Pontyrhun Furnace

In the 16th century a small iron works was built at Pontyrhun near Troedyrhiw. Very little is known of the works; it was probably a subsidiary of the iron works set up at Pontygwaith by Anthony Morley, an ironmaster who came to Wales because of the plentiful supply of wood.

The Pontyrhun Works were built near the river because water power was used to drive the bellows which heated the iron ore. The works probably consisted of a small furnace and a forge, typical throughout Wales and England.

No record of it exists, but probably, if it belonged to Morley, it was sold with the Pontygwaith works to Lewis of the Van.

The Pontygwaith works were destroyed by Cromwell after the battle of St Fagans because the royalist weapons had been made there. There is no evidence of what happened to the Pontyrhun works.

Two things remain to show the approximate site of the works:-

  1. Furnace Row – a row of 18th century cottages built near the site of the works.
  2. Pontyrhun Bridge – stands near the site of the works.

From Recollections of Merthyr’s Past by Afon Taf Research Group, 1979

The image is a sketch of the Pontyrhun works as it appeared in 1847.

From A Guide to Merthyr Tydfil by T.E. Clarke 1848


About davidjcollier

Originally from South Wales I have lived in Nottinghamshire for over forty years. I am married and have three grown up children and two grandchildren. Having worked in education for 43 years I will retire in July 2012. My interests include history (general, local and family), rugby union, swimming, photography, bird watching and gardening. For the benefit of anyone who may actually read this (extremely unlikely, I admit) please do not confuse 'interests' with knowledge or skill. My involvement in a community project which aims to rescue a graveyard from the effects of almost 30 years of neglect. also keeps me quite busy. View all posts by davidjcollier

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