Brass - Iron - Wire - Tools - Waterwheels - Furnaces - Limekilns - Forges The first brass produced in Britain was made in Tintern in 1568, but beset by problems, attention turned to iron wire making, which the Angidy became famous for. Tintern was soon producing some of the best wire in the country and by 1600 the wireworks were the largest industrial enterprise in Wales. By the early 19th century there were at least 20 waterwheels along the Angidy.The furnace and forges burnt charcoal which was made locally and brought in by pack horse. Spring was the charcoal making season; huge amounts were needed. Iron ore from the Forest of Dean and Lancashire was shipped along the Wye to the tidal dock at Abbey Mill and pack horses carried the ore up to Abbey Tintern Furnace.When Abbey Tintern Furnace was built around 1672 it supplied cast iron (too brittle to be made into wire) to the forge at Pont-y-Saeson, where it was transformed into bars of osmond iron. These bars then went to the tilting mill, where they were hammered out and cut by shears into finger-sized rods. Before the rods could be drawn into wire they had to be heated to red heat for about 12 hours in a special furnace. This was called annealing. They were then soaked in water for several weeks. Next stop was the wire drawing mill, where the rods were heated and drawn through holes of decreasing size, in a metal sheet called a die. To make the finest grades of wire this was repeated over and over. The sites along the Angidy were part of a continuous industrial process – one of the earliest in the country. The Mineral and Battery Works is the company that was drawing iron wire by power at Tintern under the patent granted to Humfry and Shutz in 1565. But it wasn't just wire that they produced here, they also used their pig iron to make wrought iron tools.The industrial valley consisted of the Abbey Tintern Blast Furnace, several wireworks, a block and hammer house, water wheels, leats, tilt hammer mills, forges, cottages, limekilns, quays, barkstores, millponds and bridges!I urge you to peruse the wonderful Angidy Walking Leaflet - HERE!