The goings on in and around Bridgend

Digital Bridgend, Tondu Ironworks

#Digital Bridgend is a new and innovative smartphone application that challenges users to find almost 300 places of historical interest throughout the County of Bridgend. Using augmented reality to find your way around, there are no less than 17 trails to follow, games to play, quizzes and scavenger hunts to unearth the unique heritage of this fascinating part of Wales. This series of blog posts reviews each trail in turn on location. The app is now available on Apple and Android platforms.

This week's trail on the Digital Bridgend app was taking me just off the M4, slightly north to the village of Tondu. The 'Tondu and Parc Slip' Trail is part of the 'Industrial Times' theme on the app and does require you to do a fair bit of walking, around 2-3 miles and allowing 2 to 2½ hours to complete. So, walking boots, wet weather gear and a little snack wouldn't go a miss!

Tondu 7

I actually decided to start this trail with breakfast and coffee in the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Bridgend. It doesn't matter where you start any of these adventures as the app always tells you how far away you are from any of the starting points, but it is useful to be near wifi in case you need to download additional content first. The Designer Outlet, just off junction 36 is ideal as there is free WiFi almost everywhere. 

Anyway, having opened the app, selected the 'industrial times' hub, I then chose the 'Tondu and Parc Slip' Trail. Immediately I'm told to download additional content which my phone agrees to, and off we go! The first place for me to find is 2km away in a northwards direction, so I return to the car, and head for Tondu Station.
Tondu station if I'm honest, was initially a little difficult to find, and when you get there, don't be disappointed that there is only one platform, and you are unable to access it. The best place to head for is the Bridge, which is precisely where the commentary is activated on the app. Despite its size, this station was pretty significant in the growth of industry in the valleys as we are told. In front of us is the well preserved and impressive signal box, reminding me of the ones I remember in Hornby railway sets growing up. There's not many of these signal boxes left these days so it's worth popping along just to see this.

Once the commentary finishes, there's a little game to complete that is fortunately very simple and it neatly demonstrates the significance of this little station during the industrial times in the valleys. Playing the game, you have to change the signals to make sure that the trains keep flowing through the busy Tondu Junction without colliding. Next step, is the Tondu ironworks, which the app instructs me is around 500m away, so a short walk.

Tondu 4

I decide to leave the car at Tondu Station car park and head off for the Ironworks. The car is probably best left here for the duration for the trail, so make sure you have everything you need before heading off.   The Ironworks is just across the road and up a slight hill passing a small housing estate on the right hand side. In front of you will be a gate at the end of the road which marks the entrance to Parc Tondu and the impressive former Ironworks. Continue through the gate following the icon on your screen until you get within 20m of where you should be of course, for the app to tell you all about this special place. At this point, you should now be able to see one of the best preserved Victorian ironworks found anywhere in Wales. It's amazing to think that this little known gem is just minutes from the M4 and to me, is a must see for anyone interested in industrial heritage and history.

The app at Tondu challenges the user to find a number of points of interest throughout the grounds (however, do remember that you are unable to enter the compound of the Ironworks itself which is currently inaccessible as it can be quite dangerous, but is best viewed from the park surrounding the buildings). There is a wealth of content to unlock here as there are scavenger hunts and a timeline too that reveal the details about all the ironmasters that were once responsible for the production and overall operation of this remarkable site. As you walk around, finding the hot spots on the app, you discover the story of iron locally, how the site operated and the significance of the features and buildings that you can see in front of you. I think the app at this site alone is an excellent educational resource for local schools for example to enjoy and to understand so much more about their local history.

Tondu 3

The next stop on the app is not too far away (around 500m according to my screen!). I'm told to head towards Tondu Methodist Church, back out through the entrance, down the small hill and turning right towards the church. I discover through the excellent commentary once again that the church was built by the owners of the ironworks for their workers, who also built schools too, as they placed a huge emphasis on employee welfare and social wellbeing - so the Victorian masters in this part of the world were arguably not always as bad as we are sometimes lead to believe! The church itself today is definitely worth a peek inside just to see the vibrant detail in the stained glass window and the original pipe organ that is still in working order!

The next part of this trail, I think was the most enjoyable, yet the most demanding. It's not a difficult walk but it is quite lengthy through a beautiful woodland setting on a well maintained cycle and walking path through the trees.  As a visitor, unless I was using this app, I would probably not have encountered this lovely walk, so I'm so glad that the trail takes us along this route to find the next point which is called Park Terrace.

Tondu 1

The app takes me from the Methodist Church and along the cycle path which is approximately a mile and a half walk to Parc Slip. The icon on the screen which we follow to show us the direction and distance to the next trigger point, is an excellent and clever feature on this app, however, Park Terrace is along the way somewhere and a little difficult to find at first. Fortunately though, each point you have to find is supported by textual directions that can help you find the exact location that you need to unlock the information.  Using the text on this occasion, I was reassured that I was on the right track as along the main path, but to find Park Terrace, you have to head off to the right, up a small tributary pathway that takes you past some allotments until you can see some houses to your right. Once you get to these houses, it's well worth the journey as on arrival, it's not that difficult to imagine how these listed terraced houses would have been during the Industrial Revolution. They have been restored to their former glory and if it wasn't for the cars outside the houses these days, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you had turned the clock back.  These houses were built by the ironworks owners for their staff, and today they must be some of the most pleasant and sort after places to live locally. So glad I came here, as I wasn't expecting this 'hidden street' and it does feel quite secluded!  I also learn from the app about the former Tondu Mansion nearby that was once the living quarters for the Ironmaster and his family, and interestingly, later became in 1947, Britain's first hospital for injured or sick colliery horses. Sadly, the building is no longer in existence today.

Leaving Park Terrace behind, the app directs me to retrace my footsteps, back down the path, passed the allotments to the main drag once again, and onwards to find what's known as Parc Slip. The walk through the woodland gets even more impressive over well build and maintained boardwalks until eventually arriving at a road, which you must cross carefully towards the Parc Slip Visitor Centre. Outside the centre, the app guides you towards a former coal truck (or 'dram') which is the next point of interest on the trail. It is here that the app commentary reveals that this site, despite its tranquillity and scenic beauty as a nature reserve today, was once a 300 acre hectic coal mine. It was also sad to learn at this point that Parc Slip was the site of one of Wales' many mining disasters killing 112 men and boys who once worked the coal seam in this very location. It is perhaps fitting today that the former mine has been transformed into a peaceful wildlife haven almost as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives.

Despite this sad end to the trail and a poignant reminder of the price that many members of the local community had paid for their endeavours, this trail is one of the best I have encountered on the Digital Bridgend app to date. It's a 'must do' for both locals and visitors, and once again unearths little known places to visit and the unique history of a very special place in Wales. Highly recommended.

48 comments for “Digital Bridgend, Tondu Ironworks”

  1. Posted 16 September 2017 at 07:47:33

    It is such an amazing post. The post was very helpful and you have covered the whole topic with all small details. Prepare and share more such beneficial information. Thank you for the effective article.

  2. Posted 17 September 2017 at 17:44:46

    I on a staggeringly most important level need to offer giant a devotion of thankfulness is all collectively for this mind-boggling publish, quality article and will look an extra key degree of your precise drawing in substance. top notch sharing!

  3. Posted 09 October 2017 at 11:47:50

    I was utilizing this application, I would most likely not have experienced this beautiful walk, so I'm glad to the point that the trail takes us along this course to locate the following point which is called Park Terrace.

  4. Posted 22 October 2017 at 23:22:59

    Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks

  5. Posted 25 October 2017 at 10:16:07

    Good Search Engine

  6. Posted 03 November 2017 at 16:52:48

    I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it..

  7. Posted 03 November 2017 at 22:22:07

    I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises...

  8. Posted 05 November 2017 at 06:15:57

    Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.

  9. Posted 05 November 2017 at 19:27:40

    You ought to basically fantastic not to mention solid advice, which means notice:

  10. Posted 08 November 2017 at 06:39:00

    The church looks lit in pictures, I'm so planning to visit this church next Sunday, just wanted to confirm location here, can anyone help me complete it.

  11. Posted 09 November 2017 at 11:05:04


  12. Posted 11 November 2017 at 10:04:13

    Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

  13. Posted 22 November 2017 at 04:23:30

    Those that measure up to your requirements are issued a crime free certification that they can share with anyone..

  14. Posted 23 November 2017 at 03:01:21

    With the expertise at our disposal and the reputation as one of the leading Pest Control companies in Perth you may think we would be a very expensive company to employ.

  15. Posted 01 December 2017 at 12:40:56

    Cheap for sale online Print PDF Be Sociable, Share!

  16. Posted 15 December 2017 at 07:44:19

    I am glad to found such useful post. I really increased my knowledge after read your post which will be beneficial for me.

  17. Posted 29 December 2017 at 07:02:05

    History of generic pills for cheap cheaest professional world wide no .

  18. Posted 29 December 2017 at 08:13:55

    The publish changed into very useful and you have blanketed the whole topic with all small info. put together and share greater such beneficial information. I on a staggeringly most crucial stage need to offer large a devotion of thankfulness is all together for this thoughts-boggling publish, quality article and will look an extra key degree of your unique drawing in substance.

  19. Posted 09 January 2018 at 11:30:33

    You could root your tool in a simple and also effective way by the Kingroot software application is just one of the very best software application to root your tool.

  20. Posted 15 January 2018 at 16:29:50

    It's very interesting adventure. When I read it I was living your story. Of course, it couldn't be kept my mind!

  21. Posted 21 January 2018 at 18:26:07

    Great post yet I was thinking about whether you could compose a litte more on this subject? I'd be extremely grateful on the off chance that you could expound a smidgen further. Welcome it!

  22. Posted 22 January 2018 at 13:45:06

    This is a savvy blog. I would not joke about this. You have such a great amount of learning about this issue, thus much enthusiasm. You additionally know how to make individuals rally behind it, clearly from the reactions.

  23. Posted 24 January 2018 at 18:17:25

    Much obliged to you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to distribute this data exceptionally helpful!

  24. Posted 31 January 2018 at 09:41:25

    Some kind of sexual stimulation should be applied for an erection to take place with .

  25. Posted 03 February 2018 at 19:14:57

    Really decent post. I just unearthed your weblog and needed to say that I have truly delighted in searching your blog entries. After all I'll be subscribing to your food and I trust you compose again soon!

  26. Posted 05 February 2018 at 12:50:17

    Great post yet I was thinking about whether you could compose a litte more on this subject? I'd be extremely grateful on the off chance that you could expound a smidgen further. Welcome it!

  27. Posted 08 February 2018 at 05:14:40

    Download vidmate for pc online

  28. Posted 22 February 2018 at 22:15:04

    Simply respecting your work and thinking about how you dealt with this online journal so well. It's remarkable to the point that I can't bear to not experience this significant data at whatever point I surf the web!

  29. Posted 02 March 2018 at 18:08:37

    I am trusting the same best exertion from you later on too. Truth be told your experimental writing abilities has roused me.

  30. Posted 12 March 2018 at 07:05:18

    Does work for someone who doesn't have ED?

  31. Posted 12 March 2018 at 17:27:54

    This is very interesting, the way you describe it.

  32. Posted 16 April 2018 at 14:19:20

    The best site to find all of your cum related videos from cumshot, to creampies to bukkake, we have it all.

  33. Posted 20 April 2018 at 05:41:07

    Watch The Best Lesbian Cam Show ever VibraToy.Online. There’s no need for you to look any further for a sexy girl to chat it up with. Not when this site is loaded with more than you’ll ever be able to talk to.

  34. Posted 04 May 2018 at 12:15:00

    Buy cialis no prescription is there a generic for .

  35. Posted 07 May 2018 at 17:53:37

    May calendar 2018

  36. Posted 15 May 2018 at 10:06:48

    The site is a site with the theme of men meeting Shemales (transsexuals) to email and hookup with.

  37. Posted 18 May 2018 at 11:27:45

    This article is an appealing wealth of informative data that is interesting and well-written. I commend your hard work and thank you for information

  38. Posted 21 May 2018 at 14:00:49

    Η εταιρεία Apofraxeis, δραστηριοποιείται στο χώρο της συντήρησης, απόφραξης, καθαρισμού αποχετευτικών αγωγών και μεταφορών λυμάτων από το 1960. Διαθέτοντας πολυετή εμπειρία και τα πιο σύγχρονα αποφρακτικά μηχανήματα διασφαλίζουμε την ΕΓΓΥΗΣΗ των εργασιών μας, με ΧΑΜΗΛΟ ΚΟΣΤΟΣ και ταχύτατους χρόνους εξυπηρέτησης. Τα τελευταία χρόνια επεκτείναμε σταδιακά τις δραστηριότητες μας εκτός τις Αποφράξεις αποχετευτικών αγωγών και εκκενώσεις βόθρων, τώρα αναλαμβάνουμε υπεύθυνα απολυμάνσεις κτηρίων και έκδοση κοινοχρήστων, θέλοντας να προσφέρουμε ολοκληρωμένες υπηρεσίες στις κτηριακές ανάγκες.

  39. Posted 28 May 2018 at 21:51:07

    An impressive share, I just now given this onto a colleague who has been performing a little analysis about this. And he in truth bought me breakfast because I came across it for him.. smile. So allow me to reword that: Thnx for any treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending some time to debate this, I’m strongly over it and really like reading read more about this topic. When possible, as you grow expertise, could you mind updating your site with more details? It is actually highly ideal for me. Massive thumb up in this article!

  40. Posted 30 May 2018 at 10:35:23

    It is extensively putative that the procedure of teaching begins at birth and endures throughout life. Some believe that education begins.

  41. Posted 04 June 2018 at 10:07:47

    Hi, I'm Anya – I am an independent and busty Russian escort offering incalls & outcalls in central London & international travel.

  42. Posted 07 June 2018 at 10:49:52

    Looking for an experienced Seguin Attorney? Jesus Lopez has over 10 years experience practicing in Guadalupe County.

  43. Posted 12 June 2018 at 12:16:36

    You authorize into mypremiercreditcard by entering your username as well as your password. Take note though that in this website, the username and also password details are not gone into in the same screen.

  44. Posted 19 June 2018 at 08:49:46

    This blog website is pretty cool! How was it made !

  45. Posted 19 June 2018 at 14:51:48

    Find Las Vegas female escorts in Las Vegas at with new verified listings posted daily, including pics, prices, reviews and extra filters. Call for hottest and the most beautiful Las Vegas escorts available 24/7 direct to your room in 30 minutes. Search the Largest directory of call girls in Las Vegas and have fun in the sin city of the world. You deserve the best experience for your money and it is our goal to make this happen. If you’re looking for quality companionship during your time in Las Vegas, you need look no further.

  46. Posted 22 June 2018 at 05:57:38

    I was pretty pleased to find this web site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just
    for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it
    and i also have you book-marked to look at new things on your web site.

  47. Posted 22 June 2018 at 06:01:09

    Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just could not come across. What a perfect web site.

  48. Posted 22 June 2018 at 09:52:25

    My name is Manny and I am an independent male escort, based in Perth, available for today's professional and modern women. I'm well spoken with impeccable tastes and a great conversationalist. I pride myself on being polite, courteous, romantic and offering first class client satisfaction. If you are the type of mature woman that wants to feel loved and appreciated, either after a long hard day of work or simply because you believe you deserve that special treatment, then you have come to the right place! I offer all intimate male escort and gigolo services a woman may desires.

Post a comment