THE IRON FORGES OF THE VYRNWY VALLEY HUMPHREY LLOYD, M.A. It has been suggested as the result of some recent researches that the time has come for a fresh look at the early Montgomeryshire iron forges and it is the aim of this article to review the evidence for the locating of two of these, known in old records as Mathraval Forge and Dolobran Forge. The several forges in the eastern part of the county are of interest to the in- dustrial archaeologist and to the student of the early iron industry of the United Kingdom in a number of ways. They were at the extremity of the Severn as a commercial waterway where it and its large tributary the Vyrnwy emerge from the mountains into a less elevated, navigable region. They formed an outpost of the network of small ironworks to the north-east in Denbighshire and Salop. They were an example of the double search for facilities in short supply, water for power and woodland for charcoal. They brought their raw material, pig iron, from very considerable distances but found a market for a great deal of their output, bar iron, within their immediate district. They were under- taken and operated by some interesting families and personalities and it seems reasonable that the economic or social historian should be certain where to identify them. The mills of the Earl of Powis powered by the weir at Pool Quay on the Severn, one of which was both furnace and forge, were the principal instal- lations in this district and are a study in themselves. But it is with those a few miles off in the area where the Vyrnwy and Banwy rivers meet, at the junction of Llangyniew and Meifod parishes, that we are here concerned. It is a generation ago that the late A. Stanley Davies wrote his account1 of all these forges with its wealth of local information and research, quoting freely from that older source without which our knowledge of the local iron industry would be so much the poorer, the diary of John Kelsall.2 The fact that one of them was set up by the Dolobran Lloyds brings them also into E. R. Morris's story of that family, more recently printed.3 But some puzzling aspects of 1 The Charcoal Iron Industry of Powys Land; Mont. Coll. XLVI, 1, 1939. 2 Friends House Library, London. 3 The Dolobran Family in Religion and Industry; Mont. Coll. LVI, 2, 1960.