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Cwm Coke Works Southern Cooling Tower

A Grade II* Listed Building in Beddau, Rhondda Cynon Taff

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Latitude: 51.566 / 51°33'57"N

Longitude: -3.3491 / 3°20'56"W

OS Eastings: 306584

OS Northings: 186095

OS Grid: ST065860

Mapcode National: GBR HQ.DD9S

Mapcode Global: VH6DQ.WWTX

Plus Code: 9C3RHM82+99

Entry Name: Cwm Coke Works Southern Cooling Tower

Listing Date: 24 November 1993

Last Amended: 18 July 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13538

Building Class: Industrial

Location: One of a pair of wooden cooling towers located opposite the offices in the centre of Cwm Coke Works. Immediately to the S of and aligned with the larger northern tower.

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Town: Pontypridd

Community: Llantwit Fardre (Llanilltud Faerdref)

Community: Llantwit Fardre

Locality: Tynant

Built-Up Area: Beddau

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Tagged with: Cooling tower

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Cwm Coke Works was established in 1957 by the National Coal Board to produce coke from coal mined at Cwm Colliery. The coke was used in iron foundries, metal smelting furnaces, sugar beet refineries, brickworks, and heating boilers. Coke works were once commonplace, and were frequently attached to collieries or steelworks, but few are now operational in Britain. Cooling towers were often found at coke works as well as at power stations, chemical works, and other sites where water cooling was necessary, from the late nineteenth century. The earliest were made of timber, but these were gradually replaced with parabolic concrete structures from the 1920s. Very few wooden cooling towers now survive anywhere, although they were once common features of industrial areas throughout the world.

The towers at Cwm Coke Works are unusual in having been built at so late a date, but they follow traditional construction methods going back to the end of the C19.


The south tower is square in plan, approx 6 x 6m and tapers slightly to a flat open top about 15m high. The timber planks which make up the walls are placed vertically and supported on horizontal and diagonal members which are in turn fixed to an exterior frame of vertical posts, also of wood. The base consists of spaced slats to permit ventilation into the tower which causes the steam to condense.

Reasons for Listing

Listed II* as one of an exceptionally rare pair of surviving towers illustrating this important historic technology.

External Links

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