Blessed Historic Remains.

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Mountain
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Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:05 pm

Not too far away from Ferryside in Wales was an old village called Hawton (Some spell it Horton) which sat near St Ishmaels church near the sea. The village was claimed by the sea twice and on the second time the villagers abandoned it (Most likely after the tsunami which hit Wales during the early 1600's) and relocated to a place called Llansaint on top of the hill above where the old village once stood.
Now during later years the South Wales Railway Company (Which the Great Western Railway took over) built the railway on top of part of the old village and later coastal protection measures were put in place. It is these later coastal measures, which themselves are now remains, in which there are some very interesting rails.
Basically the protection measures were old railway rails positioned into the ground which once held old sleepers where both stone from the old village along with slag from the old industry in nearby Burry Port was put behind to protect the railway from the sea.
Now when one first crosses the railway line to get to the sea a broad gauge rail holds the fence up (Or used to..), but part of the coastal defence has some very old rails which come from many years before mechanised railed transport arrived on the scene.

Ive drawn a brief diagram of both the low profile broad gauge rails and the very deep profile early rails, along with an idea of the shape of the early wheels used.
As a rough guide to the rail profile of these early rails.... They are about a foot high when they were in use. The broad gauge rail height is about 3 inches high, maybe 4 inches at the very most.
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Mountain
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:26 pm

Just to update. I know where the early rails came from. There used to be a horse drawn tramway which met the canal system terminus at Kidwelly. (Kymers Canal? I need to check up on that as there were a few local canals before the railways came along).
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Mountain
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:43 pm

Also of note to those interested are the remains of the village. While not a lot is visable, theres recently been more remains exposed as the sea encroaches.
The architecture of the doorways intregues me as the only time I've noticed a similar design is looking at photographs of Israel.

Anyone who wants to see the remains go now, as daily the sea is erroding the area.
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Lysander
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Lysander » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:26 pm

Isn’t that called bridge rail?

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Mountain
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:34 pm

Im a little sketchy with rails as I am still learning. I believe it is called bridge rail (In the bottom left of the diagram). Someone has suggested on another site that the much larger rails with the curves were early broad gauge rails that were layed direct onto the ground and only had a few metal ties to hold the gauge in place. Im not sure that it fits as there are holes in the castings of the rails so that they could be bolted or nailed onto sleepers by the looks of it. I believe these holes had to be made in the casting as cast iron isnt ideal to drill I would imgine. Too brittle. I maybe wrong with some aspects.

One interesting note that I must say that is not mentioned when some of the experts have viewed the site is that I believe that most of the stones on the beach came from the abandoned village. Many of these stones are dressed stones and are quite some distance from the building remains. The beaches around these parts are very sandy. Ferryside used to have a very sandy beach when my mother was younger. Then when i was young it was mainly mud due to the changing tides etc. However the sand has returned. The stoney beaches of the near local coastline are only here (Which I believe to be the remains of the old village) and at Burry Port which mostly came in as ballast discarded from ships. There was a stoney area where the powerstation was, but then again this was due to past dumping of stone to create firm ground during the industrious time of the 1800's.
While I am writing this, there was a nearby quarry which could account from sone stones naturally ending up on the beach. However, some of these building remains have lovely light blue stones which are not found naturally in the immediate area. We know this blue colour as Pembrokeshire stone where Pembrokeshire Slate came from (Think Stone Henge).
What is amazing is to think that the buildings using this blue stone would have been very special in their day. It was also interesting to note that many of these buildings had stone blocks in such a way that they had been cut to shape almost in a dressed stone fasion, which also shows the importance of the buildings. Most local stones of buildings in this area were not like this. It was more of a case that stones were hacked out of the rocks and what came out was what you get!
Last edited by Mountain on Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby flying scotsman123 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:46 pm

It's called Barlow rail, that Wiki page even mentions the South Wales Railway. As it notes, it was largely phased out in the 1850s but loads of it was re-used in other ways; we found some as fence posts on the GWSR, which doesn't sound that extraordinary until you remember that the route wasn't built until the 1900s!

Bridge rail is slightly different and was that used on Brunel's broad gauge Baulk road.
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Lysander
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Lysander » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:52 pm

Ah, thanks. I seem to remember the term now.

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Mountain
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:58 pm

Whats the GWSR? I know the railways around these parts were fairly early. The South Wales Railway Company was a latecomer to the area and was building its line during the 1840's or thereabouts, so it does tie in. I do want to read a board I've seen in Kidwelly about a tramway as there is something bothering me in the design of the earlier rail. It has too much of a curve to it to assist wheel flanges. Yet it is definately a rail. I need to re-visit the area to take photos. It is why I believed the rails would have come from the tramway rather then the broad gauge railway, but I maybe wrong in this. Either way it is all fascinating stuff.
I also want to do a little local research to see if we have any natural blue stone quarries nearby as the light blue stone intregues me. Surely they wouldnt have brought it over from Pembrokeshire?
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Mountain
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Mountain » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:04 am

The newer rail is definately bridge rail. I can confirm that. The older rail could be Barlow rail but its profile may not be quite the same. Is very similar if it isnt. I need to take another look at the rails. Thanks for the links Flying Scotsman.
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby flying scotsman123 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:56 am

Mountain wrote:Whats the GWSR? I know the railways around these parts were fairly early. The South Wales Railway Company was a latecomer to the area and was building its line during the 1840's or thereabouts, so it does tie in. I do want to read a board I've seen in Kidwelly about a tramway as there is something bothering me in the design of the earlier rail. It has too much of a curve to it to assist wheel flanges. Yet it is definately a rail. I need to re-visit the area to take photos. It is why I believed the rails would have come from the tramway rather then the broad gauge railway, but I maybe wrong in this. Either way it is all fascinating stuff.
I also want to do a little local research to see if we have any natural blue stone quarries nearby as the light blue stone intregues me. Surely they wouldnt have brought it over from Pembrokeshire?


Sorry, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, preserved ex-GWR mainline in the Cotswolds. Just pointing out that old Barlow rail can turn up in unlikely places. If you look at the link I posted, it confirms that Barlow rail was used on the South Wales Railway, apparently invented by the Midland Railway.
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Re: Blessed Historic Remains.

Postby Chops » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:04 am

Most interesting. The early experiments with rail and gauge are as curious as the stuff that ran upon it. Isn't blue stone the stuff that was mined in Wales and transported to create Stone Henge?

In the U.S. strap rail was originally used, as timber was abundant, iron expensive. A strip of iron was nailed to the top of timber rails. Worked well enough for the purpose until an end of the strap would warp up enough until it got picked up and cantilevered into a passenger coach, sometimes impaling the unfortunate occupant. They were called "snake heads."

Another American invention, perhaps first used on the British built "John Bull" which featured a simple pilot truck. Its function was to accommodate the greatly uneven track, which was built hurriedly upon any available sleeper on a roadbed of muck. All American road engines after that had pilot wheels for the same purpose. The use of pilot trucks for guiding the drivers through curves was a later benefit.
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