The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
Trust Historic Environment Record
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PWLL DU TRAMROAD TUNNEL SOUTHERN APPROACH
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 04692.0g Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Blaenavon Unitary authority : Torfaen NGR : SO24850984 Site Type (preferred type first) : Post-Medieval Tramway tunnel Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : Pwll du Tunnel carried Hill's tramroad from Blaenavon Ironworks through the mountain to Pwll du, connecting it with the Pwll du limestone quarries, Garnddyrys Forge and the Brechnock and Abergavenny Canal. The tunnel probably originated as a mining leve
Description : Pwll du Tunnel carried Hill's tramroad from Blaenavon Ironworks through the mountain to Pwll du, connecting it with the Pwll du limestone quarries, Garnddyrys Forge and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal. The tunnel probably originated as a mining level which by 1800 already extended 3/4 of a mile into the mountain. It was connected through to Pwll du by c1815 when it began use as tramroad replacing the former mountain route from the quarries to the Ironworks. The route extended to the canal by 1821 and continued in sue until the 1860s. The S entrance formerly had a portal known as the Marble Arch, but only a half-buried arch-ring is now visible. The scheduled area includes the cutting from where it is blocked just N of Garn Road to the break of slope above the cutting and the tunnel entrance, and includes the lane to Tunnel Houses together with the house ruin and the fields the lane encloses.
The South portal of the tunnel was excavated and restored to reflect its appearance at the end of its use, which appeared to be late Victorian/Edwardian, rather than the original early 19th Century. It was constructed in refractory brick with black mortar pointing. This is supported by the fact that there are at least two phases of activity in the trackbed. The conservation work consisted of the removal of defective brickwork and the tunnel reconstructed using materials and plans deemed honest, appropriate and sympathetic to the design.