GGAT pioneer new survey technique at Ffos-Y-fran Site

One of the structures investigated as part of the Ffos-y-fran Land reclamation scheme was a tramroad/railway at the point in which it had been spanned by an over-bridge. Due to the size and complexity of the structure it was decided to record using the latest laser scanning technologies. Total Surveys Ltd were commissioned to carryout the survey, which produced a fully integrated and interrogable 3D model of the overbridge to an accuracy of 6mm.

GGAT and Miller Argent (South Wales)are among the first companies in the UK to pioneer this type of technology for use in archaeological recording.

At this point the tramroad ran between two battered walls of rusticated sandstone ashlar, which funneled into what we think wes the site of the original overbridge and then funneled out again. These walls were raised in height at least once, probably when the line was converted to standard gauge,which is known to have occurred from the late 19th-and-early 20th centuries (OS 1st to 4th edition maps c1880–1920). No evidence for the over-bridge survives.

The original tramroad surface was identified beneath 2.5m of made ground, the latter presumably laid down for the conversion to standard gauge, and it is likely that the over-bridge was removed at this time. The over-bridge is thought to have served a ‘squatter settlement ’, which was possibly providing labour to the fledgling Dowlais Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil, located 50m to the east.

View across the remains of the overbridge

View across the remains of the overbridge

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