The Blaenavon Story
The Blaenavon Story is a testimony to human endeavour. It tells the story of the hundreds of migrant families who travelled to the area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and helped shape this historic town and the dramatic landscape. From industrious ironmasters and entrepreneurs to the people who toiled beneath the ground or worked so hard within the home, the Blaenavon Story encompasses a range of human experiences through time.
The Blaenavon experience spans a period of great change in the valleys of south Wales. Politically, socially, culturally, economically and physically the area was radically transformed during the nineteenth century as the region became the most important producer of iron, coal and steel in the world.
Blaenavon’s is a global story. In addition to exporting coal, iron and steel, the town sent people and ideas across the globe. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many Blaenavon people emigrated to distant lands, taking with them their skills and experience. And it was at Blaenavon, during the 1870s, that two young cousins, Gilchrist and Thomas, discovered a revolutionary method to produce steel, transforming the steel industries of Europe and America.
Use this section for an in-depth exploration of Blaenavon’s rich past and meet the people who, through their labour and experience, helped create the modern world.