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Blaenavon changed the world. These hills on the edge of the Brecon Beacons were rich with coal, limestone and iron ore — the fuel of the Industrial Revolution.
From here Wales heaved and belched and blasted itself onto the global stage. Welsh iron fashioned trailblazing engines, tools and machines. It built bridges, ships and railway lines. In short it made the modern world. In 1789 Blaenavon Ironworks first harnessed the power of steam to blow air into its huge blast furnaces. A century later it was here that Sidney Gilchrist Thomas transformed the world’s steel industry by inventing a method to remove phosphorus from iron ore.
Newidiodd Blaenafon y byd. Roedd cyfoeth o lo, calchfaen a mwyn haearn – tanwydd y Chwyldro Diwydiannol –yn y bryniau hyn ar gyrion Bannau Brycheiniog.
O’r fan hon, byddai Cymru’n hyrddio a bytheirio ac yn ei chwythu ei hun ar y llwyfan byd-eang. Haearn o Gymru roddodd fod i injans, offer a pheiriannau arloesol. Cododd bontydd, llongau a rheilffyrdd. Yn fyr, lluniodd y byd modern. Yn 1789 aeth Gwaith Haearn Blaenafon ati am y tro cyntaf i harneisio pŵer stêm i chwythu aer i'w ffwrneisi chwyth enfawr. Ganrif yn ddiweddarach, yn y fan hon y trawsnewidiodd Sidney Gilchrist Thomas ddiwydiant dur y byd trwy ddyfeisio ffordd i dynnu ffosfforws o fwyn haearn.
* From Pontypool you can take the bus:3km/2mls, route X24 from Newport via Cwmbran, Pontypool and Varteg.
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