Kenfig Hill, Near Bridgend (SS 8385 8368)

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The first coal mining at this site appears to have been carried out by a Mr. O’Neil in 1834 when he sunk a mine to supply the local blast furnaces. An advert in Freeman’s Journal of the 9th of October 1843 announced that this mine was in full operation and produced steam and house coal. Messrs. Ford and Company were the owners. This mine was expanded or a new one opened in 1851 by George Ford and Sons and was still worked by this company to at least 1865.

On the 18th November 1852, Thomas Jenkins, aged 35, David James, aged 25, Henry Jones, aged 16 and David Edmonds aged 12, entered their workplace before it had been examined for gas. They were using candles for lighting which exploded the gas in the stall killing all of them. A similar accident occurred in December 1853, when, after ignoring orders not to go into an area known to be gassy, John Williams, aged 41, did so, and his naked lamp ignited the gas killing him and Rees Williams his son, aged 11 years, W. John aged 27, W. Rees aged 37. Later on the 27th of May 1858 an explosion in the West Nine-Feet heading at approximately 5pm killed eleven men at Bryndu Colliery; this was again caused by a naked light.

It was worked from 1870 by the Bryndu Coal and Coke Company to feed their Cefn Iron Works. In the 1880s its ventilation was by a 19 feet diameter Waddle type fan.

The Western Mail of the 16th of May 1891, reported that the ‘Scotch’ firm that owns the Glyn Pits near Pontypool have bought Bryndu. They added that currently the workings were to the east, but the new company intended sinking two new shafts to work the west side. They further added that Bryndu was famous for its splendid house coal.

The Brynddu Coal and Coke Company Limited were established in September 1892 with a capital of £180,000 in 2,000 6% preference shares and 2,000 ordinary shares of £10 each. It was formed to take over from James Wood, William Wood, William Frazer, George Anderson and James McKillop.

Brynddu was managed in 1878 by Gwilym David, and in 1896 by W.H. Plummer who employed 269 men underground and 109 men on the surface.

This colliery extensively worked the Gellideg seam at a thickness of 78”, the Lower-Seven-Feet seam was called the Slatog Fawr and had a section of coal, 24 to 30 inches, clod 8 inches, coal 12 to 15 inches. It also worked the Red Vein as the Caerau Vein.

The Brynddu Slip Drift was driven into the Upper-Nine-Feet seam which was highly disturbed in this area and could thicken up to 14 feet of coal. It was abandoned on the 31st of January 1912. This was also the name of an opencast site that was worked in 1961 by Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co Ltd.

The colliery closed in 1913 after several years of losses which had accumulated to £90,000. The Colliery Guardian reported that the owner, Miss Talbot of Margam, was loathe to close it and throw many men out of work.

Some of the others who died at this mine;

  • 27/10/1857, Richard Jones, aged 24, roof fall.
  • 3/7/1860, David Evans, aged 12, filler, run over by trams.
  • 1/12/1862, Rees Jenkins, aged 18, collier, roof fall.
  • 2/5/1864, Thomas Lewis, aged 16, collier, roof fall.
  • 8/5/1868, T. Rogers, aged 14, haulier, run over by trams.
  • 14/11/1868, Llewellyn Llandriggen, aged 15, haulier, run over by trams.
  • 21/2/1874, John Harries, aged 36, labourer, an explosion of gas,
  • 6/9/1875, J. Williams, aged 16, haulier, run over by trams.
  • 1/11/1877, David Phillips, aged 60, collier, roof fall.
  • 7/7/1887, James W. Atkins, aged 52, engine driver, an explosion in the boiler.
  • 19/2/1893, George Flew, aged 30, labourer, crushed by trucks.
  • 28/9/1893, Jenkin Rees, aged 35, repairer, haulage rope.


This information has been provided by Ray Lawrence, from books he has written, which contain much more information, including many photographs, maps and plans. Please contact him at for availability.

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