Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Engine Pit, Blaenavon

A Scheduled Monument in Blaenavon (Blaenafon), Torfaen (Tor-faen)

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Latitude: 51.7747 / 51°46'28"N

Longitude: -3.0972 / 3°5'49"W

OS Eastings: 324396

OS Northings: 209013

OS Grid: SO243090

Mapcode National: GBR F2.ZGBZ

Mapcode Global: VH79C.8NHD

Entry Name: Engine Pit, Blaenavon

Scheduled Date: 21 August 2000

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3969

Cadw Legacy ID: MM277

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Coal Mine

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Torfaen (Tor-faen)

Community: Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Built-Up Area: Blaenavon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of a coal mine, dating to the 19th century. Engine Pit was the first shaft mine in the Blaenavon area, probably sunk around 1806. By 1819 it had become the drainage mechanism enabling the use of water-balance operated coal and iron ore slopes and shafts throughout the area. The unlined vertical shaft had a second shaft offset at the bottom as a drainage sump, drained by a waterwheel and pump roads to a beam below ground. Later, beam engines were installed on the surface and at the top of the lower lift. The surface remains include the cast iron bed plates for a beam engine set on carved sandstone corbels, a cast iron pump pipe, foundations of other structures and retaining walls.

An exceptionally large level lies in the bank above the shaft, and Engine Pit Row formerly lay immediately to the south-east.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge and understanding of the development of the coalmining industry in Wales. It retains significant archaeological potential, with the strong possibility of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. A coal mine may be part of a larger cluster of industrial monuments and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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