The Blaenavon Ironworks started production in 1789 and was to become the first purpose built multi-furnace ironworks in Wales. At that time it was on the cutting edge of technology. The furnaces were coke fired and the blast provided by a steam engine. Blaenavon is now home to one of the best preserved 18 century ironworks in Europe. It is complete with furnaces, cast houses, a magnificent water balance tower, cupola furnace, calcining kilns and ironworkers cottages. In November 2000, Blaenavon Industrial Landscape was awarded World Heritage Status, at the heart of which is the Blaenavon Ironworks.
An information centre situated in the ironworkers cottages explains the history of ironmaking and also houses two large scale models of the works and the industrial landscape that surrounds it. The site is ideal for those interested in both industrial and social history and a combined visit with the National Mining Museum of Wales (Big Pit) will give a total package of how life must have been for ironworkers and miners of long ago.