Page 1

1

Work & Industry in Tredegar during the 19th century A Key Stage 2 Educational Resource Pack Part 1—Introduction


2

Contents Part 1—Introduction What did Tredegar look like before the 19th century (before 1800)? What happened in Tredegar during the early 19th century (after 1800)? ………………………… Why did Tredegar become a centre of iron-making in the 19th century? Part 2—Getting the Raw Materials Where did iron ore come from? ……………………………………………………………………………. Who dug the iron ore? What was ‘scouring’ for iron ore? Where did coal come from? ………………………………………………………………………………... Why was coal so important during the 19th century and what was it used for? Who dug the coal? Can we find out more about work at mines and collieries during the 19th century? …………… How long was a working day at mines and collieries during the 19th century? At what age did children start work at mines and collieries in the 19th century? Part 3—Health & Dangers at Work ……………………………………………………………………….. How did working underground affect the health of colliers in the 19th century? Bedwellty Pits Disaster of 1865 List of known accidents in the mines and ironworks of Glamorgan 1839-4 ……………………... List of unexpected deaths in Merthyr Tydfil area 1837-1841 Part 4—Making Iron How was iron made in the 19th century? ………………………………………………………………..

4 5 12 16 19 20 22 34 38 40 52 71 88 93 96 97 104 109 112 120 121


3

What happened to the rocks after they had been dug up? Layout of buildings at an ironworks The Blast Furnace What was Pig Iron? …………….…………………………………………………………………………….. What was Cast Iron used for? What if you needed iron which didn’t snap if it was bent out of shape? Did making iron produce waste? ………………………………………………………………………….. Brick Making Making iron in the 1700s Part 5—Using the census …………………………………………………………………………………… How can we find out more about the jobs that people did during the 19th century? 1891 census for Plumber’s Row (Nos. 1 to 8) 1851 census for Plumber’s Row (Nos. 1 to 8) …………...……………………………………………... 1861 census for Plumber’s Row (Nos. 1 to 5) Part 6—Truck shops; Trade Directories; Ironworks & Collieries; Worker’s Portraits; A Day in the Life of a Door-boy ……………………………………………………………………………………….. What was the ‘truck system’ and why was it so unpopular amongst workers? Trade Directories Ironworks & Collieries of Tredegar ………………………………………………………………………. William Clayton’s worker portraits of 1860s A day in the life of a door-boy from the Children’s Employment Inquiry of 1841 Part 7—Teachers’ Notes, Further Activities & Sources ……………………………………………… Part 8—Museum Activity Pack

123 134 135 136 139 140 155 158 163 165 166 168 175 188 194 195 200 215 228 237 241 252


4

Introduction Key question: What changes took place in the work that people did at Tredegar during the 19th century? Write down your ideas. Think about: What was Tredegar like before the start of the 19th century (before the year 1800)? What kind of work did most people do before 1800? How did Tredegar’s environment change during the 19th century (between the years 1800 and 1900)? What types of job did people have in the 19th century?


5

What did Tredegar look like before the 19th century (before 1800)? ‘Previous to the present century the district was inhabited by farmers and their shepherds, the hills clothed with trees on each side, ferns and flowers, in rich profusion, were growing everywhere. Farmhouses and pretty little orchards dotted the surface … “Nature, in all her primitive grandeur,” reigned supreme.’ Evan Powell, History of Tredegar, 1884

According to Evan Powell, a local historian, what type of jobs did most people have in the Tredegar area before the 19th century?


6

There are no pictures of the Tredegar area before 1800 so we have to rely on written evidence and old maps. On the right is part of an old map of Monmouthshire made in 1637. Can you find: The Sirhowy river? [Which is spelt Srowaye] Bedwellty Church [Which is spelt Bidwelthye]

Compare this map of 1637 with a modern map. Can you work out where the town of Tredegar should be?


7

On the right is part of a map of Monmouthshire made in 1766. Can you find: The Sirhowy river? [Which is spelt Stoway] Bedwellty Church [Which is spelt Bedweltey]

Compare this map of 1766 with a modern map. Can you work out where the town of Tredegar should be? What type of area do you think this was according to the map of 1766?


8

On the right is part of an old map of Monmouthshire made in 1789. Can you find: Sirhowy Furnace? [Which is spelt Sorrwy] Bedwellty Church [Which is spelt Bedwelty]

Brynore Iron & Coal Mines Compare this map of 1789 with the older maps of 1637 and 1766. What changes are starting to appear on the newest map of the area?


9

The Sirhowy Ironworks, which began in 1778, can still be seen today.


10

Ebbw Valley at Abercarn in 1815 before the arrival of industry.


11

On the left is a map of the Tredegar area at the start of the 19th century (in the year 1800). The lines on the map show fields, roads and streams. The small black rectangles on the map are buildings. The area at the top of the map is the only place where there are lots of houses, which had only just been built. Look carefully at the map and find the Sirhowy Ironworks. Where might the people living in the new houses be working?


12

What happened in Tredegar during the early 19th century (after 1800)?


13

Here is a map of the Tredegar area in 1840, 40 years later than the map on page 11. Compare both maps. Make a list of the changes that had occurred by 1840. Make a note of anything to do with iron or coal. What might explain the huge increase in the number of streets and houses that had been built by 1840? What jobs might people living in the new houses be doing?


14

Here is a map of Monmouthshire showing the Tredegar area in 1831. However, it does not show anything that used to be within the county of Brecknockshire. The thick black lines that look like centipedes are actually horsedrawn railways called dramroads. These routes supplied ironworks with raw materials needed to make iron. The dramroad from Tredegar to the south following the Sirhowy river was used to send finished iron to buyers through the port of Newport.


15

Left: Tredegar’s iron was sent to the docks at Newport from where it could go anywhere in the world by sea.

Right: A dramroad in use. Teams of horses were used to haul drams filled with raw materials for making iron.


16

Why did Tredegar become a centre of ironmaking in the 19th century?

The minerals cropped out at the surface and could in places be dug out as potatoes from a garden. Theophilus Jones, 1809

The answer lies beneath our feet ...


17

Over 200 years ago, a new way of making iron in large quantities was discovered that used coal for fuel instead of wood. Along the heads of the valleys of South Wales, all of the raw materials for making iron were found close to the surface and could be mined using simple equipment.

The 3 ingredients for making iron are: iron ore, coal and limestone.


18

Did you know? During the 19th century, iron ore or ironstone was called ‘mine’. Someone who dug ironstone was always called a ‘miner’. Someone who dug coal for a living was always called a ‘collier’. Today, anyone who digs out any type of rock including coal from underground, is called a miner.

Work & industry in Tredegar Part 1 Introduction  

Work & industry in Tredegar Part 1 Introduction Tredegar, 19th century, Victorian, Industrial Revolution, coal, iron, Blaenau Gwent, Wales....