The Round Tower is symbolic of the oppression of the workforce. Two towers were built circa 1816-22 by Joseph Bailey, owner of the Nantyglo Iron Works. Fearful of a workers uprising, they were built as a place of refuge for himself and his family. The four feet thick walls provide the first line of defence while impenetrable iron plate doors set into a stone porch roofed with curved spikes prevent entry to the upper floors.
The uprising, when it manifested itself during November 1839 was not at his home but as a march and riot at Newport in support of the Chartist Movement.
The Rail Tracks are to depict the main product of the iron works, bars of pig iron was brought from the nearby works at Beaufort to be converted into rails by passing through the rolling mills at Nantyglo. The completed rails were exported throughout the world.
The Miners Safety Lamp is in respect to the generations of mineworkers who toiled underground to produce the fuel for the ironworks, railways and shipping. In later years all the locally mined coal, which was regarded as the world’s finest coking coal, was used in the production of steel at the Llanwern steel works. The last mine in Nantyglo and Blaina was Beynons Colliery which closed 1975.
The Scrolled Charter is representative of the pride that the residents of Nantyglo and Blaina feel about the town’s historic connection with the Chartist movement. A plaque on the frontage of the Royal Oak, the home of Chartist Leader Zephaniah Williams reads: