Clydach Brook Wall Collapse & Repair

Photo by Hugh Lewis on 28 September 2023


The following two Photographs taken of the cascade and aqueduct before the retaining wall collapse.


On Sunday 24th September 2023, after an autumn storm and heavy rain, the familiar sight and sounds of the free flowing Clydach Brook suffered some alarming damage and was seriously affected by part of the North East retaining wall dislodging and collapsing into the water. It had looked precarious for several months.

These two Photo’s by Hugh Lewis on 28 September 2023

The Aqueduct is quite unique in its construction. Designed by the renowned Victorian Engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and built by George Hennet Bridgewater Ironworks whose name is stamped on the panelled sides on the NE Side.

It is a substantial cast iron structure carrying the Clydach Brook over the Vale of Neath Railway, which was opened in 1851.

It is situated alongside and parallel to the main B4343 Commercial Road through the centre of the village of Resolven. Brunel altered the levels of the waterway and from the road it can be seen that the levels change dramatically producing a cascade which is spectacular when there is a huge torrent of water. Brunel also added in-line rails on the aqueduct, to help with the flow of water which is clearly visible when the water level is low.

The aqueduct was designated as a Grade II listed building in 2003 and ‘CADW’ is involved in its repair and restoration.


Report from Cllr. Dean Lewis on the situation.

“I have been in contact with the Council and their Engineers for quite some time to discuss the poor state of the stonework in the Clydach Brook. It isn’t a Council asset and responsibility did not come under our umbrella/assets. As you may be aware the stonework is graded and as such is protected by Law. CADW were contacted and asked to get involved as progress was slow in protecting the site for future generations.”

“After many, many months of negotiations work was meant to start on Phase 1 of the project by Network Rail and NRW to make the area safe, on the very day contractors turned up the wall had collapsed hours before. Luckily it happened before workers made it to site and nobody was hurt. Phase 2 of the project will see the stonework and walls reinstated and put back to how it was. I haven’t had conformation when Phase 2 will start but I will keep you informed as and when I get the information.”

“I have also been informed after airing my concerns to engineers that the roadside wall is in good condition and no deterioration has occurred.”

Photo by Cllr. Dean Lewis on 28 September 2023

These two photo’s show the pipes diverting the water away from the original water course to enable work to be done.

Photo by Cllr. Dean Lewis on 28 September 2023
These two Photo’s by Hugh Lewis on 10 October 2023
Photo by Anita Morgan on 11 October 2023

It is obvious from the above photographs that there is a vast amount of work to be done to bring this structure back to its former glory.

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Report by H & L Lewis

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