Place:Nant y Glo, Monmouthshire, Wales

NameNant y Glo
Alt namesNantyglosource: alternate spelling
Coalbrook Valesource: adjacent village
Coordinates51.794°N 3.175°W
Located inMonmouthshire, Wales     ( - 1974)
Also located inGwent, Wales     (1974 - 1996)
Blaenau Gwent, Wales     (1996 - )
See alsoAberystruth, Monmouthshire, Walesparish in which it was originally located
Nant y Glo and Blaina Urban District, Monmouthshire, Walesurban district of which it was part 1894-1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this article is based on an article in Wikipedia

Nant y Glo or Nantyglo (from the Welsh Nant-y-glo, meaning 'brook of coal') is a village in the ancient parish of Aberystruth and in the historic county of Monmouthshire situated deep within the South Wales Valleys between Blaina and Brynmawr. It is now located in the County Borough of Blaenau Gwent. The population of the electoral ward at the 2011 census was 4,635.

Nantyglo Ironworks

During the middle of the 19th century, Nantyglo was one of the most important iron producing centres in the world.

In March 1811 Matthew Wayne (1780–1853) furnace manager at Cyfarthfa (just outside Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, and Joseph Bailey (1783-1858), nephew of Richard Crawshay, together purchased the lease of the existing but long stopped ironworks at Nantyglo.

They were so successful in reviving the works that by 1820 Matthew Wayne was able to sell-out and set up his own business at the Gadlys, Aberdare and Joseph's brother, Crawshay Bailey (1789-1852), took Wayne's place in the Nantyglo ironworks partnership.

Turning Nantyglo into one of the great ironworks of the kingdom the two brothers, by 1827, had seven blast furnaces operating at Nantyglo and added the nearby Beaufort Ironworks to their business in 1833 putting their sister's son, William Partridge (1800–1862) in charge.

Joseph Bailey, whose wife had died in 1827, remarried in 1830 and retired from personal direction of Nantyglo to live at Glanusk Park, Crickhowell and manage his very extensive landed estates.

Crawshay Bailey continued to live at Ty Mawr, Nantyglo, and ran the iron-works. In the 1840s he retired to Llanfoist House, Abergavenny, leaving direction to his nephew, Joseph's son, Richard Bailey (1816–1853) who died in Dijon, France, and was succeeded by his younger brother Henry, described in 1868 as managing partner.

At their height c.1844 the Baileys employed 3,000 men and 500 women and children in their ironworks and coal mining operation.

The Bailey interests disposed of the Nantyglo works by 1869-70.

After the Battle of Waterloo and the final defeat of Napoleon there was a general slump in iron manufacture, although Nantyglo was the only ironworks which actually increased its exports, and the high cost of wheat caused acute unrest throughout the country. Fearful of unrest (which did not eventuate), Matthew Wayne and Joseph Bailey built two fortified towers, the Nantyglo Round Towers in 1816.

Link with Chartism 1839

Zephaniah Williams (1795–1874) a Master Collier and innkeeper, who kept the Royal Oak Inn at Nantyglo, from where he used to pay his colliers, was a free thinking man in religious matters and the local Working Men's Association met at his home. Williams emerged as a natural leader during the Chartist movement in southeast Wales. Along with John Frost (Chartist) and William Jones (Chartist), he led a large column of men from the Nantyglo area to march south on the Westgate Hotel, Newport, site of what is sometimes regarded as the greatest armed rebellion in 19th century Britain.

For his part in the 1839 Chartist Newport Rising at Newport, Monmouthshire he was convicted and deported to Australia. He died there a prosperous man in 1874.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Nant y Glo from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"NANTYGLO, a village and a chapelry in Aberystruth parish, Monmouth[shire]. The village stands at the head of Ebbw-fach vale, and at the terminus of the Western Valleys railway, amid a wild tract of upland country, ¾ of a mile S of the boundary with Brecon, and 21½ N N W of Newport; is a seat or centre of extensive ironworks, comprising seven furnaces and enormous rolling and puddling forges; and has a railway station with telegraph, a post-office under Tredegar, a good inn, a modern church, and a Calvinistic Methodist chapel, in the Italianstyle, erected in 1863. Its aspect, partly from the-dreary character of the environs, still more from the smoke and dirt of the ironworks, is exceedingly uninviting. The chapelry was constituted in 1844. Rated property: £10,980. Population in 1861, 4,450. Houses: 853. The property is divided among a few; and that of the iron-works belongs to the Bailey family. The living is a [perpetual] curacy in the diocese of Llandaff. Value: £150. Patron: alternately the Crown and the Bishop."

Nant y Glo, along with the neighbouring township of Blaina, was made an Urban District in 1894. The Nant y Glo and Blaina urban district continued until the re-organization of local government in 1974 when the historic county of Monmouthshire was replaced by Gwent. Since 1996 Nant y Glo has been within the unitary authority of Blaenau Gwent.

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