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Clyne Wood colliery

Introduction

Clyne Wood colliery is named on the first edition of the large-scale Ordnance Survey maps as simply ‘Clyne Colliery’.  The site of the shaft is now marked by a deep hole (probably the result of 20th-century clay extraction for the Clyne Valley brickwork).  Uphill from this point a rough stone platform from which five vertical holding-down bolts protrude marks the location of the winding engine; the hollow immediately adjoining it is the site of the boiler.  The abutments of the railway bridge over the Clyne river by which the colliery was connected to the Clyne valley branch can just be made out on the opposite side of the river.

In 1866 a 10-year lease of coal and culm under 60 acres in the northern part of Clyne Wood was granted by the Badminton estate to a consortium of local businessmen led by George Bonnell, the town’s postmaster.  They commenced sinking in 1867.  Coal was struck in January 1868.  Sidings were put in to connect it to the extension to the Clyne Valley tramway.

The members of the consortium then formed themselves into the Clyne Wood Colliery Co which was registered on 23 September 1868.  In June 1869 they made arrangements with Thomas Kneath and John Isaacs to work the coal.  Kneath was a blacksmith who lived at Olchfa; Isaacs was a working coal miner who lived in Killay.

Kneath & Isaacs ceased operations in 1870 and new arrangements were made with Rhys Jones, then working Rhydydefaid colliery, for the coal to be worked through the neighbouring Rhydydefaid pit.  As a result of this, the entire plant and materials at the Clyne Wood pithead were offered for sale in June that year.  It would appear that the sale was unsuccessful and that the pithead equipment remained in situ for it is all shown in detail on the first edition of the 25 inch Ordnance Survey map (surveyed in 1877/8). Philip Richard replaced Jones at Rhydydefaid in 1870; he continued to work Clyne Wood in conjunction with Rhydydefaid.  The coal probably ceased to be worked at the same date as Rhydydefaid itself, i.e. in about 1883.

Clyne Wood colliery (from the 25 inch Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1877)

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