Near Aberdare, Cynon Valley

A Cwmdare Colliery was working in 1858 when it was owned by David Williams, in 1860 when it was owned by Rhys, Martin and Company and in 1865 when it was owned by Rhys and Company. Accident records show that in 1867 a thirteen-year-old boy was killed while working underground at this pit. It employed 222 men in 1870, when the owners, Rhys and Richards, put it up for sale. It was closed in the trade slump of 1875.

A newspaper reported on the 20th of October 1879:

Three men lost their lives in the Cwmdare Colliery, Aberdare, on Saturday, but the pit has been but little worked for some time. Four men went down to make some repairs when three were overcome by the sudden escape of gas, and the fourth with difficulty managed to get away. The bodies of the three men were subsequently discovered.

The men were George Woods, blacksmith, aged 29 married and three children, James Kempthorne, 28, single, and David Deer, aged 18, an engineman and single. They went down the pit to clear the water pipes of debris, they turned on a valve and gas came out of the pipe.

It re-opened in 1881 and was still listed as being under the ownership of the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company Limited in 1878, when the manager was R. Snape. It produced 25,580 tons of coal in 1889 and abandoned the Seven-Feet seam in July 1891 and had disappeared by 1898.

Some of the fatal accidents at this pit:

  • 16/2/1860 Leyshon Rees, aged 38, collier, fall of the roof
  • 27/2/1860 Edmund Jones, aged 18, door boy, run over by trams
  • 9/3/1860 Isaac Roberts, aged 45, collier, explosion of gas
  • 30/4/1861 David Griffiths, aged 20, collier, fall of the roof
  • 5/6/1863, William Jones, aged 41, collier, fall of the roof
  • 17/1/1864 Henry Davies, aged 30, collier, fall of the roof
  • 22/8/1865 W. Rees, 10, door boy, run over by trams
  • 2/12/1865 William Sheen, aged 8, labourer, suffocated by small coal on the surface
  • 26/5/1867 Richard Davies, aged 13, door boy, run over by trams
  • 6/1/1868 John Morris, aged 33, roadman, run over by trams
  • 18/6/1868 John Jones, aged 23, labourer, run over by trams
  • 18/1/1870 A. West, aged 35, collier, fall of roof
  • 7/11/1870 J. Thomas, aged 60, furnace man, run over by an engine
  • 12/4/1871, J. Hay, aged 10? fall of roof 26/12/1871 Richard Rees, aged 19, haulier, explosion of gas
  • 19/2/1872 David Rees, aged 32, collier, fall of the roof
  • 15/7/1875 E. Wakefield, collier, fall of roof
  • 18/10/1879 David Deer, aged 19, engineman, George Hood, 20, enginewright, James Kempthorne, aged 31, engineman, suffocated by gas.
  • 19/10/1883 E. Williams, aged 16, collier, fell under trams
  • 26/9/1888 John Lewis, aged 26, collier, shotfiring incident
  • 16/9/1890 Francis Reddiford, aged 26, collier, shot-firing incident


Information supplied by Ray Lawrence and used here with his permission.

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