Located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, partly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is a testament to the human endeavour of miners and ironworkers of the past.



The area around Blaenavon is evidence of the pre-eminence of South Wales as the world’s major producer of iron and coal in the 19th century. The major preserved sites of Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit, together with the outstanding relict landscape of mineral exploitation, manufacturing, transport, and settlement which surrounds them, provide an extraordinarily comprehensive picture of all the crucial elements of the industrialisation process.

The landscape also reflects the development of early industrial society. The town reflects powerfully the distinctive culture that had developed in ironworking and coal-mining areas of the South Wales Valleys and provides a complete picture of patronage and the social structure of the community.

Taking all these elements together, the property provides one of the prime areas in the world where the full social, economic and technological process of industrialisation through iron and coal production can be studied and understood.

Official website

Did you know..?

Penny Readings were held at the Infants’ School, at the town hall and at the chapels, where people would pay a penny to listen to a novel being read aloud. This let people who could not read or write enjoy literature and gain knowledge.

In the late 19th century, Blaenavon had almost 60 pubs.

The iconic water balance tower of 1839 is an excellent example of lift technology using water to counter-balance loads.


Location: Blaenavon, Wales

Country: United Kingdom

Year of Inscription: 2000

UNESCO Criteria: (iii), (iv)

Contact information:

For more information about Blaenavon, visit the website or contact visitor information on +44 (0) 1495 42333