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Former Tramroad Bridge (partly in Pontllanfraith Community)

A Grade II Listed Building in Blackwood, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.6632 / 51°39'47"N

Longitude: -3.183 / 3°10'58"W

OS Eastings: 318274

OS Northings: 196709

OS Grid: ST182967

Mapcode National: GBR HY.6D2D

Mapcode Global: VH6DF.SG4B

Entry Name: Former Tramroad Bridge (partly in Pontllanfraith Community)

Listing Date: 23 March 1999

Last Amended: 23 March 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21513

Building Class: Transport

Location: E of the main thoroughfare from Penmaen/Oakdale to Pontllanfraith (B4251) near Woodfieldside, crossing the country lane to Cwm Philkins.

County: Caerphilly

Community: Penmaen

Community: Penmaen

Locality: Cwm Philkins

Built-Up Area: Blackwood

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Sir Benjamin Hall, the industrialist 1802-1867, built a tramroad in 1814 to transport coal from collieries in the Sirhowy Valley to the tramroad and canal system of the Ebbw Valley leading S to Newport. It linked the Western Valley Tramroad with Manmoel in the Sirhowy Valley and thus was one of the few early cross-country E/W lines. Benjamin Hall was the son-in-law of Richard Crawshay of Cyfarthfa Ironworks who bought the Abercarn Estate for him on his marriage. His son, also Benjamin Hall, became the First Commissioner of Estates to Queen Victoria and gave his name to Big Ben; he became Lord Llanover following his marriage to Lady Llanover. The tramroad, known as Hall's Road and appearing thus on the Tithe Map of 1846, was laid with edge rails to standard gauge by 1860; theTithe Map also indicates the unusual width of the bridge. The tramroad crossed the GWR Aberdare extension of 1857 at Pennar junction by Glanbraenar just W of the tunnel near Newbridge and is shown on first edition OS map as also serving the Tir Philkins Colliery adjacent to this bridge. The route of the early Penllwyn tramroad on the E bank of the Sirhowy is close though different; it extended S to Pontllanfraith and unlike this line appears not intact on the Ordnance Survey First Edition Map of 1886.


A narrow but deep angled bridge carrying the former tramroad and later railway across a narrow lane. Of rubble stone with roughly dressed voussoirs, quoins and keystone and rockfaced stone to the rebuilt areas and parapets; some blue brick repairs. E facing uphill side has putlog or drainage holes; a near right angled right sloping abutment is built against the arch's voussoirs; the wall to left, almost a revetment to the steep bank, is much wider; close-set rubble coping to both sides, a shallow offset at base and above the narrow arch, and a projecting coping above on which the later parapet of rockfaced stone has been erected. W facing side is similarly asymmetrical with wide curving revetment to left, narrow offset at impost level, slanting abutment with brick buttress to right; moulded brick coping to each side. On top the parapet is not central over tunnel arch.


There is a break in the vault with the final uphill 1/5th section at a higher level probably to accommodate the rising ground.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a bridge believed to date substantially from the time the tramroad was built in 1814.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Former Tramroad Bridge (partly in Penmaen Community)
    E of the main thoroughfare from Penmaen/Oakdale to Pontllanfraith (B4251), crossing the country lane to Cwm Philkins
  • II Iron Bridge in grounds of Woodfield Park
    In the grounds of Woodfield Park, about 300m SSE of the house over a steeply sided stream.
  • II War Memorial
    Sited in a small terraced enclosure in open ground in front of Caerphilly Borough Council Offices.
  • II Cwmbrynar aka Cwmbraenar Cottage
    Approximately 0.75km E of Pontllanfraith and the Sirhowy River. Set back from the main road behind rubble walled and gated forecourt.
  • II* Blackwood Miners Welfare Institute
    At the N end of High Street approximately 240m S of the parish church.
  • II Penmaen House
    Reached by a short track from the main thoroughfare between Penmaen and Pontllanfraith, part of the very small historic core of Penmaen and SW of the later Model Village development.
  • II Cyncoed Farm Cottage
    On the hillside, the E slope of Cwm Philkins, reached by a lane leading S from Oakdale village and a short farm track.
  • II Former Mynyddislwyn Urban District Council Offices
    In the centre of Pontllanfraith, facing the site of the former railway station and dismantled railway; standing on a walled and railed terrace a little above the roadway with steps to right and vehicu

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