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Dyffryn Tanat and Region Development Trust
Chairman Ken Owen QGM
Consultant David Higman MBE

Penyllan Colliery

This pit was the first pit to be sunk by Edward Croxon & Co in 1833 but were by this time trading as Leach and Croxon. It is thought that Mr Leach , who lived at Llanforda Issa was the son of John Leach, steward of Sir Watkin,s Collieries. The shaft was situated in the field between the lane and the house and the house was formally the machine house of the colliery. Another shaft linking up these workings was sunk on the other side of the valley in the field at the junction of Penyllan and Chain Lane, the old cottage nearby being the Machine house.

1901 map showing the original Penyllan pit (centre right) and the later pit (bottom left corner ) with the engine house on the other side of the road.

18th November 1988 the photographer was working on his tractor on this field unaware that there were coal shafts in this area. After finishing work and returning home, he received a phone call to return to the field where he found this. A mine shaft had collapsed exactly where he had been working. The hole measured 28 feet in diameter and 85 feet deep. At the bottom was 45 feet of water. He states the sides were sheer and had the tractor gone down he would have drowned in the water.
The Penylan mines were dug about 1830's and probably reached 500 feet in depth before being closed due to flooding. It would appear that this pit had probably been part filled and then capped by putting a tree trunk upside down in the hole and then filling with soil. That tree trunk had obviously rotted and gave way.

Source Geoff Ethelston.

The Coal Board were contacted and filled the hole with 980 tons of stone and soil. The last few feet were filled with liquid cement. 4tons of cement each day for 3 days topped with stones as in the photo and then finished with 2 feet of soil.

Source Geoff Ethelston.

Photo of Machine house opposite Penyllan Pits Chain Lane.

Source Ken Owen.
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