Posted by: Team Sieni
N 51° 48.118 W 003° 08.406
30U E 490339 N 5739022
Quick Description: Gellifelen tunnels on the abandoned Abergavenny to Brynmawr railway in the Clydach Gorge, Wales. aka "Gelli Felen", "Gelli Felin" or "Gellifelin"
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/18/2006 10:56:19 AM
Waymark Code: WMF55
Co-ordinates are of the Western portals.
The tunnel is on the Abergavenny to Brynmawr railway. This was built upon Baileys Tramway which ran from ironworks at Nantyglo to the Govilon wharf of the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal.
This was converted to a locomotive-hauled railway and in 1862 the line opened from Abergavenny to Brynmawr. In 1877 the line was doubled, and new tunnel bores at Clydach and Gellifelen were made. The new tunnels are the southerly tunnels.
The line was closed in 1958
The southerly of the two tunnels is open and can be walked - providing you have a good light source and footwear. The tunnel is curved, and so it is completely dark for much of the way. The floor is wet and muddy.
The Clydach gorge is a fascinating place, containing historic sites dating from the iron age forts that flank the gorge, industrial revolution ironworks and tramways, the two disused tunnels on the Abergavenny to Brynmawr railway, not to mention beautiful beech woodlands, and waterfalls. Sadly some of this is under threat from modern industrial development - the needless widening of the A465 heads of the valleys road. Perhaps today's needless development is tomorrow's industrial archeology.
This link takes you to an interesting walk through the Clydach gorge: (visit link
) and this link does too (visit link
This link has more info
It's easy to park nearby
(There are also some downright bizarre garden ornaments - statues of giraffes, dragons and goodness knows what at N 51 48.6155, W 3 07.0224).
In the 1980s an elderly gentleman (now deceased) living in the nearby village of Gilwern told my mother the sad tale of how his mother was killed by a train while walking through either the Gellifelen or Clydach tunnel.