Scheduled Ancient Monuments
St. Illtyd's Motte
Just to the west of the church stands a large, steep-sided, flat-topped mound. This is a well-preserved castle motte. This probably dates to the 11th or 12th century, though it may incorporate an earlier, prehistoric burial mound.
Originally the motte would have been surmounted by a defensive wooden tower and palisade and may have been surrounded by an enclosed outer bailey that would have contained a hall, stables and other associated out-buildings. It is possible that the bailey once extended as far as the site . . .Read more
The Sirhowy Ironworks were first established in 1778. Between 1794 and 1818, they were operated by William Borrow, Rev. Matthew Monkhouse and Richard Fothergill. In 1818 the works were acquired by James Harford of Harford, Partridge and Co. of Ebbw Vale and, from this date on, were operated as part of the Ebbw Vale Ironworks in the valley to the east. Sirhowy supplied Ebbw Vale with pig iron and there it was worked into wrought iron and, from the end of the 19th century onwards, into steel. . .Read more
Marine Colliery Pumping Engine
On the site of the former Marine Colliery at the southern end of Cwm is a large steam-pumping engine built by Hathorn Davey of Leeds in 1893 and formerly used at the colliery. It was installed there when the colliery was completed, in a chamber beneath the winding engine on the downcast shaft. The engine could deal with 50,000 gallons of water per hour when working at seven strokes per minute. It has a 68-inch low-pressure cylinder with a 10 feet stroke. . .Read more
Hafod Arch (Clydach Railroad)
On the right hand side of the Heads of the Valleys Road on the final approach to Brynmawr is a section of an early and important tramroad, including an impressive causeway section with a stone bridge – the Hafod Arch.
The Clydach Railroad was built under powers provided by the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal Act, and connected coal and iron ore mines, limestone quarries and ironworks at the head of the Clydach Gorge with the canal at Gilwern. It was designed by the canal. . .Read more
Clydach Coal Level
On the left hand side of the Heads of the Valleys Road on the final approach to Brynmawr are a pair of well-preserved and dated coal levels with a tramroad connection to the Clydach Railroad, which originally ran down the Clydach Gorge to Gilwern.
The levels were owned and operated by the Brecon Boat Company, the principal trader on the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal, and the Clydach Railroad was built to link the top of the Ironworks along the heads of the Blaenau Gwent valleys with the canal in. . .Read more
Cefn Golau Cholera Cemetery
This isolated site, set on the bleak mountainside to the west of Tredegar this is one of the most evocative in the south Wales valleys. With its few remaining gravestones set against the lowering skies, the site serves as unique introduction to one of the most painful chapters in the history of Blaenau Gwent. Here rest the mortal remains of at least two hundred people, victims of the "King of Terrors" – cholera. There were two major cholera epidemics in Tredegar, the first in 1832-33 and another seventeen years later in 1849. A lesser outbreak also struck the town in 1866. . .Read more
Bedwellty Pits Incline Engine
Situated above Bedwellty Pits halfway up the side of the Sirhowy Valley, are the remains of a self acting incline haulage for lowering stone from the adjacent quarry down the hillside to the village. The quarry was in use from the 1850s onwards.
The winding gear stands half way up the side of the Sirhowy Valley above Bedwellty Pits, at the top of a disused tramway and on the lip of an old quarry. The site consists of two stone-built pits, c. 2m across and 1.5m deep, each with a cast iron square-sectioned. . .Read more