Blaenavon World Heritage Site - December 2016 News & Events.
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Events and Attractions

Christmas Craft Day at Blaenavon World Heritage Centre
Saturday 3rd December 11am – 4pm
Make a festive ceramic tile or pottery at the Potter’s wheel – an ideal Christmas gift, £1 for each craft activity. Entertainment from Blaenavon Concert Band & Storytime Sessions in the Library at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm. Festive menu in the Café. For more information Tel: 01495 742333



Santa at Blaenavon Ironworks 
Come and see Santa Claus in our historic Blaenavon Ironworks this Christmas – and make unique memories with the whole family!  Weekends: 10th, 11th and 17th, 18th December 2016. £3 per child to enter the grotto including gift, last entry 3:30pm. Normal free entry to the Ironworks site on the day for all visitors, the grotto is situated within the site.
Tel: 01495 792615, email:


It’s Christmas … Mother Christmas and Father Christmas at Big Pit
A chance for younger visitors to meet Mother Christmas and find out what's been happening in the Christmas household on Sunday 11th December 2016. Has Rudolph been a good reindeer this year? Has Father Christmas finished painting the sleigh? Come along and find out more? Sessions are at 11.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-2.30pm and MUST be booked in advanced.
Be amazed as Father Christmas arrives at Pit Top at 10.30am, travelling 300ft UP from underground on his way to Lapland on Sunday 18th December. Once he’s arrived (and found his elves!), there’ll be an opportunity to visit him in his cottage, until 4pm, and tell him what’s on your Christmas list. Are you in his naughty or good book?
Cost: £5 per child, booking essential 02920 573650 – More details           

Blaenavon Heritage Railway – Santa Specials – Weekends in December
Come and take the train and meet Santa with our Santa Specials. As well as the opportunity to meet with Santa, each child will receive an age appropriate gift. For the Adults there will be Sherry and a Mince Pie. Trains will run regularly.
Booking is essential - Adult £10.00 Child £10.00 - More information.

Blaenavon’s Christmas Cracker – Saturday 10th December – 12pm – 5pm Broad Street top car park
Santa’s Grotto ~ Children Go Karts ~ Petting Donkeys ~ Food and Craft Stalls ~ Hot Food ~ Christmas Music ~ Name the Bear ~ Face Painting ~ Henna Tattoos ~ Children’s Activities 
For further details please call: 07542 187 137


Bethlehem Chapel
Lunch Club
Our lunch club has a traditional menu with two courses plus coffee of tea, every Thursday lunch time from 12pm.  Everyone welcome at present we have 25-30 people attending  
Our annual Christmas dinner and entertainment will be held on 15th December at 12 pm with entertainment provided afterwards by a Mr John Lloyd. Anybody who comes to lunch will tell you he is absolutely brilliant and will keep you entertained!
The cost for this is £4:50 you can donate more if you so wish.


Messy Christmas
Messy Christmas event is a fun way for families to come together. This will include lunch and lots of Christmas crafts and things to do for all the family. It will be held on Saturday 17th December 11am until 1pm at Busy Bees - Blaenavon.
Starting on 28th November we will need your help as our sheep managed to escape and we need you to help us find them all! Call in to Busy Bees or Bethlehem Chapel on or around 28th November and pick up a sheet of clues to hunt for them. You can then bring your completed sheets with their locations to the Messy Christmas event to claim your prize. Good luck hunting!
For more information on anything please phone Anthony in 07824430863 or e-mail:

Community News

Community Unites to Save Historic Mansion
Members of the Blaenavon community have formed a new group to consider the future of one of the World Heritage Site’s most important buildings – the former Beeches Nursing Home. The grade-II listed building has suffered vandalism, fire damage and neglect since closing a decade ago.
The new group, working closely with Torfaen County Borough Council, aims to form a Building Preservation Trust which will seek to identify a new, sustainable use for the building and to attract grant funding for its restoration. It’s not going to be easy but the community is not prepared to give up on this historic and much-loved building.
In the coming months, the group aims to develop an action plan for the project. If you are interested in joining the group, or supporting its work, please email the group’s secretary on
Blaenavon House: A Potted History
Blaenavon House, known informally as the ‘Great House’ or ‘Ty Mawr’, has had many functions throughout its history. The ‘comfortable and elegant’ mansion was built in about 1799 by the ironmaster Samuel Hopkins, who lived there until his death in 1815. The house then became the residence of Thomas Hill II and his children before it was sold, along with the Blaenavon Ironworks, to the new Blaenavon Iron and Coal Company in 1836.  Following its sale, it was used as a private residence for managers of the company.
In the 1920s, the Blaenavon Company sold the mansion to the Blaenavon Medical Aid Society, who converted the building into a hospital in 1927. Managed by the workers, and financed through their subscriptions, the medical scheme was among those which helped inspire the National Health Service. The building ceased to be a hospital in 1980 and eventually became a nursing home.

Heritage News

Blaenavon World Heritage Site Represents UK at the European Association of World Heritage.
In October this year Blaenavon World Heritage Site was given the privilege of representing the UK at the European World Heritage Association at their 2nd annual meeting in Segovia, Spain after achieving national success and recognition for their work on youth engagement. The World Heritage Youth Ambassadors is a project, funded by Heritage Lottery, that is designed to empower young people aged 13-25 to have a voice and participate in the management of their World Heritage Site.
Ashleigh Taylor, Heritage Officer and Daniel Oliver, Youth Ambassador Project Officer attended the prestigious conference and presented to the association “How to involve and allow youth participation in the management of World Heritage”.  Feedback from other World Heritage Sites said that Blaenavon was inspiring and leading the way amongst over 50 sites from across Europe.

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Torfaen Economy & Enterprise · Torfaen County Borough Council, Ty Blaen Torfaen · Panteg Way, New Inn, Pontypool · Torfaen, Tof NP4 0LS · United Kingdom

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