Industrial Wales - Monmouthshire's Rhymney Valley
The Central Rhymney Valley
From Caerphilly to Bargoed via Llanbradach and Nelson.
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The Industrial History and Archaeology of the Central Rhymney Valley

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Rhos Llantwit Colliery and gasworks - ST 1642 8774 and ST 1634 8773

Lansbury Park Estate has been built over the site of the colliery, which was working from 1863 to 1892 at the end of a short branch of the Caerphilly - Machen line. The colliery branch can be followed as footpaths through the estate. In 2012 the shafts were re-opened for a new concrete cap to be built. Opened beside the colliery, the gasworks functioned until the 1920s. Some decent stone walls remain to show it's positionand on Google Earth you can just make out the gasholder site in the grass.

Penrhos Junction - ST 1360 8600

This is the site of the five line junction, viaduct and Barry Railway flyover at Penrhos. It's a shame they've filled in the viaduct but I was surprised to find the Barry Railway bridge under Blackbrook Road still there. The last time I was at the Barry Railway sidings it was a coal stockpile under police guard and that was 30 years ago.

Blackbrook Colliery and Furnace Blwm Brickworks - ST 1422 8524

There was a small level known as 'Ty Melin Colliery' here in 1875 but by 1898 Furnace Blwm Brickworks had come and gone, being marked 'disused'. In 1920 the site appears cleared but between 1921 and 1935 Blackbrook Colliery has opened and closed, being marked as 'disused' in 1938. The entrance to the level still existed in the early 1970s and may still be amongst the bushes in the garden area. A mystery at this site is whether a tramway ran down to the GWR sidings near Penrhos Junction, I have seen one OS map that shows it and there are faint earthworks. There used to be a rather frail metal bridge taking the lane to Ffwrnes Blwm Farm across the entrance to the small quarry, since filled in.

Thornhill and the Caerphilly Mountain ridge

Cefn On Quarry, Caerphilly - ST 1738 8515

An interesting ramble around Caerphilly Mountain starting off at Cefn On Quarry turned up quite a few new locations to explore

Cefn Carnau, Thornhill - ST 1738 8515

Blaen Nofydd quarry and old limekilns on the ridgeway

Wernddu Colliery and Brickworks - ST 1680 8630

Around and about in Caerphilly

First, some historic photos from the 1960, 70s and 80s

.... and back to today.

Abertridwr and Senghenydd




Llanbradach Colliery - ST 1484 9095

Llanbradach Colliery tips - ST 1385 9135

Other spots around Llanbradach

Coed-y-Brain Quarries - ST 1460 8990

Ystrad Mynach and Maes-y-cwmmer

Ystrad Mynach


Gelli-deg Colliery - ST 1635 1475

Maesycwmmer Brickworks - ST 1614 9474

Maesycwmmer Brickworks seems to have been short-lived, being only shown on the 1916 OS map. By 1938 the site at the end of the tramway from one of the Gellideg Collieries was empty. The works were owned by Edward Harvey, who also used his initials 'EH' on bricks. Bricks marked 'HARV' appear to be a poor impression from Maesycwmmer Brickworks. The name 'Gellydeg' was also used.

Hengoed and Penallta


Penallta Colliery - ST 1400 9580

Nelson and Gelligaer

Gelliargwellt Quarry - ST 1265 9635

A modern quarry and compost recycling site near Gelligaer village.

Pont-y-Saeson Bridge - ST 1300 9510

This bridge spanned both the Rhymney Railway link and the TVER, with separate arches.

Llancaiach Colliery - ST 1125 9630

Llancaiach Colliery possibly dates back to 1810 when it may have been connected to the Llanfabon Tramroad to Abercynon. There are extensive sidings and coke ovens on the 1875 OS map but all had gone by 1900.

Tophill Colliery and tramway - ST 1177 9680

Tophill Colliery possibly dates back to 1810 when it may have been connected to the Llanfabon Tramroad to Abercynon. On the 1875 OS map a long tramway runs to an interchange with the GWR at Llancaiach Isaf. By 1900 an extension had been built to a new Northern level at ST 1160 9730. All had gone by 1920 leaving a new, smaller level near the Northern terminus.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks to :- Richard Paterson and Michael Kilner for information and photos on Maesycwmmer Brickworks.

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins