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“Very educational” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blaenavon Ironworks

Blaenavon Ironworks
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Blaenavon
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The most complete surviving early ironworks anywhere in the world. Established in the late eighteenth century, Blaenavon Ironworks was one of the leading Welsh ironworks and played a key role in the technological development of the iron industry during the Industrial Revolution.Under the care of Cadw and free to all visitors, Blaenavon Ironworks boasts remains of all of the key physical attributes used for the Iron making process, alongside original refurbished workers cottages. Fused with modern day interpretation, the site offers visitors a unique insight into the working and social aspects of industrial life in the 19th century.The Ironworks was also the setting for the award-winning BBC television series Coal House and Coal House at War.
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
135 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Very educational”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2014

We visited this site after Big Pit and it added a lot to our appreciation of the area's history. Coal and iron are related historically and so visiting both is a good way to increase your knowledge of the history of South Wales and the contributions made by miners and ironworkers. Don't forget to visit the housing area to see the miners' living conditions.

Visited July 2014
Thank Whinny2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

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Sevenum, Limburg, Netherlands
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very interesting place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2014

We had free entrance and that surprised us because it takes a lot of money to keep thos ironworks in good shape, very interesting to see how people lived and worked in those Days

Visited July 2014
Thank AnitadeBlok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhondda Cynon Taf, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“A trip back in time and realise that withour this we would not be here.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2014

Now we see Iron and steel everywhere we go and probably take it for granted most of the time but a visit here will show that the importance of this ore was a turning point in civilisation itself.....

The visit should probably take about 1 1/2 hours or so but with this and coupled with the Big Pit less than a mile away you can easily do the two in one days visit and beleive me you should do this as well as the big pit. The entrance is FREE (well done the Welsh Government in realising that free museums are a must as not all people can afford the entrance fees to these places but a donation is gratefully received and well worth it) and the car park just across the road is free as well. Drive around the area slowly or you may miss it as it is not very well signposted but easily seen if you are careful.

From the outside it looks small and in fact I suppose it is compared to most museums but what it lacks in size it makes up for un punch.

The gift shop is small and is in the main entrance area and please do pick up a guidebook, not so much to read as you walk around as its quite thick (unless you have a few hours to spare) and you may only use the map at the front but when you get home you will have a great read on the history of the place and the importance of it.

Please go to the main foundry and as soon as you enter the foundry the story begins in a booming Welsh voice the story unfolds and the light show is remarkable. It tells the story of the workings and how they did this and the smelting pot at the end of the workshop is a great effect not to be missed and the flow of the iron is like a volano shedding its lava.

The rest of the site is steeped in history and the little cottages of Stack Square are decked out in various styles of years gone by from 1790 to 1967 and all the rooms are decorated in their styles. This is very similar to what you would see in St Fagans in Cardiff but with the added effect that this place was the setting for a TV Series.

The BBC TV series Coal House and the second series Coal House at war was filmed here and in the surrounding areas and if you have watched this series you will be amazed at the size of the houses and marvel in the fact that you yourself has been transported back in time to Stack Square.

If youhave seen the series you will soon see the different areas of the site used in the show and fondly remember the families that had it hard and showed what a resiliant lot us Welsh were and are.

The staff at the site are probably typical of a small Welsh museum as they are the most friendly bunch of people you could ever meet I telephoned for directiuons the day before we went and was given great directions and even informed that the Big Pit was only a mile away so that we could easily do the two in one day. They advised us on the best way to see the whole of the msueum and also informed us to wait for the other people to come out of the Foundry to ensure we had the full effects of the show.

So please if you plan to go to the Big Pit why not call in here first as you will have plenty of time for both and marvel at the reason why without the iron works we would not have the Big Pits coal shafts and the winding houses as they were dependant on the iron fronm the Iron Works.
There is no food available on the site but if this is being coupled with the Big Pit why not keep your appetite for there and do this first or last.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank whiteshodan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Why is it the best things are free?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2014 via mobile

Spend a couple of hours here and really enjoyed learning about how ironworks ticked in the valleys and looking through the house as they would have looked in different decades. will worth a visit, well done to all the staff.

Thank Owain W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Day out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

A good day out free parking buy it .a lot to see old iron works now a roof on sum of it a short film on iron was made. And you can see how the worker live

Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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