Canal wharves at Gilwern

button-theme-canalCanal wharves at Gilwern

Two tramroads, the canal and roads converged in Gilwern, making the area an important transport interchange. Gilwern was the main hub of the Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal, which had its administrative offices here in Navigation House.

In 1794 – three years before the canal was built here – the canal company completed the Clydach Railroad from Beaufort ironworks to Llangrwyne forge, beside the river Usk (north of Gilwern). Horse-drawn wagons carried raw and finished materials to and from the canal. The animation below describes the route.

The area now used by Castle Narrowboats was Clydach Wharf, fed by a branch from the railroad. This was a canal company wharf, with a public wharf to the north of the same site. Here limestone, timber and coal were mainly handled.

The canal’s enormous embankment at Gilwern crossed over the Clydach Railroad.

In 1811, the Llam-march Tram Road, was extended from Clydach ironworks to the canal on the west side of the embankment. It was ready in time for the completion of the canal to Pontymoile. From there, boats could continue via the Monmouthshire Canal to Newport.

The canal spur on the west side of the canal is where water, diverted from the river Clydach, entered the canal from a feeder channel, c.1.5km long. There were several feeders along the whole canal, to replenish water lost when boats used locks to change levels.

The wharves reached their peak in the 1850s and 1860s, before railways diverted ironworks traffic away from the Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal and the lime and coal trades changed.

The navigable section of what is now known as the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is looked after by the charity Glandwr Cymru the Canal & River Trust in Wales.

With thanks to the archive of the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust

Postcode: NP7 OEP    View Location Map

Canal & River Trust website – Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

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