Llanhilleth Collieries – A Brief History

Llanhilleth Collieries – A Brief History

Llanhilleth Collieries.
Mr Reginald James Blewitt.
Located on the eastern side of the valley the Old Pit (as seen circled on the above map of 1880) was originally established in the late 1840’s (as seen in the 1849 article opposite from the Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper) under the ownership of Mr Reginald James Blewitt Esq.

Mr R. J. Blewitt was the owner of the Monmouthshire Merlin Newspaper. In July 1837 Mr Blewitt was elected to the post of the M.P. for the Monmouthshire Boroughs taking over the post vacated by Sir Benjamin Hall.

On the 21st July 1847 Mr R. J. Blewitt had a test and exhibition of a new pump at his colliery in Llanhilleth. The pump, called the Adcock’s Spray Pump, designed and built by Mr Henry Adcock C.E. an engineer from Birmingham. It was designed to pump water from mine tunnels and shafts in the progress of being driven or sunk.

Following is a Link to – Mr Reginald James Blewitt – Story.

Mr Walter Powell.
In 1872 Mr Walter Powell of Messrs Powell Bros family purchased the Llanhilleth Colliery from Mr Reginald James Blewitt.

In the December of 1872 the chimney stack at the Woodfield Colliery, Blackwood, which at the time was the tallest stack that had ever been erected in South Wales was demolished. The Powell brothers purchased the bricks, over 100,000 of them from the stack and also the engine house which was to be utilised at their new colliery at Llanhilleth.

Messrs Henry & Walter Powell.
In the 1870’s Messrs Henry & Walter Powell started sinking another colliery (the new pit) on the site to the depth of 240′ feet with a powerful winding engine on site (maybe from the equipment purchased from the Woodfield Colliery?) though in November 1883 they put the collieries up for sale.

Messrs Partridge Jones & Co.
In 1889 Messrs Partridge Jones & Co announced they were to purchase Llanhilleth Colliery and open four other collieries in the Llanhilleth area.

The New Sinkings at the Colliery.
In 1892 the collieries were sunk.

In July 1905 a strike began at Llanhilleth Collieries and lasted nearly 12 months, the strike finally came to an end in July 1906. In the September the out-put was at full production and the manpower was back at 1,400, at this time Mr Theophilus Jones was the manager and Mr William Tudgay was the under-manager.

In 1906 The Llanhilleth Miners Institute opened. Following is a Link to – Llanhilleth Miners Institute Story.

The Colliery Aerial Ropeway.
In 1913 Partridge Jones & Co erected an aerial flight to take their waste from the colliery at Llanhilleth up over to the mountain top at Trinant.

Partridge, Jones and John Paton Ltd.
In 1920 Messrs Partridge, Jones and John Paton Ltd was set up to acquire and amalgamate the undertakings of Messrs Partridge Jones & Co.

The Collieries Past Owners.
Following is a Link to – The History of the Llanhilleth Collieries Past Owners.

The Pithead Baths.
Llanhilleth Colliery Baths were opened on Friday 30th May 1941. The baths had shower 98 cubicles and 912 lockers. The Llanhilleth Colliery Baths were late in their construction and were first mentioned in an article on the scheme of baths to be constructed in 1939-40.

In 1940 local newspapers advertised for a superintendent at the Llanhilleth Pithead Baths with a wage of £3. 6s. 6d. also with 11s. war-wage. All applicants write to Councillor Mr P. J. Gwillim of 45 Bryn Terrace, Llanhilleth. 

The Llanhilleth Pithead Baths were constructed at Horse Shoe Bend, Llanhilleth. After the colliery closed, the main area was demolished and landscaped, the baths building was left intact and it is thought that it is now a listed building although the building was privately purchased and the listing is a little unclear.

The National Coal Board.
In 1947 the collieries were taken over by the N.C.B.

The Closure of the Llanhilleth Collieries.
The Llanhilleth Collieries closed in about 1969.

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