The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
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Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 01265m Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Ynysawdre Unitary authority : Bridgend NGR : SS89108450 Site Type (preferred type first) : Post-Medieval Iron works Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : Tondu Ironworks. The remains consist of ruins of a row of beehive coke ovens and a pair of calcining kilns. Remains of two blast furnaces extant.
Description : Tondu Ironworks. The remains consist of ruins of a row of beehive coke ovens and a pair of calcining kilns. Remains of two blast furnaces extant. Scheduled as of national importance as one of the best preserved examples of mid-19th century South Wales ironworks, and known to include strong archaeological potential for its wrought iron producing complex as well as smelting arrangements.
Established 1838-40 as a two blast furnace ironworks, remodelled and updated in 1854, with further modernisation and a modern blast furnace subsequently added. Production ended in 1895-6 with a change of use to an engineering and admin hub for North's Navigation Collieries. An assessment of the extent, interpretation and condition of above and below ground remains of the coke ovens on the upper part of the site of Tondu Ironworks was carried out in 2007. Excavations showed excellent preservation and provided information on construction of the embankment, demolished southern oven battery, central double range oven battery, northern single range oven battery, probable boiler house (whose remains were difficult to interpret), and several working areas and surfaces. At least one oven was of the Brecon Dixon type, with under-floor heating using exhaust gasses. (Schlee 2007)