Arael Farm Level.
This small scale coal level was situated on the top of the Arael Mountain slightly north of the Arael Farm (as seen circled on the map above).
In 1908 it was listed as being owned by the farmer Mr Edward Nicholas & Son and employed just one man. Mr Edward Nicholas was a farmer from Ynysduu and settled in Abertillery many years previous
The Death of Mr Edward Nicholas.
In 1911 Mr Nicholas sadly passed away at 90 years of age.
Lancaster Coal Co.
Sometime later it was taken over by the Lancaster Coal Company, the reasons behind this is unclear though many mining companies seemed to purchase a farm that was close to their colliery as a secure place to keep their pit ponies, horses, other live-stock and feed etc. (More information below).
In 1918 and 1923 the Arael Farm Coal Level was still owned by Messrs J. Lancaster Co though it didn’t employ anyone and it was not listed after.
The Arael Farm Level was uncovered when the waste tip from the Vivian Colliery and the Six Bells (Arrail Griffin) Colliery at the top of the Arael Mountain was removed and the coal in it recycled along with coal newly removed by opencast mining in a project started in the mid 2000’s.
Notes of Interest – The connection with colliery companies and farms. The South Wales Colliery had a connection with the Ty Arthur Farm in the grounds of the Rose Heyworth Colliery, the farm was also owned by Mr Wallace, Mr Wallace was the nephew of Mr Joseph Wallace the long term manager of the South Wales Colliery Company Collieries.
Later the Lancaster Coal Company who owned Cwmtillery Colliery also leased Gwrhyd Farm that was close by. The farm held a slaughtering licence that was applied for and issued to the Lancaster Coal Co in the early 1900’s for the company’s horses at their collieries at Cwmtillery.
There was a court case in the early 1900’s where someone had stolen a sheep from the Gwrhyd Farm and the magistrates heard the sheep had belonged to Messrs J. Lancaster & Co.