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Encyclopedia > Penydarren

Penydarren was the fourth of the great ironworks established at Merthyr Tydfil. It was built in 1784 by the brothers Samuel Homfray, Jeremiah Homfray, and Thomas Homfray all sons of Francis Homfray of Stourbridge. His father (also Francis) managed a nail warehouse there for Ambrose Crowley. Most of the family were involved in trade as ironmasters or ironmongers (in this context meaning a manufacturer of iron goods). Merthyr Tydfil (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) is a town and county borough in the traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales, with a population of about 55,000. ... 1784 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Map sources for Stourbridge at grid reference SO8883 Stourbridge is a town in the West Midlands, England. ... An ironmaster is the manager – and usually owner – of a forge or blast furnace for the processing of iron. ... Today, the term Ironmonger refers to a retailer (or wholesaler) of iron goods. ...

Because the owners of the Cyfarthfa Ironworks dominated the management of Glamorganshire Canal, the other Merthyr Tydfil ironworks built a tramroad bypassing the upper sections of the canal. This tramroad (sometimes - but incorrectly - called the Pennydarren Tramroad) was used for a trial of one of the first locomotives, built by Richard Trevithick. This successfully hauled wagons, but was so heavy that it broke many rails. The engine was then used for other purposes as a stationary engine. The Cyfarthfa Ironworks was a major 19-century ironworks located in Cyfarthfa, near Merthyr Tydfil, in Wales. ... The Glamorganshire Canal was a canal in Glamorgan, South Wales, UK, running from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff. ... Merthyr Tydfil (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) is a town and county borough in the traditional county of Glamorgan, south Wales, with a population of about 55,000. ... Richard Trevithick. ... A wagon (in old British English waggon) is a wheeled vehicle, ordinarily with four wheels, usually pulled by an animal such as a horse, mule or ox, which was used for transport of heavy goods in the past. ...

The business was financed by William Forman of the Tower of London, who provided all the capital, partly on mortgage but taking a share in it himself. Samuel Homfray left the business in 1813. In 1819, the partners were William Forman and William Thompson of Lonodon. William Forman offered the works for sale in 1859, and the Dowlais Iron Company bought the mineral ground. The works were used intermittently by various others until 1883. For the film with this title, see Tower of London (1939 film). ... 1813 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Dowlais Ironworks was a major 19-century ironworks located near Merthyr Tydfil, in Wales. ... 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...

Further reading

  • L. Ince, The South Wales Iron Industry 1750-1885 (1993), 57-60 79-80 etc.
  • G. Rattenbury and M.J.Y. Lewis. Merthyr Tydfil Tramroads and their Locomotives (Railway & Canal Historical Society, 2004).

  Results from FactBites:
Chris Tolley's "Rail History - Penydarren" (641 words)
Penydarren is situated about a mile and a half north of the large town of Merthyr Tydfil, at the head of the valley of the River Taff.
Next to the Penydarren Road, at the junction with Penyard Road, stands a monument (picture 1) erected in 1933 to mark the centenary of Trevithick's death.
Penydarren was in many ways the start of the story, but the later chapters would be written elsewhere.
Penydarren (473 words)
Trevithick was asked to produce a locomotive to be used to transport iron from Penydarren to the nearest canal.
On the 21st February it managed to haul ten tons of iron, seventy passengers and five wagons from the ironworks at Penydarren to the Merthyr-Cardiff Canal.
Samuel Homfray, proprietor of the Penydarren Iron Works, Merthyr Tydfil, made a bet of 1,000 guineas with Richard Crawshay, of the Cyfarthfa Iron Works, that Trevithick's steam-engine could convey a load of iron from his works to the Navigation House (nine miles distant).
  More results at FactBites »



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