Cwm Coke Works
Beddau, South Wales
This site began life as a colliery in 1909 when the Great Western Colliery Company started to sink pits to provide steam coals for the Great Western Railway. The extraction of coal, all of which came from only two 690m deep shafts (Called Margaret and Mildred) did not start until 5 years later. In 1928 the Cwm colliery was taken over by the Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd. and continued production under their name until 1947 when the National Coal Board was established to run the the nationalised coal mining industry in Britain. In the 1950’s the colliery underwent a £9 million reconstruction scheme and, due to the high demand for coke the NCB built the coking works adjacent to the Cwm Colliery in the small village of Tynant near Beddau in the Rhondda Valley. By the early 1970’s, the Coke plant employed some 1580 workers and was producing 515,000 tonnes of Coke per year. Four different collieries, including, Cwm provided the coke to feed the plant. Following the disastrous miners strike of the early 1980’s, the Cwm Colliery closed down in 1986 and the land-was reclaimed. An estimated 80 million tonnes of coal seams and reserves, which where never tapped into, remained underground. The cokeworks, however, were privately sold and operated until 2002 when it too was closed down.
Demolition of the central coke ovens began in 2020 and by now only the out-buildings and the central tower remain.