Llangattock wharf and limekilns

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button_lang_welshbutton_lang_frenchLlangattock wharf and limekilns

llangattock_canal_trip_1908The limekilns alongside the wharf were built in two or more stages and are listed Grade II*. The oldest were built in 1815 by the Brecon Boat Company. There are seven chambers in total, making them the largest set of limekilns along the canal. They were restored in 1995 and 2018. Little remains of a further limekiln built by J & C Bailey in 1844 near Bridge 114 (downstream).

Limestone reached the kilns in wagons which descended on inclined planes and a tramroad from quarries on the hillside behind. The Baileys extended the tramroad to Nantyglo in 1844. Coal was unloaded at Llangattock for local distribution. Timber for use as pit props (colliery tunnel supports) was taken on the tramroad as a back load. 

A cottage for the wharfinger (wharf manager) was built in 1820 alongside the tramroad, where it crossed the Beaufort Road.

The house you can see to the right of the limekilns (if looking from the canal towpath) was built c.1840 for the Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal company’s water tender (official who managed the canal’s water). It has long been known as Canal House and was once home to James Powell and his wife.

He was born in 1865 and from 1892 worked as a lengthman for the canal company. In 1911 it was said that he’d been responsible for the Llangattock Tramroad for 19 years. The 1908 photo of a boat trip passing “Powell’s Boat House” is from the Herbert Dunkley collection at the Canal & River Trust Archive.

The Powells’ nephew Willie Powell lived with them at Canal House before he joined the South Wales Borderers. He was badly wounded 10 days after he went into the trenches at the Western Front in France in 1917, aged 19. Surgeons had to amputate his left leg at the knee. By coincidence, one nurse at the hospital was Charlotte Somerset, daughter of the rector of Crickhowell. Willie was invalided from the army in June 1918.

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

With thanks to the Canal & River Trust Archive and the Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust

Postcode: NP8 1LZ    View Location Map


To continue the Llangattock in WW1 tour, follow the towpath northwards to the next bridge, turn right and follow the lane down to the Old Rectory
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