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Dyffryn Tanat and Region Development Trust
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Gronwen/Nantycaws pits

The coal mines of this area probably date back to late 1600,s to early 1700,s. The Oswestry coal field rises up to the surface around this area so the locals began digging in their gardens and finding coal. The early mines were dug down into what is called 'Bell pits' There were numerous pits as they dug so far and when they either hit water or there was a danger of collapse, they would abandon it and dig another one nearby.

Very early map of Nantycaws probably 1800, showing the "Rough" area to the bottom left near to Nant Farm.

Source Wendy Clews.

1875 map showing the area known as "The Rough" below Nant Farm with the area known as Cae Pwll at the bottom left.

Source Wendy Clews

1918 Geological survey map showing the pits in the Gronwen area. It is interesting that it does not show the 2 pits of Parker which were situated in "The Rough" area althouth it does state this area is covered in Early Bell Pits and Outcrop Workings.

Source Mike Shaw.

July 1995 aeriel photo of the Bell Pits around Cae Pwll in "The Rough".

Source Wendy Clews.

Sketch of what a bell pit would have looked like.

Source Gordon Hillier.

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