Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Carmarthen Tin Works

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1759 Construction started of the tinplate works

1761 Produced its first tinned plate.

Most stages of production were carried out on the site: pig iron was produced in the blast furnace; the pig iron was converted into bar iron in forges, possibly off-site; rolling mills produced plate from the bar iron; the iron plate was then dipped in molten tin. The works were powered by an earlier leat, fed from the Afon Gwili and were served first by river and then by the now dismantled railway. The tinplate is thought to have been used for making domestic equipment such as milk churns and buckets.

1823 The works suffered a serious fire

1826 Works closed.

1831 Works reopened

1900 Works finally closed.


The site is now mostly occupied by a builders yard. There are significant remains of the furnace and an adjoining casting house, as well as a large nineteenth century factory building. This last consists of two parallel gabled ranges with stone rubble walls, both about 50m long and 14m wide.

The north-west range was built after 1821 and is depicted on the 1st edition OS County series (Carmarthen. XXXIX.3 1890). The south-eastern range had been added by the time of the 2nd edition of 1906. The building has been raised and re-roofed, with a parallel range added on the north-west. Some original features remain(ed) in the north-east gable walls.

The villa of Furnace Lodge, built around 1801 was home to the owners or partners in the works.

The remains of the blast furnace at the heart of the Carmarthen tinplate works, with an attached casting house, are preserved within a modern building.

The furnace may have been in operation as early as the mid-eighteenth century. It was built into the slopes below the leat that powered the works, at the south-east end of a long range of buildings. The long range appears to survive in some form. The furnace is a massive structure built of regularly coursed stone rubble. There are furnace arches on the south-west and south-east sides. The casting house on the south-west survives as the lower two storeys of the modern three storey building. It is also stone-rubble built and retains some early features. There was originally a second casting house(?) on the south-east side.



See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Coflein - tinplate works
  • [2] Coflein - blast furnace