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.
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.
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.
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.
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!