Blaenavon Ironworks

Blaenavon Ironworks, the setting of the BBC television series Coal House and Coal House at War, is the most significant historical feature within the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape. Today you can view the extensive remains of the blast furnaces, cast houses and iconic water-balance tower. Within the site, a fascinating insight into the social history during the Industrial Revolution can be seen in the reconstructed company ‘truck’ shop, 19th century workers’ cottages, and of course, the Coal House cottages.

Site interpretation includes:

  • five audio posts (Welsh and English)
  • ten information panels
  • exhibition with interactive models and information displays
  • fully fitted 1840s ‘truck’ or company shop
  • furnished cottages dressed in four periods - 1790s, 1840s, 1920s and 1940s
  • Education discovery room with 30 large ‘puzzle cubes’ and five ‘discovery stations’

An education discovery room is available by advance booking and is suitable for groups with up to 30 pupils – 5 adults are required to supervise activities and to ensure that the interactive stations are used appropriately. Activities and themes include: Delving Box - materials (coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, slag, cast iron, wrought iron); what’s in the cupboard? - 1840s food for the rich and poor; what’s in my pocket? - 1840s playthings for poor children; who am I? - 1840s hats for rich and poor men, women & children; how do we know about history? – lift the floorboards to find out about aspects of the 1840s.

To fully understand the importance of Blaenavon Ironworks and to gain an insight into the lives of the people who worked there, we recommend visiting the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre on the same day. The Heritage Centre is located about two minutes walk from the Blaenavon Ironworks. Here you can utilise a range of activities or workshops designed for each age group.