Restoration of Pontrhydyfen’s Iconic Bont Fawr Aqueduct Completed
10 October 2017
The 19th Century historic aqueduct in Pontrhydyfen in the Afan Valley has now been restored to its former glory.
A site visit to mark the completion of the Bont Fawr aqueduct restoration works took place this week at Pontrhydyfen.
Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, Councillor Ted Latham said: “We are delighted that the iconic and beautiful Bont Fawr aqueduct has been restored and will now be protected for many years to come”.
Last year, Neath Port Talbot Council received consent from Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, to carry out the work on the structure as part of their Highways Works Programme.
The 19th Century aqueduct was built by the ironmaster John Reynolds to supply waterwheels at the Oakwood Ironworks. It is designated as a scheduled monument and Grade II listed building, as it is one of the few surviving structures related to the use of water power in the iron industry in the region and is among the finest surviving works of civil engineering from early 19th Century Wales.
Despite its’ links to South Wales’ iron industry, Bont Fawr aqueduct is perhaps more commonly known for featuring as the breath-taking backdrop for some Pontrhydyfen born and bred Richard Burton’s most iconic photographs.
The aqueduct is also a much-used footpath, part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network and host of the Richard Burton Annual Fun Run.
Carrying out the restoration work on the aqueduct was Neath-based construction business, Ian Davies Ltd.
Managing Director, Ian Davies said:
“We were delighted to be the main contractor for the restoration of the Bont Fawr aqueduct. We have scaffolded, repaired the masonry and repointed the structure as it would have been when it was built in 1824-7.
“The project is one of the largest the firm has ever undertaken in its 43 years of operating, despite having built around 40 bridges in the Neath Port Talbot region”.