Cyfarthfa Ironworks  

These images have been excerpted from (April 2008). Please visit that site to view the latest in this superb collection.


  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.

Anthony Bacon's Mantelpiece.


Cyfarthfa Works from the Air - circa 1920.




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.

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Pont y Cafnau 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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Cyfarthfa Works.

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Casting the Ingot Rail Loading benches

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Castle Rolling Mill Charging the Bessemer Converter

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Tapping the Cuppola. Pandy Roughing Mill

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Transporting the Ingot. Engine No 14  with the Ingot Moulds.

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Cyfarthfa Works C1883. by photographer Edgar Williams of 98 Brecon Road.

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The Cam end of a  Mechanical Hammer.

The cam is rotated by the giant wheels which are driven by the Waterwheels. The

cam hits the arm of the hammer which in turn forces the hammer down to hit the

the iron being worked in the forge



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"Cyfarthfa" - built August 1870, bought by the Crawshay Brothers in 1897.

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Another locomotive bearing the name "Cyfarthfa".

Cyfarthfa Works, In it's Prime.

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Cyfarthfa Works, In it's Decay.

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Cyfarthfa Works, now derelict, looking from Pwll Wat

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The Ruins.

  Cyfarthfa_Works_.JPG (153837 bytes)  


Home Crane

The Raw Material Store bunkers.

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Site of the Coke Ovens.

Overshot Water Wheel, near upper forge.

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Old Waterway Crossing. Old Waterway Switch.

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Blast Furnaces

Pont y Cafnau Bridge and the Hydro-Electric Station



    The bridge is believed to date from 1793. Pont y Cafnau (Bridge of Troughs) was

           built to carry the tramroad to the Gurnos limestone quarries and to take domestic coal

           to Cyfarthfa Castle. The Hydro Electric Station generated the electricity for the Merthyr

           Electric Traction Company to power the Merthyr Tramcars.

HydroElectricStation.JPG (746310 bytes)


The site of the Cyfarthfa Works in 1951.

With Lines Bros in the distance and a Circus in the Park.