers both banks of the river so you may have got here from rural Monmouthshire or the Forest of Dean.

These links will take you safely back home or ever onwards as you wish :-

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge a photo or map and sometimes read more about it.
Then click 'Full Size' on the toolbar to see it in all its glory.

Chepstow to Tintern

Quick links to :-     Chepstow to Tintern     Tintern's limekilns     Tintern's Wire and Tinplate Works
    Redbrook     The Wye Valley Railway

E Finch & Co Ltd, Chepstow

E Finch & Co Ltd began life building the Chepstow railway bridge for I K Brunel in 1852. It developed into a varied engineering company, notably shipbuilding. The company was sold in 1916 eventually becoming the Fairfield Mabey engineering works.

Chepstow - ST 5340 9390

Lancaut limekilns - ST 5340 9655

Lancaut quarry - ST 5415 9590

The Cold Bath, Piercefield - ST 5248 9684

The ruins of an 18th century cold water plunge bath. The tile-lined pool was fed by water from a stream via a culvert. Later a hydraulic ram was installed in an adjacent brick building.

Tintern's limekilns

Quick links to :-     Chepstow to Tintern     Tintern's limekilns     Tintern's Wire and Tinplate Works
    Redbrook     The Wye Valley Railway

Colwell Grove limekiln - ST 5331 9975

An early 19th century limekiln with two draw holes restored in old quarry in Colwell Grove. Lots of small quarries in the hillside behind them. Look at the base of the wall on the other side of the main track to see some arched construction in the footings.

Limekiln Wood limekiln - ST 5320 9955

Behind Colwell Grove deep in the woods and on a heck of a slope are a set of substantial limekilns. There are two separate kilns a few yards from each other, each with double draw holes. Very difficult to get good photos as they are in heavy shadow and 'back a bit, back a bit' will result in serious injury. But they are well worth the effort.

Porthcasseg Farm limekiln - ST 5237 9761
Reddings Farm limekiln - ST 5313 9910

An almost buried limekiln with two draw holes near Porthcasseg Farm. A small quarry is behind it and another is to the South.
The limekiln at Reddings Farm was marked 'old' in 1900 and has now virtually disappeared.

Tintern's lead, iron, wire and tinplate Industry

Quick links to :-     Chepstow to Tintern     Tintern's limekilns     Tintern's Wire and Tinplate Works
    Redbrook     The Wye Valley Railway

Wyndcliff Woods - ST 5298 9866

There are many old lead workings around Wyndcliff Woods, some dating from Roman times. An air shaft can be found to the right at the top of the '365 steps'.

Tintern Ironworks - SO 5140 0027

Tintern ironworks worked from the 16th century to around 1826. The charcoal blast furnace was around 9ft diameter with a waterwheel to work the bellows. The waterwjheel was fed by a leat from the upper pond, carried on short pillars at the works end. Stone pillars carried water to the wheel. At the end of the 1700s the bellows were replaced by iron blowing cylinders - a world first.

Lower Wireworks, Tintern - SO 5267 0010

Wiremaking began at much the same time as the ironworks and carried on until the Abbey Wireworks Co closed in 1875. It reopened as the Abbey Wire and Tinplate Co in 1880 and closed again in 1901, this time for good.

Tintern Wireworks railway bridge - SO 5300 0028

Before the branch from the Wye Valley Railway had even opened, the Abbey Wireworks Company had stopped trading. The line remained disused until the early 1880s when the works were taken over by the Abbey Wire and Tinplate Company but this too closed in 1901. From then on the branch was only used by horses for the sawmills and turnery works in the village. The line closed completely in 1935 and most of the tracks were lifted for scrap in 1941.

Bigsweir, Redbrook and Monmouth

Quick links to :-     Chepstow to Tintern     Tintern's limekilns     Tintern's Wire and Tinplate Works
    Redbrook     The Wye Valley Railway

Bigsweir - SO 5382 0512

A pillbox guards Bigsweir Bridge


Bridges and inclines on the GWR Coleford branch and the Monmouth Tramroad.

Monmouth - SO 5131 1269

Two pillboxes guard the bridge at Mayhill Station

The Wye Valley Railway

Quick links to :-     Chepstow to Tintern     Tintern's limekilns     Tintern's Wire and Tinplate Works
    Redbrook     The Wye Valley Railway

Along the Wye Valley Railway from Chepstow to Redbrook

Tidenham Tunnel - ST 5476 9729

Tintern Quarry to Tintern Tunnel

Tintern Station - ST 5370 0065


Bigsweir to the Redbrook bridge


Wye Valley Railway - SO 5127 1198

The Wye Valley Railway viaduct

Ross and Monmouth Railway - SO 5129 1214

Ross and Monmouth Railway

Monmouth Troy Station - SO 5090 1182

Monmouth Troy Station and tunnel

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