Fernhill Colliery

Scope and Content

Minutes and Circulars 1947-1979; Colliery Statistics 1966-1977; Wages Books 1938-1974; Training c.1950-1970; Personnel 1921-1979; Accounts1960-1981; Birth Certificates 1871-1934; Maps and Plans c. 1930

Administrative / Biographical History

Fernhill Colliery was sited at Fernhill in the Rhondda Fawr Valley. It was made up a series of 5 pits and levels which produced both steam and house coals. Ebeneezer Lewis sank the first pits at this site in 1869. By 1871, Lewis had sold the Colliery and mineral rights to a partnership, Messrs. Crowley, John and Oldroyd. They continued working the No. 1 and No. 2 pits and completed the sinkings in 1872. In 1877, Fernhill Colliery was sold to George Watkinson and Sons. Watkinson expanded the pit and by 1893 had bought the neighbouring Blaenrhondda Pit at North Dunraven. To mark this expansion, Watkinson formed a limited liability company, Fernhill Collieries Ltd.

In 1910, Fernhill Colliery was absorbed into Lord Rhondda's Cambrian Trust Ltd. Further pits were sunk up to 1920 when the No. 5 was completed. By 1929, the company had become part of the Welsh Associated Collieries Ltd. The latter merged with Powell Duffryn in 1935 to become Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd.

On nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947, Fernhill was placed in the National Coal Board's South Western Division, No. 3 Area, Group No. 4. The NCB continued to work the site and by 1966 had merged this Colliery with Tower Colliery (Hirwaun, Cynon Valley). This resulted in Fernhill's output being diverted to Tower via a underground roadway to improve efficiency. However, by 1978, the Fernhill section of the mine had been closed.

Source: Ray Lawrence, The South Wales Coalfield Directory, Vol. 2 (1998 edn), pp. 216-7

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