The county borough of Bleanau Gwent borders the Brecon Beacons National Park, and is part of the historic county of Monmouthshire. Its main towns include Abertillery, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.
Like much of the Welsh valleys, the primary industry here for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries was iron- and steel-making, as well as mining. Relics of Blaenau Gwent’s industrial past can be found at the mining museum in Abertillery, Sirhowy Ironworks, or the iron and steel works museum in the town of Ebbw Vale. The 20-metre Guardian sculpture at Ty Ebbw Fach commemorates the 45 people killed in the Six Bells mining disaster in 1945.
More esoteric claims to fame in the region can be found in the highest market town in the UK (Brynmawr), the tallest freestanding iron clock in the UK (Tredegar), and the last castle to be built in Britain. In case you were wondering, it’s the Roundhouse Towers in Nantyglo – built in 1816 to protect the local ironmaster from his angry workers.