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Cyfarthfa Ironworks

<Click on photographs to enlarge>

Anthony Bacon started Iron production at Cyfarthfa in 1765. Richard Crawshay leased the works from Bacon's family in 1786, and in 1794 became the sole owner. In 1803 he employed 1,500 people and Cyfarthfa Ironworks was said 

to be the biggest in the world. 


Richard Crawshay died in 1810, and the works passed to his son William Crawshay. who appointed his son William II as manager, he took the works to it's  greatest production  levels,  and  made many  improvements and developments. His son  Robert Thompson Crawshay  took over in  1847. Robert's  refusal to change  to  Steel production ( Steel was becoming a more popular metal ),  eventually brought  about the works closure in April 1874. 


Following Robert's death in 1879,  the  works  was  converted to a Steel production plant,  by his son William Thompson Crawshay, at  a cost of 150,000, and reopened  in 1882. It  again closed in 1910. In 1915 it was reopened to produce pig iron and shell steel during  the Great War. 


It finally closed forever in 1919. Dismantling was commenced in 1928.



A Cyfarthfa and Hirwaun One Guinea Note.


A Cyfarthfa and Hirwaun One Pound Note.

(Photograph Courtesy of William Jones)



Anthony Bacon's Mantelpiece.


Cyfarthfa Works from the Air - circa 1920.

(Photograph courtesy of Gill Thomas)








How a Blast Furnace in works.

Cyfarthfa Works 

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Cyfarthfa Ironworks

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Blast Furnaces- 1881 During reconstruction 

Cyfartha Ironworks was originally driven by water, this was one of the supplies of water.

The weir shown here is on the Taff Fawr, just below Cefn Viaduct, where the water entered a 

Leat or channel (parts of which remain, and can still be seen today), to travel down to the works. 

This was constructed by Charles Wood,  who was contracted to build the furnaces in 1767.

Cyfarthfa_leat.JPG (109055 bytes)

Pontycafnau Bridge, showing the water supply from the Cyfarthfa Lake joining the water supply from 

the Taff Fawr Leat. These waters were used to turn the Water Wheels and later to feed the boilers which 

worked the Blast Engines.

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On top of the Blast Furnaces

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Blast Furnaces 1896     

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The Blast furnaces circa 1890

Cyfarthfa Blast Furnaces


Cyfarthfa Works 1894      

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In 1802 Nelson made a surprise visit to Cyfarthfa, it is said that 

Richard Crawshay cried with joy, and announced to the workmen,

 "This is Nelson, shout you Beggars!"

Cyfarthfa Coke Ovens C1900

Cyfarthfa Works.

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Cyfarthfa Works

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A Typical Cyfarthfa works 'A' framed Iron bridge.


Do you have any photographs or information relating to Cyfarthfa Iron & Steel Works?

If so, please email us, by clicking the 'Contact Us' button.

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