Abbey Tintern Furnace - history
This was a charcoal blast furnace which pre-dates the later coke furnaces of the Industrial age. A waterwheel was used to power bellows which created the blast into the furnace chamber and increased the heat to burn the charcoal and melt the iron ore.
It is likely that the furnace was rebuilt on a number of occasions, giving rise to a complex sequence of phasing in the visible remains of stonework. One of these changes was the replacement of the earlier bellows with cylinders to power the blast into the furnace. The Angidy Valley was the first place in Britain to use this method.
The ironworks complex extended to a much wider area than just the fenced site seen today as it would have included most of the adjacent cottage gardens.
This furnace ceased production in 1826 when improved methods of manufacture rendered the complex redundant.
A condensed history of the ironworking industry in the Angidy Valley is portrayed in a sequence of ceramic plaques on the wall bordering the Lower Wireworks site at the Tintern end of the Angidy Valley.
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