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Blast Engine house at Cefn Cribwr Ironworks

A Grade II Listed Building in Cefn Cribwr, Bridgend

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Latitude: 51.5383 / 51°32'17"N

Longitude: -3.6578 / 3°39'28"W

OS Eastings: 285117

OS Northings: 183455

OS Grid: SS851834

Mapcode National: GBR H9.G6NF

Mapcode Global: VH5H9.KL3M

Entry Name: Blast Engine house at Cefn Cribwr Ironworks

Listing Date: 2 October 1997

Last Amended: 2 October 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18958

Building Class: Industrial

Location: The ironworks is located near the bottom of the Nant Iorwerth Coch, on the S side of the brook. The blast engine house stands against the E side of the furnace.

County: Bridgend

Town: Cefn Cribwr

Community: Cefn Cribwr

Community: Cefn Cribwr

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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John Bedford came from Kings Norton near Birmingham to Monmouthshire, and moved to Cefn Cribwr c.1771-2, where he started an ironworks, a colliery and a brickworks close to the same site. He considered himself expert in furnace building, in quarrying, the production of compass needles and in the casting of ordnance, and wrote of his theories, probably to the detriment of completing the ironworks, which was not achieved until 1782. Bedford died in 1791, and the ironworks with the other enterprises on the same site, were taken over by William Bryant in 1824, possibly in anticipation of the opening of the Duffryn, Llynfi and Porthcawl Tramway in 1828, who relocated the iron production on another nearby site. The first blast engine house was attached to the E side of the furnace, but was replaced by the present building about 1828. The ironworks was acquired by Ogwr Borough Council in 1987 and has since been consolidated and laid out as an important element in the Waun Cimla Country Park.


The furnace was originally powered by a water wheel in a launder running across the E gable end of the building. The present blast engine house is built of local rubble sandstone. No surviving roof. The building is rectangular, with a central cross bob wall to support the main beam of the 50hp low-pressure water-powered blowing engine. The chamber nearest the furnace has a sunken section for a large water tank, and an operating section with doors on the N and S side. A wide gable opening with a segmental brick arch on the W gable end carried the pipes out to the furnace mouths. Four rectangular openings on the S side, and a gable opening at the E end. The two boilers originally stood on a brick base on the S side. A water culvert passes under the W end, possibly fed by draining a drift adit at the rear, and leads to a sump on the S side of the engine house.

Reasons for Listing

Included at Grade II as a major element of a small late Georgian ironworks, which has survived largely unaltered as production moved elsewhere. Of group value with other elements of the ironworks.

Scheduled Ancient Monument: 4/3487GM417(BRI)R.

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