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Latitude: 51.7927 / 51°47'33"N
Longitude: -3.1779 / 3°10'40"W
OS Eastings: 318858
OS Northings: 211107
OS Grid: SO188111
Mapcode National: GBR YZ.Y6C8
Mapcode Global: VH6CV.V6TJ
Entry Name: Former Pump House at Dunlop Semtex Factory
Listing Date: 30 September 1999
Last Amended: 30 September 1999
Source ID: 22383
Building Class: Industrial
Location: Prominently located on the W side of road leading from Brynmawr to Winchestown. Building is situated on fringe of large pond, SW of factory complex.
County: Blaenau Gwent
Community: Nantyglo and Blaina (Nantyglo a Blaenau)
Community: Nantyglo and Blaina
Built-Up Area: Nantyglo
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Built 1946-8 as the pump house for the contemporary Brynmawr Rubber Factory. The complex was designed by the Architects’ Co-operative, in conjunction with the structural engineers Ove Arup and Partners. The factory was initiated by Lord Forrester, Director of Brimsdown Rubber Company, who aimed to provide large-scale employment in the economically depressed valleys. The structural ingenuity of the factory was renowned, particularly the use of thin-shell concrete vaults and domes, covering a vast open production area. The factory converted raw rubber into a variety of manufactured goods, including floor tiles, shoe soles, and industrial products. The building cost £800,000, the contractors being Holland, Hannen and Cubitt of London. Taken over by Dunlop Semtex in 1956, who made synthetic flooring for hospitals and public buildings. Cheaper manufactured goods and improvements in industrial floor coverings led to closure in 1982. Local tradition states that the circular stone-faced pump-house was inspired by the nearby roundhouses, built c. 1822 by Joseph Bailey to protect himself and his family against rebellion at the Nantyglo Ironworks.
Tall circular building, of concrete construction, faced with Pennant stone. Continuous low clerestory of two-light windows below concrete saucer domed roof, which has bitumen covering. Doorway facing road with cambered stone voussoired head. Continuous pre-cast concrete walkway around base of building with metal rail.
Saucer dome has radiating ribs and central oculus.
Listed as part of a renowned and constructionally pioneering industrial complex, the first work to be designed by the prolific Architects’ Co-operative Partnership in conjunction with one of Britain’s leading structural engineers, Sir Ove Arup. Group value with the main factory complex.
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