The china works at Nantgarw was begun in 1813 by William Billingsley and Samuel Walker to make soft-paste porcelain to a secret recipe. They built it on the bank of the canal from Cardiff, which carried coal to fuel the kilns, bone and Cornish china clay. They had financial problems and produced their translucent white china for only a few years, but it was regarded as some of the finest ever made. For a century from the 1830s, the Pardoe family made earthenware, clay tobacco pipes and other ceramics on the site. Since the 1990s it has been a museum. The house of the original owners contains displays of painted Nantgarw china, tobacco pipes, earthenware and archaeological finds. Behind the house are remains of three bottle ovens, ruined factory buildings and a steam boiler. Resident craftspeople use workshops to recreate the original porcelain and make their own ceramics.