The Navigation House

The Navigation Public House was once the head office of the Glamorganshire Canal and at one stage the largest Iron exchange in the world was run from this building. The area around the Navigation Public House is known as the basin this is where they maintained the canal boats. The feeder pipe bridge was built in 1857 and was constructed as part of a feeder canal to provide an improved water supply to the Glamorganshire Canal system from Abercynon to Cardiff.
In 1803 Samuel Homfray, the owner of the Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil, employed Richard Trevithick to provide a train from his ironworks in Merthyr to the main canal at Abercynon. In February 1804 the Penydarren locomotive was ready for its first trip; it managed to haul ten tons of iron, seventy passengers and five wagons from Merthyr to Abercynon it ran of speeds of up to 5 miles per hour. It was the first steam engine to run on iron tracks. It only made three journeys, the reason for this that the cast iron rails kept on breaking.
The Train
The Penydarren locomotive, with its single vertical cylinder, 8-foot flywheel and long piston rod, became the first steam engine to run successfully on rails. Trevithick’s locomotive employed the very important principle of turning the exhaust steam up the chimney, so producing a draft, which drew the hot gases from the fire more powerfully through the boiler.