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The making and remaking of the Onllwyn industrial landscape - Change as an opportunity for resilience

Tam, Lui ORCID:, Davis, Juliet ORCID: and Prizeman, Oriel ORCID: 2023. The making and remaking of the Onllwyn industrial landscape - Change as an opportunity for resilience. Presented at: ICOMOS GA2023 - Historic Urban Contexts & Industrial Heritage: Case Studies in Resilience, Sydney, Australia, 31August - 9 September 2023.

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The Onllwyn industrial landscape, located in the Dulais Valley in South Wales, can be considered an epitome of the industrial and post-industrial history of Wales and Britain. It illustrates the dynamic relationships between the natural landscape, the resources it holds, and the communities and actors involved in the development and transformation of its industries. The Dulais Valley is connected with the Brecon Beacon Mountain range, where the World Heritage Site Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is located, and the Swansea and Neath ports, where resources such as coal and iron were exported to the rest of the world since the 19th century. However, the industrial landscape of this area, and particularly, the Onllwyn and Mynydd y Drum area, has not been the focus of industrial heritage research. This research aims to record, interpret, and bring the rapidly changing and all but vanished traces of Onllwyn’s industrial landscape back to visibility. It also aspires to foster opportunities for an innovative form of public experience through digital heritage, providing a foundation for future community engagement with history in the context of current regeneration plans. The research uses a range of methods, including archival research, GIS mapping, 3D documentation and visualisation, interviews and focus groups, to document, interpret, and reconstruct the landscape, the industrial infrastructures, and the social history of Onllwyn’s communities. The main findings and outcome of this research reveal the fascinating story of the making and remaking of this small settlement in the South Wales coalfield, bound to the changing technologies and fortunes of coal mining and related industries over time. It also aims to create an archive of memory to capture stories related to the industrial and post-industrial landscape, the processes of technological change that local communities may have witnessed and experienced, and the social changes that have occurred in parallel.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2023 11:00

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