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Latitude: 51.8173 / 51°49'2"N
Longitude: -3.0665 / 3°3'59"W
OS Eastings: 326578
OS Northings: 213728
OS Grid: SO265137
Mapcode National: GBR F3.WPZ8
Mapcode Global: VH795.SLP5
Entry Name: Govilon Bridge (Canal Bridge no 98)
Listing Date: 15 March 1996
Last Amended: 15 March 1996
Source ID: 17632
Building Class: Transport
Location: Carrying the village road over the canal to west of Llanwenarth Baptist Chapel.
Community: Llanfoist Fawr (Llan-ffwyst Fawr)
Community: Llanfoist Fawr
Built-Up Area: Govilon
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
History: The Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal was promoted in 1792 to connect the upper Usk valley to the Monmouthshire Canal at Pontymoile and from there to the sea at Newport. Construction began in 1797, with Thomas Dadford as engineer, and the first section, from Gilwern to Llangynidr was completed in that year with the stretch as far as Brecon following in 1800. Work then stopped for a time with the result that the section to the Blaenavon Road east of Govilon was not completed until 1805, now with Thomas Cartwright as engineer. Further funds had to be raised and the last section from west of Llanfoist to Pontymoile was completed between 1809 and 1812, with William Crosley as engineer. Linked to tramroads, the canal was an important artery for trade in iron, lime and coal. In 1865 the Monmouthshire and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal Companies merged becoming the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Company. Later still the canal was bought out by the Great Western Railway and gradually the canal was run down until it was finally abandoned in 1962. Restoration work was begun in 1964.
This bridge is within the section completed in 1805 under Thomas Cartwright. However as Govilon Wharf was built to serve Bailey's tramroad from Nantyglo Ironworks it would have been remodelled into its present form c1821 (the year the tramroad was laid). It is of the change-over type switching the tow-path from the north to the south side of the canal, necessary as part of the construction of Govilon Wharf.
Description: Single arch rubble canal bridge of the 'change-over' type. Coursed rubble masonry revetments. Segmental arch has voussoirs and keystone and simple parapets which sweep outwards at both ends characteristic of 'change-over' bridges. Ramped single-track roadway over. The west face confusingly has the number 80 but it is known by its sequential number, 98.
Listed for its special interest as a surviving early C19 Brecknock and Abergavenny canal 'change-over' bridge.
Group value with Llanwenarth Baptist Chapel and Chapel Cottages.
References: Nicholson's guides to the Waterways, vol 3, South-west
R A Stevens, Brecknock & Abergavenny and Monmouthshire Canals (Towpath Guide No 2), (Cambridge, 1974), p50.
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