The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
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Hill Pits Tramroad Incline Brake Engine
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 04694g Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Blaenavon Unitary authority : Torfaen NGR : SO24280989 Site Type (preferred type first) : Post-Medieval Inclined plane Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : The remains of a breaking system at the head of a counterbalanced tramroad incline, dating from c1840. The tramroad carried coal from the nearby Hill's Pits (SO 239 102) to Blaenavon Ironworks (2221G) and was in operation by 1844. The monument consists
Description : The remains of a breaking system at the head of a counterbalanced tramroad incline, dating from c1840. The tramroad carried coal from the nearby Hill's Pits (SO 239 102) to Blaenavon Ironworks (2221G) and was in operation by 1844. The monument consists of a stone-lined pit roughly 4m square and 1-2m deep containing a bolted cast-iron frame on which is mounted a wrought iron braking bank and a system of levers connecting to a smaller adjacent chamber which was the breakman's cabin. Counterbalanced tramroad inclines of this sort were common in S Wales from the 1790s until the late C19th. Iron Bridge Assessment 1994 -The remains of the brake engine used to operate the incline (Tr 1), consisting of a wrought iron band brake set in a pit with masonry walls and held in place on an iron frame. A spread of stone rubble is present immediately to the north-cast of the engine site. The site was excavated in 1979 by students of the Department of Extra-Mural Studies, University College, Cardiff. The results were published (Van Laun, 1979) in an article in the Industrial Archaeology Review with detailed descriptions and some excellent isometric drawings. The remains were left open but are still visible, although vegetation is encroaching upon the band brake. The brake engine is not marked on the 1844 tithe map but must have been present or constructed very soon afterwards. In 1880 a small building stood to the rear of it and it has been suggested that this was a stable for the horses used for shunting trams at the top of the incline. The brake engine may have been made within the Blaenavoti Company and, considering its relatively simple task., is a sophisticated piece of engineering
Cadw , Cadw Scheduled Ancient Monument Record
Cadw , Application for Scheduled Monument Consent
Pannett, A , 2012 , Blaenavon Forgotten Landscapes Project: Conservation Management Plan
01/MM List/Cadw/1994/SAM Lists