History in Structure

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Ynysmaerdy Incline bridge over Pant Howel Ddu

A Grade II Listed Building in Briton Ferry, Neath Port Talbot

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Latitude: 51.6404 / 51°38'25"N

Longitude: -3.8043 / 3°48'15"W

OS Eastings: 275243

OS Northings: 195051

OS Grid: SS752950

Mapcode National: GBR H2.7ZT1

Mapcode Global: VH5GV.01P9

Entry Name: Ynysmaerdy Incline bridge over Pant Howel Ddu

Listing Date: 19 May 2000

Last Amended: 19 May 2000

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23303

Building Class: Industrial

Location: Crossing a minor road to Pant Howel Ddu Farm approximately 1.1km NE of St Clement's church.

County: Neath Port Talbot

Community: Briton Ferry (Llansawel)

Community: Briton Ferry

Locality: Pant Howel Ddu

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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The South Wales Mineral Railway was incorporated in 1853 for a 13-mile cross-country line from the collieries at Glyncorrwg to the docks at Briton Ferry. The route was laid out by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was later succeeded by R.P. Brereton. At the Briton Ferry end a double-tracked cable-worked incline 1.5 miles long was required to overcome the steep terrain. The railway opened in 1861 from Briton Ferry to Tonmawr and to Glyncorrwg in 1863. Originally broad gauge, it was converted to standard gauge in 1872. The railway incline was an antiquated concept by the mid C19 and was expensive to operate. The railway was never a financial success, partly due to the vicissitudes of colliery companies in Glyncorrwg who operated the line. In 1908 the line was taken over by the Great Western Railway, who closed the incline in 1910.


A deep single-span bridge of snecked, rock-faced sandstone and a round arch with tooled voussoirs. The arch is set at an angle to the road. Its side walls are battered, giving a horseshoe-shaped profile to the bridge. The battered abutments retaining the embankment are built at oblique angles to the bridge and are ramped down to ground level. The bridge and abutments have rock-faced copings. There is no parapet.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for industrial archaeological interest as a mid C19 railway bridge designed by the office of one of Britain's most influential engineers.

Scheduled Ancient Monument Gm 489.

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