Whitland Forge

The ironworks of Carmarthenshire included those owned by Robert Morgan of Carmarthen from the middle of the 17th century. They were located at Whitland, Cwmbran, Cwmdwyfran, Llandyfan and Kidwelly.  It appears the earliest forge on the Whitland site was recorded in1636

The location of all early ironworks was governed by two factors, the need of a regular water supply and the necessity of obtaining charcoal as cheaply as possible

The Whitland forge was situated about 2 miles north of the village. It was built on a site near Whitland Abbey. Probably at the junction of two streams, the Gronw and Nant Colomendy. All that remains today is the trace of a leat. There are no records after the early 1800’s when it probably became obsolete in light of more efficient coke fired furnaces.

These drawings are based on the halfpenny tokens issued by Robert Morgan. The research into the site and workings is ongoing as there are a few anomalies and much that has not been recorded between methods in use at that time and the detail on the token. So I would welcome any constructive advice from people with experience of the buildings and processes pre industrial revolution. Consequently all of these drawings are subject to changing in light of more accurate information

inside-1-B-HB site-plan-3

One of the points I am uncertain of, generally the forges at this time comprised a Finery forge and maybe two Chafery forges. All of the information I have seen show the bellows at low level whereas on both of the tokens the bellows appears to be much higher, maybe chest or head high. Its a point I would like to discuss. Also the Chafery is probably the forge on the right and the opening on the left is unused, could that be the other forge? Both would need bellows so are there three water wheels? or are three sets of bellows driven by the two wheels. Opinions please. Another question - What sort of lighting would they have a forge at that time?  

Tilt-Hammer BELLOWS
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