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Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Wales  /  South Wales  /  Blaenau Gwent  /  Tredegar
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Tredegar is a town situated on the Sirhowy River in the county borough of Blaenau Gwent, in southeast Wales. Located within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire, it became an early centre of the Industrial Revolution in South Wales. The historic Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia, United States was named in honour of the town.HistoryOrigin of the nameThe name Tredegar can be explained as tref deg erw. Deg erw is Welsh for "ten acres" or "ten-acre"; tref means "town", although its original meaning was "farm" or "estate".Pre-industrialisationTredegar grew as a developed town thanks to the natural resources it had within the Sirhowy Valley, namely: Iron oreCoal with which to produce cokePower, from the fast-flowing Sirhowy RiverWood, which could be cut for buildings and pit props, and burnt for fuel Hence by the start of the 1700s, the upper Sirhowy Valley was a natural well wooded valley, consisting of a few farms and the occasional small iron works where iron ore and coal naturally had occurred together.IndustrialisationThe first recorded iron works in the Sirhowy Valley was Pont Gwaith Yr Hearn, developed by two Bretons and worked by men from Penydarren, Merthyr Tydfil. The Sirhowy Iron Works was erected in 1750 by Mr Kettle of Shropshire. In 1778 Kettle sold this ironworks to Thomas Atkinson and William Barrow, who came to the area from London. They developed it as the first coal fired furnace, so men were employed to dig coal at Bryn Bach and Nantybwch, the first small scale coal mining operation in the area. The furnace and hence the business failed in 1794.
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