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Double Engine House

A Grade II Listed Building in Stepaside, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.7342 / 51°44'3"N

Longitude: -4.6937 / 4°41'37"W

OS Eastings: 214092

OS Northings: 207374

OS Grid: SN140073

Mapcode National: GBR GF.3ZWR

Mapcode Global: VH2PD.LNHY

Entry Name: Double Engine House

Listing Date: 17 September 1982

Last Amended: 18 March 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 6543

Building Class: Industrial

Location: In Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The Engine House stands a short distance to the N of the Casting Shed.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Kilgetty

Community: Kilgetty/Begelly (Cilgeti/Begeli)

Community: Kilgetty/Begelly

Locality: Kilgetty Ironworks

Built-Up Area: Stepaside

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Kilgetty Ironworks was planned from 1846 by the Pembrokeshire Coal and Iron Company. Four, or possibly six, furnaces were anticipated. The works commenced production in 1849 with two furnaces, only one of which was then brought into blast. A year later production was halted due to an explosion. Grove Colliery was opened in 1856 to supply coal. Success was only moderate, and by 1861 the Company was in difficulties; in 1863 it was acquired by C H Vickerman and a brief period of prosperity commenced. In this heyday the works were pictured by M S Whatley. The furnaces were blown out in 1867, and Vickerman contemplated selling. For this purpose an inventory of the works was drawn up in 1872; James Carlton and the Bonville's Court Coal and Iron Company purchased them and brought in new investment. In 1873 a furnace was again in blast, but was blown out again a year later at a time of trade depression. The new owners went into liquidation in 1876 and the works closed in 1877. Vickerman, the main creditor, was able to buy the works back at a modest price. In 1888-9 the plant was dismantled and sold, but the buildings remained in workshop or storage use.

The Engine House contained the blowing engines for the furnaces. They were described in the 1872 inventory as two vertical blast engines, each with a 16 ft (4.87 m ) flywheel, fitted to work together or separately. No. 1 had a 34" (86 cm) steam cylinder and a blowing cylinder of 64" (1.63 m) with a 7 ft (2.73 m) stroke. No. 2 had a 30" (76 cm) steam cylinder and a blowing cylinder of 58" (1.47 m) also with a 7 ft (2.73 m) stroke. The inventory also mentions a third engine: this was a beam engine with a steam cylinder of 24" (61 cm) and a 5 ft (1.52 m) stroke. This smaller engine was evidently sited in the annexe to the main building, at the NE corner. Its beam probably pivoted on the W wall of the annexe. The Engine House as it appears in Whatley's painting in 1865 already included the annexe.

Whatley's painting indicates that the boiler house raising steam for these engines was in close proximity to the N.

The House evidently remained in use for some purpose after the final removal of the engines in c.1889. Some of the apertures are blocked and the void for the flywheels is partly filled in masonry. It lost its roof at a date after 1906.


Engine House about 7 m wide by 15 m long with an annexe at its NE corner about 4 m by 5 m. Irregularly coursed local sandstone masonry with dressings of limestone in the main part and of brick in the annexe. Some timber lintels have been restored in concrete. The beam wall runs across the centre of the main part. To its W side were the blowing cylinders. There is a low level aperture in the W wall for the air main to exit. Some holding-down bolts survive at the N side of the building to the W of the beam wall. The flywheels were to the E of the beam wall, but the space for them is partly blocked by a mass of later masonry.

The window and door openings of the original part are round-headed. The E elevation is treated as the front, with projecting voussoirs at the imposts of the arch and a projecting keystone. At high level in the E elevation there is a roundel window of about 1 m diameter, with a projecting voussoir at each of the four cardinal points. The quoins are regularly coursed in limestone. Round arched dressings in side walls, similarly detailed, and aligned for symmetry.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as the Engine House of Kilgetty Ironworks, a rare and fine example of the type and part of a remarkable surviving industrial group.

Scheduled Ancient Monument Pe 418.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Furnace Bank Revetment Wall
    Kilgetty Ironworks is at the W side of Pleasant Valley. The furnace bank is a high retaining structure about 20 m W of the Ironworks casting shed.
  • II Casting House
    In Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The casting shed is the most prominent surviving building in the group.
  • II Walls and Kilns above Furnace Bank
    On high ground to the rear of Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley.
  • II Tramway Incline Structure above Kilgetty Ironworks Furnace bank
    On high ground, to the rear of Kilgetty Ironworks and its limekilns, on the W side of Pleasant Valley.
  • II Workshops
    Part of Kilgetty Ironworks on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The workshops are at the N of the site, beside the footpath to Stepaside.
  • II Grove Colliery Cornish Beam Engine House
    100 m SW of Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The engine house is at the centre of a group of ruined colliery buildings, close to a quarry face at its rear.
  • II Tramway Bridge
    Over Ford's Lake in the village of Stepside, to the SE of Brook Cottages. Ford's Lake is the Community boundary between Amroth and Kilgetty/Begelly.
  • II Tramway Bridge
    Over Ford's Lake in the village of Stepaside, to the SE of Brook Cottages. Ford's Lake is the Community boundary between Amroth and Kilgetty/Begelly.

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