• PENYDARREN IRONWORKS INTERPRETATION PANELS, MERTHYR TYDFIL

    CLIENT: Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council 2012

    Further project details are available: see NEWS for downloadable pdfs

    Hardly a trace remains today of the Penydarren Ironworks. Now the Trevithick Trail (www.trevithicktrail.co.uk), following the route of the first ever steam locomotive, starts here at a newly-constructed viewing platform overlooking the site.

    Bronwen Thomas produced the artwork and designs for three panels set into the walls of the viewing platform. Bronwen also carried out research, gathering illustrations, maps and texts to inform the illustrations, and investigating what little evidence remains on the ground. All illustrations were produced by hand, ink on tracing paper, then printed, coloured, scanned and manipulated digitally.

    Panel 1, “Penydarren Ironworks circa 1850” is a bird’s eye view showing the area as it may have appeared in its heyday, surrounded by tips, workers’ housing, and tramways to the quarries, mines, tips and canal, with the town in the background.

    Panel 2, “From Rocks to Wrought Iron”, uses simplified sectional diagrams to show the complex iron making process, from raw materials, through smelting, refining, puddling, shingling, rolling, and transportation to Cardiff.

    Panel 3, “Merthyr Tydfil’s Tramways & Railways 1780s-187s” is based on a diagram, instantly recognisable as a route map, of most of the transport links, with Penydarren centrally located. It also shows the recreational routes utilising the railways, tramways and canal today.

    The viewing platform with the site of the ironworks behind.
    The viewing platform with the site of the ironworks behind.