Industrial Wales - Monmouthshire's Western Valley
From Trinant to Cwmtillery via Aberbeeg and Six Bells along the West bank
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The Industrial Archaeology and History of the Western Valley

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Mark Phillip's Tramroad

Mark Phillip's Tramroad opened c1795 from Trinant Colliery and the other levels to the Monmouthshire Canal basin at Crumlin. The 1875 OS map shows the track in place but it had gone by1899.

Crumlin incline - ST 2103 9873

This is the site of the brakehouse of Mark Phillip's Tramroad incline down to Crumlin. The back wall is visible as is the incline itself, with stone embankments about halfway down. The incline seems to have been known as the 'Ginny' as the 1861 census shows 'Morgan Jones' and family living at 'The top of the Ginny' and employed as 'Seting in Incline'.

Llanerch-Isaf Southern level - ST 2090 9910

The Southern level lies at the end of a short incline off the Trinant tramroad, marked as 'old level' on the 1901 map. The tips, incline and the site of the level are still prominent features.

Llanerch-Isaf Northern level - ST 2098 9944

The Northern level is at the end of an even shorter incline at ST 2098 9944, marked as 'old level' on the 1880 map. The tips, incline and the site of the level are beside the tramroad.

Trinant Colliery - ST 2092 9965

This was the location of the main Trinant level at the end of the Trinant tramroad from Crumlin, believed closed in 1897 and shown as disused by 1901. The site of this level is clear, with stained water leeching from it, the rest of the complex is under the rubbish tip. Ton-tyr-bel Level (ST 2046 9977) was a modern level, opened in 1953 by Lyndon Robinson, closed in 1973. The site is has been cleared and is occupied by stables (Oct 2010). Ton-tyr-bel Shaft at ST 2064 9984 was linked to the main Trinant Colliery complex by an incline, now a grassy footpath. Opened after 1880 and disused with the rest of Trinant Level by 1901. The tips and bricklined shaft are next to the Ton-tyr-bel Chapel. The remains of another Ton-tyr-bel Level (ST 2075 9984) are beside the stream, reported as the downcast for the shaft with another shaft known as 'Barnes' further downhill at ST 208999. Llanerch-Uchaf Level tips at ST 2100 9995 are shown as an 'Old level' on the 1880 map, later known as Cefn Coed No 3.

Ton-tyr-bel Colliery - ST 20151 9978

A small colliery operating in the 1960s

Cefn Coch No 3 - ST 211998

Llanerch-Uchaf Level tips at ST 2100 9995 are shown as an 'Old level' on the 1880 map, later known as Cefn Coed No 3.

Pentwyn Colliery - SO 2170 0025

Pentwyn Colliery was opened in 1932 by the Harrhy Bros and worked until abandoned in 1982. Other levels along the outcrop were also worked.

Brunant and Cwm-Nant-Gwint - SO 2084 0120

In the 1880s there were a number of small levels along the hillside, from Brunant and Cwm-Nant-Gwint connected by a tramway to coke ovens at Glandwr. Some of theses also worked in the 1950s.


Quick links to :-     Trinant     Aberbeeg     Six Bells     Abertillery     Cwmtillery

Packhorse Bridge - SO 2095 0192

First recorded in 1659, the Packhorse Bridge has been repaired, renovated and generally messed about with. But underneath we're told it really is the original. Whatever the truth, it still looks the part though.

Aberbeeg Station - SO 2101 0188

Aberbeeg Station was opened by the Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company on 21/23 December 1850. The MRCC and station were absorbed by the GWR in 1880, then BR in 1948. The station was closed to passengers on 30 April 1962 and goods traffic on 28 November 1966. The line to Ebbw Vale has re-opened but not the station and there is talk of re-opening the line to Abertillery.

Aberbeeg North Colliery - SO 2068 0193

The Ivorites and Cwm Big - SO 2057 0206

Hafod-y-dafal Farm - SO 2007 0362

Webbs Brewery was the centrepiece of Aberbeeg, working from 1838 to 1969 at ST 210020 and now, more houses. An interesting relic at the derelict Hafod-y-dafal Farmhouse may have come from here. It's a cast- or wrought-iron tank made from 10 or 12 panels inscribed 'G Adlam & Sons, Engineers, Bristol'. Adlams were brewery equipment suppliers and this could have been one of Webbs brewing vats, an easy haul up the track from the Ivorites. Marian Gibson from Ontario, Canada was born at the farm in the 1930's and remembers that they collected rainwater in the old cast iron tank, for washing and bathing. The water had to be heated in a big boiler in the back kichen just near the door to the porch on the centre left of the picture.

Six Bells

Quick links to :-     Trinant     Aberbeeg     Six Bells     Abertillery     Cwmtillery

Six Bells Colliery in 1980

These photos of Six Bells Colliery and its colliers were taken in 1980.

Six Bells Colliery tip - SO 2051 0396

Six Bells Colliery tip was on the Arail mountain and was removed in 2009. Remains of the aerial ropeway from the colliery can still be found up there.

Six Bells Village

Six Bells Village and 'The Guardian of the Valleys'

Hafod Van Colliery level - SO 2233 0256

The level was part of the New Hafod Van Colliery and was operating by 1865, closing in 1908. The rest of the complex down in the valley closed in 1928.

Blaenllan Bungalow - SO 2280 0243

Ty Dafydd Level - SO 2297 0250
Gilfach Wen barn - SO 2298 0268

Cwm Nant-y-groes Colliery - SO 2280 0349

Thought I'd found some ruins of one of the oldest mines around, Cwm Nant-y-groes Colliery, opened around 1840 and closed by 1908, but Mike Webber has written to point out "The concrete structure shown was used as a sheep dip 40 yrs ago, I was told it was originally a filter bed ( it is indeed a series of stepped sumps) for what was a reservoir / water supply works for Six Bells [perhaps for the 1930s lido]. It lies just above other concrete structures including an open sump or pond ( approx 10 ft cube) and an enclosed "manhole" style sump. This is all now full of silt and buried. On a side note further up this track (on top hairpin) is the site of a rifle range target system, steel gearwheels are visible on road surface and old bullets cover the area." According to 'Old Maps' the rifle range was in existence between 1901 and 1920. Now all I've got to do is find some remains of the mine and tramway!


Quick links to :-     Trinant     Aberbeeg     Six Bells     Abertillery     Cwmtillery

Rhiw Colbren Colliery, Cyril Place - SO 2065 0478

Cyril Place was built around 1916 to serve the nearby levels of Rhiw Colbren Colliery. There were two to the North, the original level at SO 204049 with a tramway to the loading dock at SO 2063 0483, the later level was just above the loading dock. The course of the tramway and the tips can easily be traced. The 1901 OS map shows an 'old level' to the South of Cyril Place at SO 2071 0469.

Greenmeadow Farm - SO 2223 0509

There are a number of old farms and quarries on the Eastern side of Cwmtillery

Tillery Level - SO 2263 0503

The Tillery Level worked until c1896, quite an extensive level in 1880 but just one tramway in 1901 and marked 'disused' with no tramway by 1920 .

Pullingers Level - SO 2212 0503

Pullingers Level was listed as 'abandoned' in 1896 but appears to have worked briefly in c1906 when it was referred to as Billingers or Pillingers. Today a steady stream of water flows out of the level. The incline next to it appears to be Pen-y-bont Colliery's waste tipping line.

Gwasted Ffynnonau Farm and Quarry - SO 2225 0597

Woodland Brickworks and levels - SO 2200 0570

Woodland brickworks was owned by Joseph Wallace to 1892, then Arthur Tilney who had retired by 1910. It isn't shown on the 1915 OS map. The photos of 'Cwmtylery' may be the reverse of Wallace and Tilney bricks. Bricks for 'E G Smith Co Abertillery' and 'Weaver Abertillery', if not owners or partners, are likely to have been made here on a contract basis.

Coedcae Tillery No 1 level - SO 2080 0640
No 2 level - SO 2093 0596
No 3 level - SO 2098 0559

Coedcae Tillery Colliery was working from 1856 to 1888. A tramway ran from No 1 level along the hillside to No 3 level where an incline ran down to sidings and coke ovens at SO 2065 0535. The tramway makes a pleasant walk up to the small level to the North, SO 2075 0657, which was shown as 'old' in 1899. The incline and coke ovens have all gone now..

Rosemont Colliery or Clynmawr Colliery - SO 2120 0511

Nothing shown on the 1885 OS map but appears as 'old coal level' from 1899. However if this is on land known as Tyr Valentine then royaslties were being claimed in 1878 and a lease for 9 years from 1928 was granted to the 'Rosemont Colliery Co Ltd. Ray Lawrence says that Clynmawr Colliery was working in 1923-4.

Around Abertillery

The Abertillery Foundry was opened c1874 by John Ward Williams succeeded by his son, Henry. J H Cole took over the Warwills Foundry & Engineering Works In 1927. Bawn Bros were the owners by1992, finally closing the site in 1997. Now it's a Tesco supermarket.

Rose Heyworth Colliery

Rose Heyworth Colliery was opened in 1872 and closed in 1985. It was latterly linked underground to Cwmtillery and Blaenserchan by a drift known as Abertillery New Mine.


Quick links to :-     Trinant     Aberbeeg     Six Bells     Abertillery     Cwmtillery

Cwmtillery Colliery - SO 2170 0590

The winding wheels stand a a memorial to Cwmtillery Colliery and its workforce. Nothing else remains.

Llanerch Padarn level - SO 2164 0652

Ty Nest Llewellyn - SO 2189 0723

Ty Nest Llewellyn was a C16th farmhouse also believed to have been used by a religious group. The ruins of Panteg farmhouse are a little to the East.

Cwmtillery East quarry - SO 2219 0646

Gwrhyd Longhouse - SO 2224 0682

Hendre Gwyndir level - SO 2226 0721

Hendre Gwyndir Farmhouse - SO 2230 0745

Gilfach Green - SO 2200 0788
Watercourse Adit - SO 2175 0682

At Gilfach Green there were around 4 small levels active around 1900 with an odd bridge over the Nant Tillery that probably carried the tramway between levels and to the tips.
The 'Watercouse Adit' is so-called on the Coal Authority maps. It doesn't appear on 1938 OS maps but is marked 'Old coal level' on the 1948 edition.

around Blaentillery Farm - SO 222084

Robens Folly - SO 2244 0811

Dug between Blaenavon and Blaentillery with 'Great Expectations'. It turned out to be completely unproductive and very wet! A true folly.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks for the use of their photos to :- Janet Hughes
'The Coal Workings of Blaenau Gwent' by Ray Lawrence
'' by Graham Bennett

A Guide to the Website

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins