Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Old Coal Pits, Blaenavon

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

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Latitude: 51.7795 / 51°46'46"N

Longitude: -3.0974 / 3°5'50"W

OS Eastings: 324386

OS Northings: 209555

OS Grid: SO243095

Mapcode National: GBR F2.Z2BB

Mapcode Global: VH79C.8JCN

Entry Name: Old Coal Pits, Blaenavon

Scheduled Date: 12 September 2000

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3980

Cadw Legacy ID: MM293

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Air Shaft

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Torfaen (Tor-faen)

Community: Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of two air shafts, probably dating to the 18th century. They are two of the oldest colliery shafts in the Blaenavon Ironworks mineral field. The Old Coal Pits shafts were recorded as existing by 1812 and may date from the 1790s. They worked the Old Coal Seam and by 1829 were connected to the Upper River Row Drift. From 1863 they ventilated the workings of Cinder Pit. In their earlier phase, Old Coal Pits are believed to have been wound by water power, and the now dry reservoir lies to the north west. They were probably driven by waterwheel rather than a water-balance. The shafts are lined in stone within a few feet of the top, above which they are brick, and are understood to be over 70m deep.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge and understanding of the development of the mining industry in Wales. It retains significant archaeological potential, with the strong possibility of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. An air shaft 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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