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Beaufort Iron Works
Edward (1750–1807) and Jonathan Kendall or Cendl of Dan-y-Parc Crickhowell established these works in 1779 on a 99-year lease. In 1833, by which time there were four furnaces, the works were taken over as an extension of their Nantyglo operations by the Bailey brothers, Joseph and Crawshay who put their sister’s son, William Partridge (1800–1862), in charge. Unmarried Agents (senior managers) of the local iron works companies lodged at the Rhyd-y-Blew, a drovers' inn, probably the hunting lodge of the Duke of Beaufort who carried out an annual rough-shoot of the area. The inn was at the end of the toll road from Merthyr Tydfil and for the rest of the year provided the drovers’ animals very good pasture and water in the Ebbw river. Suffolk-born Partridge married Charlotte Bevan, daughter of the Rhyd-y-Blew’s innkeeper, and remained in charge of the Beaufort iron works until his early death in 1862. The works soon closed. In conjunction with the then well-known Needham family of Beaufort mining engineers Partridge sons became involved in local collieries and established the substantial business later known as Partridge Jones. Grandson, rugby international and Barbarian, "Birdie" Partridge founded the Army Rugby Union.
The Beaufort Works house eventually became a Fever Hospital in 1902, it later became a depot for the South Wales Electricity Board, it was then demolished and Plas-y-Coed Care Home was built on the site, that has since been demolished.
The ground, just south of Beaufort Hill, and close to a Chapel of Rest in the area known as Glanyrafon, once occupied by the iron works has long been cleared and covered with houses. Giant pieces of slag remained in place until the most recent developments.
There were two Beaufort Brickworks. The first was Pant y Draethen ( Hawthorn Hollow) and was situated near Frost road and Garth Dan Y Bryn.
The second Beaufort Pipe and Brick works opened c1908 and first appears on the 1915 OS map labelled 'Brick & Pipe Works'. The works produced a great many bricks, found all over South Wales, until closing in the 1970s. Beaufort Brick Co, Ebbw Vale. Famous for very hard engineering bricks and it has been reported that 40,000 Beaufort bricks we used in the foundations of the Empire State Building in New York is allegedly built on a foundation of these bricks.
'Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain', HMSO, 1920, quotes the Beaufort Sanitary Pipe & Brick Co as being at the Beaufort Brickworks adjacent to the north side of the L&NW Railway, about 1/4 mile west of Beaufort Station.
Heads of the Valleys Road Construction in 1960's
The Viaduct Level Tramroad
Ran from the coke ovens at Beaufort Ironworks up Nelson Street and Wesleyan Place to the level which tunnelled beneath the MT&AR embankment. It appears on the 1880 map even though the ironworks had closed in 1874. It was not shown in 1900.
The Garnlydan tramway - (Centred at Ty Coch)
Ran from the coke ovens at Beaufort Ironworks along Cwm Gwybedog to serve levels and quarries up to Garnlydan. A long branch ran over the moor, past Bryn Pit and others, to Rhas Fach above Brynmawr where it joined Baileys Disgwylfa Tramroad in Clydach Dingle. It appears on the 1880 map even though the ironworks had closed in 1874. The tramway, quarries and many of the levels had gone by 1901.
Information and images about the tramroads, have been reproduced with kind permission of Phil Jenkins, from his 'Industrial Gwent' website, which can be found by clicking HERE.