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The Gunpowder Works at Pontneddfechan is a historic site located in the village of Pontneddfechan, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. It was once a significant industrial site that produced gunpowder for use in the mining industry.
The gunpowder works was established in the early 19th century, taking advantage of the area’s natural resources, including water, timber, and sulfur. The site was chosen due to its proximity to the local ironworks and coal mines, which provided a ready market for the gunpowder.
The production process involved mixing sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal in large mills powered by waterwheels. The resulting powder was then pressed into blocks and transported by horse-drawn carts to nearby mines.
The gunpowder works operated for over a century, but production declined in the late 1800s due to competition from cheaper imported gunpowder and improvements in mining technology. The site was eventually abandoned in the early 1900s.
Today, the Gunpowder Works is a popular tourist attraction and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Visitors can explore the remains of the site, including the waterwheels, mills, and powder stores. The area around the site is also a popular destination for hiking and outdoor recreation, with several scenic trails passing through the surrounding woodland and waterfalls
he Gunpowder Works at Pontneddfechan has some accessibility features for wheelchair users, but the terrain is uneven and can be challenging in some areas.
The main trail through the site follows the former tramway and is relatively level, but it can be rough in places. There is also an accessible bridge near the former waterwheel, which provides a good view of the site.