Blaenavon World Heritage Centre
Blaenavon World Heritage centre is a mix of industrial landscape and natural beauty, located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, partly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is a testament to the human endeavour of miners and ironworkers of the past. To understand the relationship of both the development of the town and valley start your visit at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre.
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 World Heritage centre 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. Major sites such as Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit, together with the wider landscape with its relicts of mineral exploitation, manufacturing, transport and settlements together tell the story of the iron and coal industry that was pre-eminent in south Wales in the 19th century.