I have yet to visit Tredegar in the Sirhowy Valley, but I was just one valley over in the Ebbw Vale and I drove by on the Heads of the Valleys Road, AKA the A465. And we visited Merthyr Tydfil two valleys over on the west side and went to church there in the beautiful Stake Center that sits with some irony up above the abandoned Cafarthfa Iron Works.
So, I share with you tonight some horrifyingly beautiful art pieces of what South Wales was like in the Industrial Revolution when the wealth of Britain and its Imperial war power was built on the blood and crushed bones of Welsh men, women, and children.
|An Iron Forge at Merthyr Tydfil, Julius Caesar Ibbetson, 1789|
|Dowlais Ironworks, George Childs, 1840|
|Cyfarthfa Ironworks Interior at Night, Penry Williams, 1825.|
|Cafarthfa Iron Works Ruins, Merthyr Tydfil|
|Nant-y-glo Ironworks, (Artist unknown) c.1830 (near Llanfoist)|
"Nant-y-glo" means "Coal Brook" but the "glo" is an interesting word inspiring this piece, in part, I believe.
|Mine Worker, William Clayton, c.1860.|
These last two, are the earliest known photographs of South Wales Miners according to the website I stole them from. But I think they're in the public domain even in Britain. They could be our cousins.