Blackwood (Welsh: Coed Duon) is a town on the Sirhowy River in the South Wales Valleys within the Caerphilly County Borough.
Excellent transport links have made Blackwood a home for a growing number of commuters who work in the cities of Newport and Cardiff and further afield.
Located within the boundary of Monmouthshire, Blackwood was founded in the early 19th century by local colliery owner John Hodder Moggridge - who lived at nearby Woodfield Park Estate: the first houses in Blackwood were built by Moggridge in an attempt to build a model village.
Terrible working conditions at the time of the Industrial Revolution, led to Blackwood becoming a centre of Chartist organisation in the 1830s.
In 1912 the Titanic's distress signals were picked up by amateur wireless enthusiast Arthur Moore who resided at the Old Mill, Gelligroes, situated just outside the town.
The decline of the coal mining industry throughout the later part of the twentieth century affected South Wales, the major source of employment was lost and the pictorial landscape left daily reminders of what had been. State backed rejuvenation schemes have gone some way to rejuvenate the wider Blackwood area, including the relief road and various light industrial areas.
Education in Blackwood is considered good, with a network of primary schools, junior schools and secondary schools. The town has three local comprehensive schools all with between 800 – 1000 pupils. Local rivalry in sport and exam results is best described as a friendly and competative rivalry. The Secondary schools are Blackwood Comprehensive School, Pontllanfraith Comprehensive and Oakdale Comprehensive. All three schools are distinctive for various reasons, until the mid-1990s Blackwood comprehensive had separate uniforms for senior and junior pupils. In school discipline is usually high.
A number of Blackwood pupils have been to Oxbridge and a big increase in demand for Welsh language education has led to the establishment of two Welsh Medium Infants & Primary schools.
The Arup designed Chartist Bridge linking the East and West sides of the Sirhowy Valley. Previously the journey was made by de-tour or over a 1 in 4 road through the bottom of the valley known locally as the Rhiw and is known as a local and distinct landmark.
The bridge is a part of the Sirhowy Enterprise Way, regeneration project and opened four months ahead of schedule on 3 December 2005.
Most of the sales in Blackwood over the past year were semi-detached properties which on average sold for £117,480. Terraced properties had an average sold price of £96,056 and detached properties averaged at £203,693.
Blackwood, with an overall average price of £131,174 was more expensive than nearby Pontllanfraith (£123,331) and Grove Park (£118,556), but was cheaper than Fleur De Lis (£160,535).
In the past year house prices in Blackwood were similar to the year before and 9% down on 2007 when they averaged at £143,515.
Source: Rightmove September 2017
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