By the high Victorian era in the late nineteenth century, the traditional Torfaen industry of ironmaking was in decline. Steel had replaced iron in the fabrication of engineering products and new and more modern plants were built to manufacture and fill the demand for this new mass-produced metal.

In the 1870s the partners Davies, Pratt & Williams sold their Coed-y-Grig foundry to William Taylor of Swansea who changed its name to the Panteg Steel & Engineering Co Ltd. Panteg Foundry was at that time producing steel made using the open hearth process.

William Taylor moved into Greenhill House adjacent the site to supervise its planned extension. The Panteg works had 12 melting furnaces each of 10 tonnes capacity and produced steel rails and fishplates.

The site was not a total success and changed hands again (Wright & Butler) before being taken over in 1902 by the firm of Alfred Baldwin, a Midlands tin plate company who had formerly set up plate mills on the site, and the works from then on were known as Baldwins Ltd.

Throughout the very early twentieth century and during the two world wars, the market for mild steel was at a premium but by 1947, Panteg works were the only surviving steel manufacturers in the Valley, when Baldwins merged with Richard Thomas to become RTB.

Nationalisation of the steel industry in 1967 brought major companies, including RTB, under the umbrella organisation of the British Steel Corporation.

BSC demolished the open hearth furnaces to concentrate their production on stainless steels and in 1971 installed a revolutionary 40 tonne electric arc furnace and in 1988 a horizontal Continuous Caster. The remaining 900 employees produced stainless steel for a wide range of products including beer kegs, sink units, hospital equipment and motor vehicle trim.

In 1992 British Steel Stainless Ltd merged with the Swedish Company Avesta AB to form Avesta Sheffield Ltd. During the next four years, the stainless long products industry (of which Panteg was a part) saw massive capital expansion worldwide. Competition became intense and the benefits of larger scale production put pressure on the local works and, despite many heroic efforts by the workforce, the Valley’s last steel producing works closed in December 1996.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.