Bridgend Railway Glan Rhyd Viaduct
Industrial Wales - South and Mid Glamorgan
Bridgend and its Valleys
The Ely, Ogwr, Garw and Llynfi Valleys
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The industrial history and archaeology of Cardiff, South and Mid Glamorgan

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'Bridgend Railway' tramroad 1829 - 1854

The Bridgend Railway was a tramroad that connected the Duffryn, Llynfi and Porthcawl Railway with Bridgend town centre running from near Parc Slip Colliery to what is now Bridgend bus station. It was opened in 1830 and It became part of the Llynfi Valley Railway Co (ex DLPR) in 1854 before the new broad-gauge Llynfi Valley Railway was built up the valley.

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

The Bridgend Railway Junction - SS 8855 8355

From the Duffryn, Llynfi and Porthcawl Railway the tramroad headed South, crossing the Kenfig River on a stone-built bridge, to head into Aberkenfig along the present-day Kenfig Hill to Aberkenfig road.

The Bridgend Railway through Aberkenfig - SS 8943 8330

From Aberkenfig the tramroad heads down Factory Terrace, over another stone-built bridge, and on to Glan-rhyd Viaduct.

Glan-rhyd Viaduct - SS 8989 8279

The Glan-rhyd Viaduct, or Ogmore Viaduct, was built in 1829 and has an inscribed stone plaque, "This bridge was erected in the year 1829 by Morgan Thomas Laleston mason". It s now dwarfed by the M4 motorway which soars above it.

Angleton Iron Furnace - SS 9042 8198

The tramroad runs alongside the Llynfi Valley Railway, which replaced it, to pass the weird ruins of Angleton Iron Furnace. The furnace was built in 1589 by Robert Sidney of Penshurst; this was the only attempt to introduce a blast furnace into central Glamorgan before the eighteenth century. The furnace was still in use in 1600. The two wall foundations are virtually all that remains. The back walls, probably 2.5m high, are formed of thin slabs of sandstone which have a thin coating of slag on the exposed surface. Debris has been heaped against the outer sides and tops of walls. The remains have been held together by the roots of a tree for at least 30 years. Remains of another furnace lie some 80m to the north. (Coflein)

The Bridgend Railway through Wildmill

Wildmill is now totally covered in housing but the tramroad can still be traced through the roads and lanes to Quarella Road bridge. From there it ran down Quarella Road into the centre of Bridgend

Llantrisant and the Ely Valley

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

Ely Valley

Upper Penrhiwfer Colliery, near Tonyrefail - SS 9972 8968

Penrhiwfer Colliery commenced operations in 1861 alongside the Ely Valley Railway between Tonyrefail and Penygraig. At some time Upper Penrhiwfer Colliery opened higher up the hillside. This had clay seams and a brickworks appears to have been built here. The Glamorgan Coal Co owned the colliery but it closed down in 1896 when the assets were auctioned.


Meiros Colliery tramway, Llanharan - ST 0033 8321

South Rhondda Colliery, Llanharan - SS 9914 8487

Sulphur Springs pipeline, Llanharan - ST 0077 8342

A series of concrete blocks runs up the hillside from Llanharan towards Ffynnon Maelwg, a 'sulphureous' well according to the OS maps. I am guessing that an attempt was made to turn Llanharan into a spa and this was the pipeline from the well to one of the local hostelries, any other ideas are most welcome.

Llantrisant Common

Gelynog Colliery, Beddau - ST 0554 8528

Also known as North Llantwit Colliery, Gelynog Colliery was open by 1854. It closed and re-opened under a number of owners until finally closing in 1901. It was connected to a short spur off the Treferig Railway. Recently the site has been used as a bus garage and is now going to be another housing development. The filled shaft is fenced off at the rear.

West Llantwit Colliery, Llantrisant Common - ST 0508 8499

West Llantwit Colliery appears to have been working c1865 and abandoned in 1895. it was connected by tramways to the Treferig Railway South of the colliery, Eastwards to a small building and Northwards to the lane. Aerial photos seem to suggest it might have carried on across the lane to an old shaft at Tal-y-fedw. The capped air shaft is easily found in the workings.


Pontyclun Station - ST 0357 8142

and along the Coed Ely branch to Talbot Green

Garw Valley to Blaengarw

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

Brynmenyn to Llangeinor - SS 9064 8483

The Garw Valley line from Brynmenyn to Llangeinor.

Llangeinor - SS 9131 8771

The Garw Valley line at Llangeinor.

Llangeinor to Pont-y-rhyl - SS 9050 8971

The Garw Valley line from Llangeinor to Pont-y-rhyl.

Pont-y-rhyl to Pont-y-cwmer - SS 9038 9127

The Garw Valley line from Pont-y-rhyl to Pont-y-cwmer

Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

Parc Slip Colliery - SS 8786 8353

Parc Slip Colliery opened in the 1860s by the Brogdens, becoming part of Norths Navigation Ltd. On 26 August 1892 an explosion killed 112 of the 146 men and boys working in the colliery. The site is now part of Parc Slip Nature Reserve.

Cefn Slip Colliery - SS 8786 8353

Cefn Slip Colliery opened in c1857 to supply coal to Cefn Ironworks. It became the Bryndu Colliery Co Ltd in 1908 but closed in 1912 due to serious water incursion. The colliery assets were auctioned in1915.

Cefn Cribbwr Ironworks - SS 8510 8345

Cefn Cribbwr Ironworks is a charcoal-fuelled furnace built by John Bedford of Birmingham, after he acquired the estate in 1771. A high-level charging ramp to the furnace with three calcining kilns, the ruins of the casting-house and a later 1820s beam-engine house survive.

The Dyffryn, Llynfi & Porthcawl Railway

Tondu to Kenfig Hill

The Dyffryn, Llynfi & Porthcawl Railway was built in 1825 and connected Porthcawl Harbour with Maesteg via Kenfig Hill and Tondu. It passed ironworks and collieries on its route to Maesteg. The 4'6" tramroad was converted to a steam railway in 1861. In 1894 the Port Talbot Railway built the Ogmore Valleys Extension Railway from its lines at Margam to meet the DLPR at Cefn Junction.

Cefn Junction signal box - SS 8589 8338

Cefn Junction signal box was built in 1898 to control the junction of the Port Talbot and Porthcawl lines. The Porthcawl line closed c1974 and the signal box became a local museum.

The Ogmore Valleys Extension Railway

Cefn Junction to Pyle

The Ogmore Valleys Extension Railway was bult in 1896 by the Port Talbot Railway from Margam to the new Cefn Junction on the Dyffryn, Llynfi & Porthcawl Railway. The PTR intended to attract the valuable coal traffic away from Porthcawl to its own docks in Port Talbot.

Llynfi Valley to Maesteg

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

Wildmill to Sarn, Bridgend - ST 8640 7800

The Llynfi Valley Railway near Wildmill

Tondu Junction - SS 8950 8447

Tondu Junction, the meeting of the Garw, Ogwr, Llynfi and Kenfig Hill lines. Only the Llynfi Valley Railway has any traffic now.

Beyond Tondu Junction - SS 8915 8546

Beyond Tondu Junction, to Pont Coytrahen

Tondu, the ironworks, tramways and industries

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

Tondu Ironworks - SS 8915 8440

Tondu Ironworks

Tondu Ironworks incline - SS 8915 8440

Tondu Ironworks incline ran from the GWR sidings to the coke ovens above the furnaces. The railway to the slag tips ran over the bridge.

Tondu House - SS 8875 8578

Tondu House was an experimental site in WW2, testing pyrotechnics. They built typical German buildings in the area to test their products out. There are a number of observation posts in the fields above the house.

Tondu House Quarry - SS 8892 8512

The quarry below Tondu House was part of the WW2 experimental site. In the qurry is short length of 2' gauge track with a skip frame on top of which is a large block of concrete. Behind the block is a concrete wall on the side of the quarry. Above the quarry is an observation post but I haven't found that yet.

The Duffryn, Llynfi and Porthcawl Railway - SS 8892 8512

The quarry was on the Duffryn, Llynfi and Porthcawl Railway as it looped round Tondu. The bridge abutments took spoil from a small level across the tramroad.

Sir Robert Price's Tramroad - SS 8903 8517

Sir Robert Price's Tramroad was a branch off the Duffryn, Llynfi and Porthcawl Railway to Bettws Colliery along with a leat to Tondu Ironworks.

Cotrahen Park Colliery, Tondu - SS 8974 8493

Cotrahen Park Colliery was opened in 1906 comprising of two separate levels, No 1 and No 2, but worked as one unit. The colliery closed on 1928 having employed nearly 400 colliers at one time.

Out and About in Mid-Glamorgan

Quick links to :-     Bridgend Railway     Ely Valley and Llantrisant     Garw Valley
    Kenfig Valley and Cefn Cribbwr     Llynfi Valley     Tondu     Out and About

Candleston Farm and Quarry - ST 8640 7800

A small quarry and limekiln next to Candleston Farm and the ruined outbuildings at the farm, all dating back to at least 1880.

Other sites

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading

Information from 'Coflein'
'Railways of the Llynfi Valley' by Clive Smith

A Guide to the Website

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins