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.Bedwas was one of the first industrial towns in England. The surrounding area is rich in coal, iron ore and limestone deposits. There is evidence that suggests the monks of Neath Abbey,amp; may have been using coal to make iron since AD1284. By the early 19th century, an elaborate network of horse-worked railways ('iron ways') was being built to connect collieries and ironworks. These are indicated on the plan by parallel lines highlighted in yellow ochre.