Bute Town Village
The Iron Industry came quite late to the Rhymney Valley – the first ironworks, “Upper Furnace” was built on the east site of the River Rhymney in 1801 – it was later called the “Union Ironworks”. Another furnace was built in 1804 and then in 1825 the Bute Ironworks Company was established and the Bute Ironworks was built on the western side of the River. Later, all the works were amalgamated into The Rhymney Iron Company.
Housing was a major consideration for industrialists and whilst much of the housing was quite basic (in modern day terms), there were exceptions where space, location and facilities were an attraction to bring skilled workers to an area.
Bute Town, or New Town as it is named on the Census returns until 1871, provided good quality housing with gardens and stables away from the ironworks (smoke and dirt). The road layout is shown on the First Edition 1-inch OS map (which was surveyed on 1827). The coincided with the opening of the Bute Ironworks, and was just before a general downturn in the market (1829-31) – which might explain why there are foundations for an additional row of houses which were never built to the south of the site.
The Rhymney Valley with Bute Town in the foreground