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Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 19th century
Date of Inscription: 2000
Location: Europe, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Wales, Blaenavon,40 km NE of Cardiff
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Description: The area surrounding Blaenavon testifies to South Wales’ pre-eminence as the world's main producer of iron and coal during the 19th century. All the essential elements are still intact - coal and ore mines, quarries, a primitive railway system, furnaces, workers' homes, and their community’s social infrastructure. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Blaenavon (Welsh: Blaenafon) is a town and World Heritage Site in south eastern Wales, lying at the source of the Afon Llwyd north of Pontypool. Blaenavon grew around an ironworks opened in 1788, part of which is now a museum. The steel-making and coal mining industries followed, boosting the town's population to over 20,000 at one time, but since the ironworks closed in 1900 and the coal mine in 1980, the population has declined, and now consists mostly of older citizens. Attempts have recently been made to turn the town's image around by introducing it as Wales's second "book town" (the first being Hay-on-Wye). However after over a year of attempts to attract visitors the project seems not to have succeeded. This can be attributed to a combination of the town's remote location and the established competition from Hay. Investments and local interest have completely transformed the town's main thoroughfare (Broad Street) from what it used to look like and the book shops (the few that survived) stock good quality and excellent value books. There are many thriving community groups within the town, including Future Blaenavon, which has helped to create a community garden at the bottom of the town. Attractions in the town include the Big Pit Mining Museum (an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage), Blaenavon Iron Works, the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, Blaenavon Male Voice Choir and many historical walks through Blaenavons historic mountains. Blaenavon is twinned with Coutras, France. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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