"Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade
"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall
"But Iron--cold iron--is master of them all."
( From 'Cold Iron' by Rudyard Kipling )
Situated at the " Head " of the Valley, Tredegar was the magnet which attracted many thousands of people to the area with the advent of ironmaking in the late 18th century.
From the early to mid 1800s the town became one of the major producers with its furnaces, together with neighbouring Blaenavon and Dowlais, working night and day to meet the needs of the new Industrial Revolution.
Many Pits and Collieries were sunk along the whole length of the Valley to satisfy the increased demand for fuel including Ty Trist at Tredegar which was first sunk in 1834 and remained in production until its eventual closure in 1959.
In its heyday, the Colliery employed over 1200 workers.
Sadly, the town has declined in the last 30 years or so, mainly due to mine closures and the run down at the nearby Ebbw Vale Steelworks where so many local people were employed.
One positive outcome, however, has been to see the area, once badly scarred by the waste and pollution of heavy industry, restored to its former natural environment.