The Man Engine

Man Engine

Man Engine

Spotlight on Wales as Man Engine rises again. Colossal engineering miracle to visit South Wales in 2018.

South Wales is one of the UK’s most significant mining heritage locations, with iron, copper and coal forming the heart of the Valleys for hundreds of years.

And in 2018, the whole nation is invited to celebrate and commemorate this industrial history with a visit from the now-iconic Man Engine.

The giant miner will visit eight of South Wales’s most important industrial heritage locations for a week of celebrations from 8 – 12 April 2018.

The colossal feat of engineering will visit Big Pit, Blaenavon Ironworks, Ebbw Vale Steelworks, Cyfarthfa Park and Castle, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, Swansea City Centre and the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks as part of his journey across Wales, entitled: “Man Engine Cymru: forging a nation”.

The Welsh tour is a collaboration among the cultural sector in Wales, with Swansea University working in partnership with the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw), National Museums Wales, five local authorities (Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr, Rhondda and Swansea), Head 4 Arts and Golden Tree Productions.

The Welsh visit forms part of the Man Engine’s 2018 Resurrection Tour, which will see the 11.2m tall puppet steam across some of the UK’s most significant mining heritage sites, including locations in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Derbyshire.

Animated by a team of more than a dozen ‘miners’, the giant puppet will begin his grand tour of Wales on 8 April with an opening ceremony at Big Pit and a parade down to Blaenavon Ironworks.


The Man Engine will celebrate the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution at Blaenavon World Heritage Site, the world major producer of iron and coal in the 19th Century.  

Join us at Blaenavon World Heritage Site and watch as the Man Engine collects coal from Big Pit: National Coal Museum, taking it through the Gilchrist Industrial Estate. 

The main event will take place at Blaenavon Ironworks, where you can watch as the Man Engine feeds the furnaces with Welsh coal from the Big Pit, creating the famous Blaenavon pig irons. The Man Engine will meet Blaenavon Ironworkers, sparks will fly and the fires roar, and the world’s highest quality iron will once again be drawn from the furnaces under the watchful eye of Sidney Gilchrist in an exciting afternoon of entertainment, where choirs, brass bands, blacksmiths and costumed characters will be waiting to welcome you.

8 April. 11:00 – 13:00. The Grounds of the Big Pit: National Coal Museum. Free entry.
8 April. 13:00 – 14:00. Gilchrist Industrial Estate. Free entry.
8 April. 14:00 – 16.30. Blaenavon Ironworks. £3 per ticket. Direct ticket link: 

More information about the tour - ;  01495 742333. 


Next stop will be the Ebbw Vale Steelworks on 9 April — a gem of Welsh industry and the first site in Britain to integrate iron and steel production.

On 10 April, the Man Engine will visit Cyfarthfa Park and Castle – the former home of Ironmaster William Crawshay II and his family – offering a poignant reminder of the Ironmaster’s dominance over Merthyr and the wealth of the iron industry in the Valleys.

Meanwhile, visitors can watch the monumental machine steam into Ynysangharad War Memorial Park on 11 April.

The tour will culminate on 12 April, with nostalgic displays at the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, a city parade and an evening finale at the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks..

Further information and tickets to witness the week of spectacles will be released via the Man Engine website in January.

To find out more about the “Man Engine Cymru: forging a nation” tour or to discover the story behind the magnificent Man Engine visit

Dates, times and prices

08 Apr 2018

Adult - *
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 - *

*The Grounds of the Big Pit: National Coal Museum. Free entry.
  Gilchrist Industrial Estate. Free entry.
  Blaenavon Ironworks. £3 per ticket. Direct ticket link: 

Location information

Facilities and information

Cycle stands Car park Dogs welcome Exhibition Gift shop No smoking Portable induction loop Refreshments Toilets
  • Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
  • Dogs on leads welcome
  • No smoking
  • A toilet is available for users with a disability and limited mobility
  • Cadw do not allow drone flying from or over its guardianship sites, except by contractors commissioned for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.
  • This site is registered on the No Fly Drone website
  • Visitors using wheelchairs or who have mobility or balance issues may find the ground conditions throughout the ironworks difficult to negotiate due to the nature of the surfacing material
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Postcode NP4 9RQ

Car Road Via A4043, follow signs to Big Pit Mining Museum and Blaenavon Ironworks.

Rail Rail 12km/8mls, Pontypool and New Inn, on the Manchester/Liverpool-Pontypool/Cardiff route.

???locationMapDirections.directions.bus.image_alt??? Bus 3km/2mls, route X24 from Newport via Cwmbran, Pontypool and Varteg.

??? Bike NCN Route No.46 (600m/656yrds).

For further information, please contact: Traveline Cymru on 0800 464 0000 or National Rail Enquiries 03457 48 49 50.