Lewis Merthyr Colliery
Industrial Wales - South and Mid Glamorgan
The Rhondda Valleys
From Pontypridd to Blaenrhondda and Maerdy
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The industrial history and archaeology of South and Mid-Glamorgan

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Pontypridd to Porth

Quick links to :-     Pontypridd to Porth     Porth to Treherbert     Blaenrhondda     Tylorstown to Maerdy

'The Doctors Tramroad'

Dr Richard Griffiths built his tramroad in 1809 linking the collieries at Trehafod with Treforest Ironworks. Later he linked the Treforest terminus of the tramroad to the Glamorganshire Canal with his own short canal. On Wednesdays, coal was replaced by seats in the drams and the ladies would be taken to Newbridge (Pontypridd) market.

Trehafod - ST 0430 9100

Hafod Colliery, Trehafod - ST 0404 9128

Hafod No 1 level was a furnace ventilation level opened in c1911. Hafod Pit was part of the Lewis Merthyr Colliery complex.

Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod - ST 0400 9110

Now the home of the Rhondda Heritage Park, Lewis Merthyr Colliery was originally sunk in 1850 as 'Hafod Colliery'. It lay abandoned until 1872 when a new owner, Thomas Jones, re-started it. He re-named it 'Jones Navigation' in 1877. In 1881 a number of collieries amalgamated, soon to become the 'Lewis Merthyr Consolidated Collieries Ltd' and it reverted back to the name 'Hafod'. It closed in 1983 and was transformed into the Rhondda Heritage Park.

Porth to Treherbert

Quick links to :-     Pontypridd to Porth     Porth to Treherbert     Blaenrhondda     Tylorstown to Maerdy

Upper Penrhiwfer Colliery, near Tonyrefail - SS 9972 8968

Penrhiwfer Colliery and Bruce Terrace are now on the Ely Valley page as they were linked to the Ely Valley, rather than the Rhondda.
Here's the link :- Upper Penrhiwfer Colliery

Williamstown, near Penygraig - ST 0018 9074

The Rhondda Tramway Co opened the extension to Williamstown on 30 March 1912. This photo was taken looking at Railway View, Williamsrown, just short of the terminus, from the other side of the railway line. It appears to show a tram crossing a temporary bridge while the main road bridge was being rebuilt, widened or strengthened. There don't appear to be any traction poles and there's a vehicle in front of the tram, possibly a tower wagon. Perhaps this is a test of the track with the tram being towed.

Llwynypia, Trealaw and Porth.

Taken in passing from the Pontypridd to Treherbert train


Quick links to :-     Pontypridd to Porth     Porth to Treherbert     Blaenrhondda     Tylorstown to Maerdy

Penpych Woodland Park - SS 9242 9910

If you've got a free day, go to Penpych Woodland Park and spend some time exploring this area. The sites of Dunraven Colliery (or Tydraw Colliery), Glenrhondda Colliery, Fernhill Colliery and the mouth of the Rhondda Tunnel have been 'landscaped' but the inclines and old levels on the hillsides deserve a lot more exploration than I had time for.

At the very head of the Rhondda are a collection of old dams, pipelines and lower down the RUDC pipeline tunnel from Llyn Fawr Reservoir, which was opened in 1909 and is still in use. There's a tramway around the back of the RUDC tunnel to the waterfall and there looks like an interesting iron tank there. I only saw it on the photos after the walk! Lower down again there's more to see of the pipeline aqueduct and tunnel, odd ruins and ironmongery and a now uncovered tunnel on the tramways to Tyn-y-waun Colliery, Cwar Du and Cwar Hendy quarries.

Around Blaencwm - SS 9242 9910

Either side of the Penpych car park.

Coldra Road

Coldra Road leads up the Eastern side of the valley to the RUDC pipeline tunnel

Fernhill Colliery

Fernhill Colliery was sunk c1870 growing steadly until c1925 when it had five shafts and a number of levels. Three shafts closed in 1966 when the colliery was linked with Tower. It closed in 1978 and the site was landscaped.

RUDC pipeline tunnel - SN 9246 0156

The tunnel held the pipeline that connected the reservoir at Llyn Fawr, near Rhigos, with the Rhondda Valley. At one time it was served by a 2ft gauge railway.

Tramways and Levels - SN 9226 0152

A tramway went around the first waterfall beyond the RUDC tunnel to reach old levels. Alongside it an old boiler served as a water tank.

Blaenrhondda dams - SN 9186 0166

Tylorstown to Maerdy

Quick links to :-     Pontypridd to Porth     Porth to Treherbert     Blaenrhondda     Tylorstown to Maerdy

Tylorstown - ST 0195 9560

Lluest-wen Reservoir - SN 9507 0155

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading

Further information :- Early photos of the RUDC pipeline tunnel at Blaenrhondda are available on the R.C.T. Library Archive website

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All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins