A Town in Focus

by Nick and Wendy Horler

We decided to move to Blaenavon and start our new venture Artie Craftie after visiting the town and enjoying the sense of community spirit that is at the heart of all that makes Blaenavon what it is.

Blaenavon is the most northerly town in the County Borough of Torfaen at 1100 feet above sea level.

It lies on the source of the river Afon Lwyd (the Grey river) that flows 13 miles south through and passes through Abersychan, Pontypool and Cwmbran before flowing into the river Usk at Caerleon.

Blaenavon borders Monmouthshire and Blaena Gwent in the valley of the Blorenge Mountain and overlooks the Coitey Mountain, with the edge of the Brecon Beacons being above the town adding to the natural beauty of the area.

Blaenavon was awarded Unesco World Heritage Status in the year 2000 in recognition of its industrial history surrounding coal and iron and the landscape surrounding the town.

Over the years investments have been made to the town to stimulate and boost the confidence of the local community.  The shops have been supported to conserve the heritage of the area.

Now there are a new range of individual specialist retailers who have become award winners in their own right and in turn have offered visitors to the World Heritage town a different type of shopping experience.

They are working towards engaging with the local community and visitors to the town to celebrate its history and culture and make Blaenavon more distinctive in its individuality.

As owners of a new business we have found that there is a very strong community spirit in the town and a passion for keeping Blaenavon as a special place to live.

There are a number of events held in the town involving food, craft and music including for example the World Heritage Day celebration held every year at the end of June.

The World Heritage Centre which contains the history of the town is an ideal place to start your visit.

Blaenavon offers a range number of successful tourist attractions. After you have visited the shops the Big Pit, which is one of the most successful tourist attractions in the Wales is situated on the edge of the town and gives you the chance to experience life underground.

Close to this is the Pontypool and Blaenavon Steam Railway which is run by enthusiastic volunteers and offers short train ride with wonderful views over the town and spectacular scenery.

Blaenavon is a very special place to live, work and visit and we can highly recommend spending some time looking at our Heritage

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The historic town is only a short walk away from the Heritage Centre and offers a variety of individual retailers such as:

[list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Artie Craftie a purple treasure trove of arts and craft materials and many ideas for gifts and items to encourage creativity for all ages. Artie Craftie also features a photography studio and framing service plus much more;[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]The Blaenavon Cheese Company that specialises in award winning cheeses and has a range of 15 very distinctive cheddars and four goats cheeses hand made in their shop in Broad Street;[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Flowers by Stacey a specialist florist with true passion for flowers and a selection of gifts;[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]The Railway and model shop an oasis of warmth and brightness stocked with model railways, books and toys;[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Brownings Book shop selling wide range of new and out of print and second hand books;[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Go Knit offers quality wools and yarns and patterns for knitters, and the independent Card Shop has, well loads of cards![/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Sugar Loaf Catering is your place if you wish to book a hog roast or wedding and if that got you hungry then you can try the Heritage Café.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Coffi 1860 and Coffee and Cards also offer a variety of food and drink suitable for breakfast, lunch and any other time you feel the need for a nice warm drink and a bite.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]The recently refurbished Lion Hotel is a new venture in the town with a restaurant that’s rapidly acquiring an excellent reputation also offers accommodation and a wellness suite – spa facility to pamper yourself.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]The evening hours offer an alternative option in the form of Butterflies Restaurant.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Scattered throughout the town are a number of buildings such as St Peter’s Church and The Workmen’s Hall. The Hall was funded chiefly by the Ironworkers through weekly voluntary deductions from their pay and was completed in 1895.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]Horab Chapel, Moriah Chapel and Bethlehem Chapel are interesting buildings which all add to the heritage of the area.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]The Cordell Museum, named after Alexander Cordell, the author of “Rape of the Fair Country”, houses a collection of local objects that tell the story of the town.[/list] [list margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ icon_bg_color=”#” icon_bg_hover=”#” square_bg_radius=”0″ icon_size=”16″ icon=”momizat-icon-home3″ icon_color=”#b92c2c” icon_color_hover=”#”]The Iron Works date back to the eighteenth century and was used for the filming of the BBC television programme The Coal House.[/list]

 

 

 

 

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