Cwm Colliery & Abernant Tunnel

Opposite the Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Village, accessed by a layby from the A470, lies an unassuming stretch of land popular with local walkers which would have been a hive of activity in the 19th Century.  The now silent branchlines and tramways have become wooded tracks and paths which will introduce you to some significant treasured remnants from Merthyr's Industrial past

The Abernant Tunnel runs under Penylan Hill adjacent to Waunwyllt Farm and was constructed to take the Vale of Neath Railway from Merthyr Tydfil to Abernant Halt (for Aberdare) and Hirwaun Junction.

Travelling 650 feet below the mountain top, regular traffic did not pass through until 1853, and, closing in 1963, the impressive structure is now abandoned.

For those prepared to do a little searching, the remains of Cwm Colliery and associated buildings can also be seen, and are well worth a visit. Once part of the Cyfarthfa Works, it was sunk under the management of Robert Thompson Crawshay in 1845.

This shallow pit worked the steam coal seams, which run close to the surface in this area at the northern edge of the coalfield.

From the Inspector of Mines list 1896, there were 681 men employed underground and 99 on the surface, producing Steam coal.

An explosion of firedamp took place on 14 may 1900 which resulted in serious injuries but no fatalities. The Home Office Report advised that Most of the fuses employed in the mining industry at that time were distinctly dangerous.

By 1908, total of 1,030 worked at this pit.

It closed down in December 1910, but was retained as a watercourse until abandoned in 1924.

Tel: 01685 727474
Last updated: 16.04.2015
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