Explosive Times – the project

The remains of Glyn-neath Gunpowder Works, one of only two in Wales, cling to the sides of the steep Mellte gorge.  Its product was vital to South Wales’ growing industrialisation during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Though buildings were partially destroyed on the works’ closure in 1931, the surviving ruins are testament to a triumph of human ingenuity which created one of the most extraordinary workplaces in Britain. Now in a state of perilous decay, the site and it’s internationally renowned ecology is at danger of being lost forever.

The project aims to secure the works’ long term future by conserving the structures and bringing alive the story of the site, its workforce and its wider impact. Our vision is that residents and visitors will once again celebrate the site and more visitors will understand and enjoy its historic legacy, as well as its rare flora and fauna.

This wide ranging project has lots of partners involved to achieve this ambitious task. Whilst the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority have been the lead partner, the programme has had vital input and support from the Bannau Brycheiniog Park Society, Cadw, Natural Resources Wales, the local community and Dyfed Powys Archaeological Trust to name just a few.

We are grateful for the funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the Bannau Brycheiniog Trust, Sustainable Development Fund, Cadw, Natural Resources Wales and the Gibbs Trust without whom the project wouldn’t be possible.

To achieve all we want, there are an incredible 21 elements to our programme of works.

In addition to saving the ruins the project includes clearing some of the non-native forestry to bring back the ancient woodland to the site and flora and fauna.

The project aims to greatly enhancing the visitor experience so that when finished, the site can be enjoyed to its fullest. This will include improved signage, information, interpretation and also a stunning digital experience.

Throughout the project you can find out more about what’s going on by taking a walk through the site to learn about the latest work, what stage it is at and what has been found. The Authority social media channels will also be following the project closely to keep visitors updated.

How can you get involved?

Keep up to date with the project via the website and social media to find out the latest opportunities for joining in.

Visitor information