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Latitude: 51.7752 / 51°46'30"N
Longitude: -3.2943 / 3°17'39"W
OS Eastings: 310795
OS Northings: 209294
OS Grid: SO107092
Mapcode National: GBR YT.Z7H5
Mapcode Global: VH6CS.VN90
Entry Name: Old Furnace Farmhouse
Listing Date: 6 March 1996
Last Amended: 15 May 2001
Source ID: 16882
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Located at the top of a short track from the B4257 south of Rhymney Bridge.
Community: Rhymney (Rhymni)
Traditional County: Brecknockshire
Early ironworkers' cottages with an important iron roof structure, converted to a farmhouse. The Union Ironworks was built by this site in 1800. In 1803 the majority share was taken by the Crawshays of Cyfarthfa, Benjamin Hall and Watkin George, and the works was expanded c1804. The former adjacent iron warehouse is dated 1802, but the cottages are most likely to date from when the Crawshays and Watkin George expanded the works. Their form, with circular spiral stairs, is similar to Crawshay company housing of the early nineteenth century, and the exceptional presence of an iron roof suggests they were designed by Watkin George, a leading exponent of cast iron structures from the early 1790s. Large blocked archways suggest the building may later have become a store. Rhymney Iron Company plan of 1838 shows a complex of buildings at this Upper Furnace site with the area adjacent named 'Little Coal and Rough Pin Patch'. Shown as Granary Row on first edition Ordnance Survey map 1875. Refurbished and altered externally since listing in 1996.
A 2-storey gabled house five bays long and one room deep, with a central doorway. Of coursed rubble sandstone, rendered, with a slate roof, terracotta ridge tiles and yellow brick end stacks. All the windows are replacements; cast iron lintels recorded though no longer visible. There is a first floor doorway from the bank at each end. Gound floor windows at either end of main elevation are set within large blocked archways with flattened heads, formed with wrought iron banding. No windows to the rear elevation.
Interior refurbished though details in former list description as follows are reported to survive. Underneath the straight central stair the archway of a former spiral staircase can be seen. In the northern upstairs room, the banister and head of another spiral stair survive. Massive cast iron roof trusses are tied into the wall heads. These are in a bow form each with one vertical post and two curved braces. They contain sockets for ceiling joists on their underside, and the barrel-vaulted lath and plaster ceiling largely remains. The trusses carry battens directly to take the slates, but later timber purlins and rafters have been placed above them.
Retained on list, notwithstanding extensive recent alterations, for its important early iron roof structure and as a scarce survival of early ironworkers' housing. Group value with Rhymney House Hotel adjacent to S.
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