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Mill Bridge Underbridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Pyle, Bridgend

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5273 / 51°31'38"N

Longitude: -3.7045 / 3°42'16"W

OS Eastings: 281851

OS Northings: 182311

OS Grid: SS818823

Mapcode National: GBR H7.H0WF

Mapcode Global: VH5H8.QWX1

Entry Name: Mill Bridge Underbridge

Listing Date: 5 April 2016

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87694

Location: Over the Afon Cynffig, down river from Llanmihangel Mill Farm. (Partly in the Cynffig Community, Bridgend).

County: Bridgend

Community: Pyle (Y Pîl)

Community: Pyle

Locality: Llanmihangel

Built-Up Area: Pyle

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Find accommodation in
North Cornelly

History

Constructed as part of the development of the South Wales Railway (SWR) from 1844 by the Great Western Railway (GWR). The Chief Engineer of the GWR Isambard Kingdom Brunel was appointed as engineer for the SWR. No direct evidence exists that shows that Brunel was directly responsible for the engineering of the line but is probable that he had direct influence on the laying out of the line and the design of the structures along it.

Initially the SWR was connected to the Cheltenham branch of the GWR across the Severn estuary, to Chepstow and then Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, Neath and Swansea, eventually to Carmarthen, Fishguard and Pembroke. The route was laid out to follow the largely level coastal plain, avoiding the difficult contours of the South Wales Valleys but still requiring substantial engineering works along the line, notably at Neath (the Neath Abbey Viaduct across the River Clydach) and Landore (where a timber viaduct was constructed). Brunel would have been responsible for designing or supervising these works.

Work on the construction of the SWR began in 1846 with the line from Chepstow to Swansea opening in 1850. With the construction of the Wye Bridge in 1852 the South Wales Railway was connected to the rest of the railway network via Gloucester. The Severn Tunnel was constructed in 1886 taking the line on the more direct route from Severn Tunnel Junction to Bristol. To further improve journey times the line from Newport to Cardiff was quadrupled in 1941, removing many of the original line structures. The line west of Cardiff has not been quadrupled.

The Mill Bridge underbridge carries the railway over the Afon Cynffig and is a substantial well preserved bridge dating to the original phase of construction of the SWR. It is comparable in design with the River Black Underbridge 500m to the west which also carries the railway over a loop of the Afon Cynffig. At its base it incorporates the tailrace for Llanmihangel Mill (ref. 14176) parallel to the river in a masonry channel.

Exterior

Railway bridge, single span masonry underbridge with projecting wingwalls. Constructed from coursed and squared rock faced sandstone with rusticated voussoirs. Parapet with later metal railings. Plain sloping wingwalls.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as a well preserved example of a mid C19 railway bridge, one of the original structures of the South Wales Railway.

It is also of special historic interest for being associated with the renowned Victorian engineer IK Brunel, forming part of a remarkably complete body of work by him and a significant contribution to the engineering heritage of the UK. It forms part of the growth of the railway network in the age of ‘Railway Mania’ in the mid C19, a period when long distance travel was revolutionised and South Wales became linked much closer to England, leading in part to the industrial and urban boom of Victorian South Wales.


Group value with Llanmihangel Mill.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II* Llanmihangel Mill
    Located N of the Afon Cynffig on a track which leads off Marlas Road in Pyle. Part of Llanmihangel Mill Farm.
  • II Marlas House
    The farm stands on the S bank of the Afon Cynffig, close to the railway bridge and the road from North Cornelly to Kenfig, which runs alongside the N side of the N wing.
  • II Bridge near Llanmihangel Mill
    The bridge carries a track over the Afon Cynffig to the SE of Llanmihangel Mill Farm.
  • II River Black Underbridge
    Over the Afon Cynffig, accessed via a footpath from Plwerin to Llanmihangel. (Partly in Cynffig Community, Bridgend)
  • II* Llanmihangel
    Located at the end of a track which runs N off Marlas Road, Pyle. N of Llanmihangel Mill Farm.
  • II* The Hall Farm
    The former farmhouse lies in the midst of suburban development at the end of a driveway opening between Nos 33 and 35 Hall Drive.
  • II Morgan monument in St James' churchyard, Pyle
    The church of St James lies at the N end of the village of Pyle. The Thomas monument stands in the churchyard, approximately 7m SW of the W tower. The character of the churchyard is notable for its t
  • II Two chest tombs in the churchyard, St James Church
    The pair of tombs are set in a row, approximately 5m SW of the S porch. The character of the churchyard is notable for its fine tombs.

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