Dyfi Furnace

Dyfi Furnace

You know when you pass somewhere for years and keep meaning to drop by one day? Well, I’ve been going to Borth for day trips or holidays every year since before I could walk, yet despite always passing Dyfi Furnace on my way there, somehow I’d never been!

Dyfi Furnace is situated in Ceredigion, beside the A487 between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth, and is just a few miles from the popular seaside village of Borth.

Originally constructed in the mid-1700s, Dyfi Furnace was built for smelting iron ore. It’s original waterwheel, turned by water from the river it sat next to, would have powered the bellows blowing on the blast furnace. The wood for the furnace would have come from the local woods, most likely the one just behind the building. The pig iron Dyfi Furnace produced will have mostly been sent to forges in the Midlands with some being forged locally.

Outside the furnace.
Outside the furnace.

In 1810 the furnace ceased operations and years later was turned into a sawmill. The restored waterwheel we see there today is the one which was in use when the building was being used as a sawmill.

Dyfi Furnace waterwheel.
The waterwheel.

On arrival, it might seem like there’s no parking, but if you turn down the lane just opposite the furnace it’ll lead you to a car park next to Afon Einion (the river Einion). It’s just a short walk back to Dyfi Furnace, but it does mean you’ll need to cross the road which can get quite busy during the summer months.

The top of Dyfi Furnace waterwheel.
The top of the waterwheel.
The upper part of the Dyfi Furnace building.
The upper part of the Dyfi Furnace building.
The upper part of the Dyfi Furnace building.
The upper part of the Dyfi Furnace building.

If you visit, don’t forget to take steps up the left-hand side of the furnace up to the upper part of the furnace and the top of the waterwheel. The short path continues on to the top of the waterfall where you can watch Afon Einion drop into the valley.

Approaching the waterfall.
Approaching the waterfall.
The top of the waterfall.
The top of the waterfall.
The waterfall.
The waterfall.

Dyfi Furnace is a Cadw site. It is free to enter and you can wander around at your leisure, however, the inside of the building is no longer accessible to visitors which is a great shame and it left me slightly disappointed.

Nearby you’ll find the RSPB Ynys-Hir Nature Reserve and Dyfi Osprey Project at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve. A visit to Machynlleth is a must (although it’s half-day closing for many shops on a Thursday, as I found out the other day!), as is a visit to the beaches at Borth and Ynyslas. Viewers of the Welsh TV crime drama Hinterland should recognise Borth!

16 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I would think that waterfall view is worth stopping for alone!

    Funny how many things we seem to miss that are nearby. I know there are plenty of places I should visit which would make for a nice day trip.

    • Nikki says:

      I’m trying to make a point of visiting places nearby (although “nearby” can often mean within an hour or so’s drive as we’re fairly rural here).

  2. jeanie says:

    I would also have been disappointed not to go inside but the outside is certainly lovely and so is that waterfall. I can imagine the history of this space is quite interesting. Your photos are terrific as always, Nikki. I’m glad you finally stopped!

    Speaking of stopping, thanks for stopping by my blog today! Lovely to see you there!

  3. Lisa says:

    I love it when you have time to actually go in and visit places that you normally drive past, you nearly always discover some real gems. This furnace sounds so interesting and what a bonus that the waterfall is still going too. Gorgeous photos! Lisa x

  4. Jayne says:

    Fascinating looking place, and when my Island Drive takes me to Wales I might just stop and have a look. Especially if there’s a nature reserve nearby. The weird thing is this is the second time in a week I have seen Borth mentioned on a blog – cannot for the life of me remember what the other blog was {ooops}, never heard of the village before.

  5. Jeanna says:

    Hinterland is filmed there? Cool. The old smelting furnace and sawmill are pretty interesting especially since the original restored waterwheel still being there. I wonder why they closed off the inside of the building. It sounds as if there’s a lot of fun stuff going on nearby and I guess you need to get the shop hours, but why on a Thursday? if it’s a tourist town you’d think they’d be open full time every day. I hope you visit Machynlleth, Borth and Ynyslas and post about it.

    • Nikki says:

      The very first murder in Hinterland takes place in Borth! You get a wonderful view of Borth as Mathias’ car drops down the hill into the village.

      Some towns in Mid Wales and Shropshire still have half-day closing one day a week. It’s an old thing from over a century ago (I think it’s something to do with given staff a break). The cafes still seemed to be open and there were quite a few people about, but then holiday season has only just begun here.

  6. I’ve made it my mission the last 18 months to seek out and visit local places that have gone unnoticed. It’s crazy how many interesting places you pass without a thought isn’t it. Your photo’s are fab.

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