Three Gorges Virtual Ecomuseum

Three Gorges Virtual Ecomuseum



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Clydach Gorge (a gallery of the Three Gorges Ecomuseum)

The dramatic landscape and scenery of the Clydach Gorge is supplemented by its diverse historical and archaeological associations, and the variety of communication systems that have utilized the natural communication route of the gorge, which links the inhospitable uplands of Glamorgan with the fertile valley of the River Usk. However, most of the communications systems primarily served the industries that sprang up in the gorge, which from historical documentary evidence were first introduced into it in the 17th century, though medieval exploitation, albeit undocumented, should be expected. It was at this time that the Hanbury family of Pontypool established the Llanelly furnace and forge on the north bank of the river. By 1684, these works were producing large quantities of iron and charcoal, which ensured that the early exploitation and settlement of Clydach Gorge rapidly developed. Clydach House, situated nearby and built in 1693 by Francis Lewis, clerk to the furnace, ostentatiously displays his family arms above the main entrance to the property. Elsewhere in the valley, and in social contrast, are the visible remains of the former workers' houses, including the iron workers' terraces in Clydach South.

The wooded slopes, with their ancient beech trees, are a designated national nature reserve.


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