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Regional route South Wales | United Kingdom

Wales played a leading role in the formative years of the Industrial Revolution in the production of iron and steel, tinplate and coal. During the 19th century families flooded into the sparsely populated valleys of South Wales seeking work in the emerging industries which exploited the areas mineral ... more

The South Wales Regional Route

Wales played a leading role in the formative years of the Industrial Revolution in the production of iron and steel, tinplate and coal. During the 19th century families flooded into the sparsely populated valleys of South Wales seeking work in the emerging industries which exploited the areas mineral resources. In 1804, Richard Trevithick ran the World’s first steam engine on iron rails near Merthyr. By 1840 South Wales was the largest producer of iron in the UK. By 1890 Cardiff was the most important coal port in the world.

On the steep sides of the valleys dense terraces of workers housing were hurriedly built, together with numerous churches, chapels and workmen’s halls. The long ribbons of urbanisation in the valleys were interspersed with coal mines with their huge waste tips and iron and steel forges. Through the cramped valley floor ran polluted rivers, narrow roads, canals and then railway systems serving the growing industrial communities. Here a new industrial society emerged with sharp divisions between wealthy iron master and colliery owners and the workers. As a result socialism grew as a significant political force with international influence.

Today the clamour of the traditional industries has gone from the Valleys and the dirt and dereliction is changing back to green. However, the visitor will have no difficulty in imagining the turbulent times of the early Industrial Revolution while visiting the network of industrial heritage sites on the ERIH South Wales Route.

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ERIH Anchor Points

Blaenavon | United Kingdom

A small town – with a huge effect. The South ...

Big Pit: National Coal Museum World Heritage Site
NP4 9XP Blaenavon, United Kingdom

Swansea | United Kingdom

Computer screens with interactive film ...

National Waterfront Museum
Oystermouth Road
SA1 3RD Swansea, United Kingdom

Member Sites ERIH Association

Blaenavon | United Kingdom

This is the first dedicated World Heritage ...

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre
Church Road
Blaenavon, United Kingdom

Trehafod | United Kingdom

They laboured like animals: bent double in the ...

Rhondda Heritage Park
Lewis Merthyr Colliery
Coed Cae Road
CF37 2NP Rhondda, United Kingdom

Sites

Aberdare | United Kingdom

The Museum tells the story of the social ...

Cynon Valley Museum
Depot Road Gadlys
CF44 8DL Aberdare, United Kingdom

Abergavenny | United Kingdom

Goytre Wharf on the Monmouthshire and Brecon ...

Goytre Wharf
Activity and Visitor Centre
Llanover
NP7 9EW Abergavenny, United Kingdom

Blaenavon | United Kingdom

Close to Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit in ...

Blaenavon Community Museum
101 High Street
NP4 9PT Blaenavon, United Kingdom

Blaenavon | United Kingdom

Blaenavon Ironworks began production in 1789 ...

Blaenavon Ironworks World Heritage Site
North Street
NP4 9RN Blaenavon, United Kingdom

Brecon | United Kingdom

The basin forms the terminus of the 56km ...

Brecon Canal Basin
Rich Way
LD3 7 Brecon, United Kingdom

Caerphilly | United Kingdom

Senghenydd is a mining community 15 km ...

Universal Mine Senghenydd
Aber Valley Heritage Museum
Gwern Avenue Senghenydd
CF83 4HA Caerphilly, United Kingdom

Cardiff | United Kingdom

By 1890 Cardiff was the most important coal ...

Pierhead Building
Maritime Road
CF10 4PZ Cardiff, United Kingdom

Cardiff | United Kingdom

Situated on the outskirts of Cardiff at St. ...

St Fagans National History Museum
St Fagans
CF5 6XB Cardiff, United Kingdom

Llanelli | United Kingdom

The exciting new Discovery Centre is ...

Llanelli Discovery Centre
Millennium Coastal Park
North Dock
SA15 2LF Llanelli, United Kingdom

Merthyr Tydfil | United Kingdom

Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art Gallery is one ...

Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Brecon Road
CF47 8RE Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom

Neath | United Kingdom

In 1584 Ulrich Frosse exploited the natural ...

Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall
Aberdulais
SA10 8EU Neath, United Kingdom

Neath | United Kingdom

Cefn Coed Colliery Museum is situated in the ...

Cefn Coed Colliery Museum
Crynant
SA10 8SN Neath, United Kingdom

New Tredegar | United Kingdom

The Elliot Colliery two storey winding house ...

Elliot Colliery Engine House
White Rose Way
NP24 6DF New Tredegar, United Kingdom

Newport | United Kingdom

Located just outside Newport, the Fourteen ...

Fourteen Locks
Cwm Lane Highcross Rogerstone
NP10 9GN Newport, United Kingdom

Newport | United Kingdom

Completed in 1906, this unique Grade 1 Listed ...

Newport Transporter Bridge
Stephenson Street
NP19 4 Newport, United Kingdom

Pontypool | United Kingdom

Set in the stable block of Pontypool Park ...

Pontypool Museum
Park Buildings
NP4 6JH Pontypool, United Kingdom

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