Torfaen’s iron industry dates back to 1425, when the Grant cousins set up ‘bloomery’ forges on the Afon Lwyd.

Over the next century, more iron makers arrived from other areas - some of the ironmasters came from the Weald of Sussex, where it had been forbidden by Royal command to use the local timber to make charcoal - as it was needed for ship building during the war with Spain.

But in Torfaen, wood was plentiful for charcoal, as was flowing water of the Afon Lwyd, to drive the wheels, and iron ore to be mined.

The small villages of Trosnant, ‘Pontymoel’ and Pontypool became the focus of the new industry because of these nearby natural resources.

In the sixteenth century blast furnaces were introduced - which revolutionised iron production.

The blast furnaces were operated by water wheels - which blew air into huge bellows, which in turn stoked up the charcoal fires and made production faster. This more refined iron was made from higher grade iron ore known as Osmond Iron.

Local documents refer to this being manufactured at Osborne Forge, Pontnewynydd from 1558.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.