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Glamorgan Archives
Cyfarthfa Iron Works records

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DCY

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Cyfarthfa Iron Works records

Short Title: Cyfarthfa Iron Works records

Creation date(s): 1791-1846

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.07 cubic metres (3 vols & 1 booklet)

Name of creator(s): Cyfarthfa Iron Works


Administrative/Biographical history: Iron production at Cyfarthfa (Glamorgan) was started by Anthony Bacon (1718-86) in 1765. In 1786, the ironworks were leased to Richard Crawshay (1739-1810) and in 1794, he became the sole owner. By 1803, the Cyfarthfa works employed 1,500 people and was said to be the biggest in the world. When Richard Crawshay died in 1810, the works passed to his son William Crawshay (1764-1834), who was deeply immersed in his work as an Indian merchant and had no time for the Cyfarthfa works. He in turn appointed his son William II (1788-1867) to manage the concern. It was during this period that the works achieved its greatest production levels. Robert Thompson Crawshay (1817-79) took over in 1847, but his refusal to change to steel production eventually brought about the closure of the works in April 1874. Following his death in 1879, the works were converted to a steel production plant, and continued in operation until 1902, when it was bought out by Guest, Keen and Nettlefold of the Dowlais works. The works closed in 1919, and dismantling was commenced in 1928.


Scope and content/abstract: Cyfarthfa Iron Works account books and index, 1791-1846 (with gaps).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged in chronological order.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the Glamorgan Record Office.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by the Merthyr Tydfil Library, 1962.


Related material: Related units of description held at the Glamorgan Record Office: DCR, Crawshay of Trefforest and of Bonvilston House.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for Cyfarthfa Iron Works; Ince, Laurence, The South Wales Iron Industry, 1754-1885, (England, 1993); Hayman, Richard, Working Iron in Merthyr Tydfil, (Cowbridge and Bridgend, 1989); Addis, J. P., The Crawshaw Dynasty, (Cardiff, 1957); Taylor, M. S., The Crawshays of Cyfarthfa Castle, (London, 1967).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2004

Crawshay family | Archives
Cyfarthfa Ironworks (Merthyr Tydfil) | Archives
Iron industry and trade | Wales | Glamorgan
Iron industry and trade | Wales | Merthyr Tydfil

Personal names
Crawshay , Richard , 1739-1810
Crawshay , Robert Thompson , 1817-1879
Crawshay , William

Corporate names
Cyfarthfa Iron Works

Cyfarthfa (Wales)
Merthyr Tydfil (Wales)

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