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Vulcan House including attached rear range, and forecourt wall and gate

A Grade II Listed Building in Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil

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Latitude: 51.7494 / 51°44'57"N

Longitude: -3.3821 / 3°22'55"W

OS Eastings: 304686

OS Northings: 206540

OS Grid: SO046065

Mapcode National: GBR HN.0XPT

Mapcode Global: VH6CY.B9D7

Plus Code: 9C3RPJX9+Q5

Entry Name: Vulcan House including attached rear range, and forecourt wall and gate

Listing Date: 22 August 1975

Last Amended: 16 August 2006

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11389

Building Class: Domestic

Location: On the corner with Vulcan Road.

County: Merthyr Tydfil

Town: Merthyr Tydfil

Community: Park (Parc)

Community: Park

Locality: Morganstown

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Merthyr Tydfil


Vulcan House was built c1820-30, and is shown on a map of Merthyr Tydfil of 1836. Probably during the 1830s, David John, a blacksmith, mathematician and Unitarian minister, established a foundry there, and it is even possible that the house was built for him: the design, with few windows in the rear wall, is consistent with combined domestic/industrial premises. David John came from St Clears, but was in Merthyr by 1826, when he became minister of the Unitarian church at Tywynyrodyn. He was a political radical who espoused the cause of parliamentary reform in the 1830s and was chairman of Merthyr Political Union in 1832. His sons were also reformists and the Johns were key figures in the first generation of Chartist leadership in Merthyr. Matthew John, who worked the foundry at Vulcan House until his death in 1888, was a prominent radical, and had been deputed to take the rioters terms to the garrison at Penydarren House during the Merthyr rising of 1831.

Some alterations and additions to the premises were made c1900, including addition of rear wing to house, and further alterations to foundry wing were made during the C20.

The premises were latterly used as a council depot but were disused and derelict on inspection in July 2006.


Large house in late Georgian style, with long wing attached to rear formerly providing industrial premises. House is rubble-built with brick dressings, but rendered to main elevations. Hipped slate roof with tiled cresting (most slates missing in July 2006). Single brick chimney stack at rear. 3 storeyed, with 5-bay elevation to the street. This is articulated by pilaster strips at angles and raised string-courses to upper storeys. Fa├žade is symmetrically arranged, with wider openings giving emphasis to the central three bays. Central entrance in wide segmentally arched opening with stressed architrave and keystone: this originally contained doorway with flanking side-lights surmounted by radial fanlight, but was blocked on inspection in 2006. Wide flanking windows with shallow arched heads (formerly tripartite sashes with small panes), matched by the three central windows on the first floor. Three semi-circular windows in upper storey (formerly with 4-pane sash windows as centre opening lights). Outer bays on each floor have narrower window openings (formerly with small-paned sashes), except in lower right, which has wide segmentally arched carriage entry to rear yard.

To the rear, the original rear wall of the house is largely blank, but has a 2-storeyed brick wing which was added in c1900. (This in turn is partly obscured by flat-roofed C20 additions). Adjoining the house to rear and running parallel with Vulcan Street is a long 2-storeyed works range which probably formed part of the original foundry premises. Partially heavily rebuilt in brick, it nevertheless retains elements of an original early C19 structure, characterised by rubble walling with segmentally arched openings with brick dressings. Cement rendered blank elevation to Vulcan Street.

In front of the house is a low rubble garden wall with brick gate piers at centre. One of these retains its shallow pyramidal coping, and there is a good C19 iron-work gate with spear head railings, mid-rail with curved brace below it.


Not inspected: severely decayed.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a fine Georgian house associated with a leading industrialist in Merthyr and of interest for combining domestic and working premises on a single site (a rare survivor of this arrangement). The property is of additional interest for its association with a family of prominent political radicals in mid-nineteenth century Merthyr.

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