Pontneddfechan is a village in South Wales in the valley of the River Neath.
Its name is conventionally mispronounced as "Pontneathvaughan" in the local area to the despair of Welsh speakers. It stands at the confluence of the Mellte and the Neath rivers and provides one of the convenient access points to the superb series of waterfalls that characterise the upper Neath valley.
History Industrial activities in the region start with a 21-year lease of an area of land from the Marquess of Bute by the Quaker entrepreneur William Weston Young, for the sinking of silica mines around Craig-y-Dinas from 1822 onwards. The silica was extracted for the manufacture of firebricks at the Dinas Firebrick Co. in Pont Walby. In 1843, Young's lease ran out and the then Riddles, Young & Co. firebrick manufacturers moved to a new premises on The Green, Neath. The stone sleepers for the silica mine dramway were never removed and can still be seen set into the path of the waterfall walk.
The next phase of industry in the region was that of The Vale of Neath Powder Co. which in 1862 under Curtis & Harvey was merged with Nobel's Explosives Co. It became incorporated into Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. in 1926. Within living memory, the site was known locally as the powder-works.
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