World Heritage Centre

The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre is situated within the former St. Peter’s Church School which was founded in 1816 by Sarah Hopkins to provide free education for children whose parents worked for the Blaenavon Company. Like its historic predecessor, learning lies at the very heart of the World Heritage Centre.


The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre aims to create a world class learning resource helping people to understand the Outstanding Universal Value of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site. It aims to become a centre for education of the sciences, technology, engineering, maths , innovation and development, using the story of Blaenavon’s Industrial Landscape.   It will provide access for all to a wide range of learning opportunities, both formal and informal and will inspire people to relate to their place in the global culture.


Blaenavon’s Industrial landscape became a World Heritage Site in December 2000. It is a landscape shaped by human hand, dating from the early days of the Industrial Revolution - a significant stage in human evolution, when the iron and coal industries of South Wales were of global importance.

The Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is an important place of study of the Industrial Revolution. It is an ideal venue for schools studying changes in people’s daily lives in the 19th century, as well as changes that happened in Wales, Britain and the wider world between 1760 and 1914. It provides an excellent case-study for students studying urban decline and economic regeneration.

The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre was established to provide a focal reference point to the area’s rich industrial legacy, telling the story of the people who have shaped this landscape from the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution to the present day using a range of media including film, audio, graphics and interactive displays.

The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre currently houses a resource room with items covering a wide range of topics relevant to the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. There is an interactive display in the main exhibition space, with touch screens hosting both adult and child friendly programs to explore key information relevant to the World Heritage Site.  A new Victorian replica classroom and learning facility has recently been created in the World Heritage Centre with costumes, slates, and other props and toys of a 19th century Schoolroom.  The Centre also has many educational resources, covering the history through time of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape.    

The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre works in close partnership with learning staff at Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon Ironworks and Natural Resources Wales to deliver education across the World Heritage Site.

The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre is a logical starting point for visits into the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape. The former heavy industries left their mark on the environment, which is full of hidden treasures, making it an ideal location for outdoor educational visits that can be facilitated by staff. In order to maximise the educational benefit of a visit, we recommend that you take advantage of one or more organised activities or workshops led by an experienced education officer.

If you would like to book a visit or facilitated session with one of our staff, please contact the Centre on 01495 742333 or email