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Penallta Colliery Workshops

A Grade II Listed Building in Gelligaer, Caerphilly

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6543 / 51°39'15"N

Longitude: -3.2459 / 3°14'45"W

OS Eastings: 313908

OS Northings: 195790

OS Grid: ST139957

Mapcode National: GBR HV.6VNL

Mapcode Global: VH6DD.PPD5

Entry Name: Penallta Colliery Workshops

Listing Date: 5 November 1991

Last Amended: 18 July 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13581

Building Class: Industrial

Location: Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The Workshops are at centre of the colliery complex, west of the Engine Hall.

County: Caerphilly

Town: Ystrad Mynach

Community: Gelligaer

Community: Gelligaer

Locality: Penalltau

Built-Up Area: Ystrad Mynach

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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History

Penallta Colliery was built between 1905 and 1909, at the height of the South Wales coal trade. It was established by the Powell Dyffryn Steam Coal Company, the region’s largest mining company, on the most modern principles as the ‘super-pit’ of its day. The surface buildings were laid out in matching architectural style in a spacious, artificially levelled area, on a rectilinear plan giving the ideal spatial arrangement of activities. The design of the enormous engine hall in particular was an important innovation copied at many later collieries. The colliery became one of the largest in Wales with 3,200 miners and a high output of top-quality steam coal. By 1935, Penallta held the European record for coal produced in a single week.

The Workshops building was built between 1905 and 1909 to house the smiths’ shop, electrical shop, fitting shop, carpenters’ shop and rope stores all under one roof. Partitions were provided between these working areas, and a single travelling crane above could serve all of them. This was an efficient arrangement which reduced building costs, maximised flexibility and saved space, and was followed at most later collieries.

Exterior

Colliery workshop block, designed to match the others of the main colliery complex in style. A long 2-storeyed gabled structure on a N/S axis, some 90m long by 16m wide, built of Pennant sandstone with red brick dressings which comprise pilasters separating pairs of windows, end piers, stepped parapets, plinth and dentilled window and door surrounds incorporating keystones. Roof is of steel construction formerly with slates on the upper slope and glass below, now re-covered with corrugated material; the central ridge acted as a raised ventilator and rooflight. E side of 18 bays has tall segmental-arched windows formerly with multi-pane metal frames now blocked. Two large doorways and 3 small led into the different sections of the building, some formerly with smaller windows above them. Gable ends have a 3-window range and double-pitch gables rising to the raised ridge. Series of small chimneys, including at W end for the smiths’ shop. Low extension with corrugated roof of uneven pitch attached at left (S) end.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its importance as an impressive example of a combined colliery workshops. Group value with other listed items within this exceptionally fine colliery complex.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Penallta Colliery Old Stores
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The Old Stores are to the west of the main workshops.
  • II Penallta Colliery Electricity Building
    Situated between the Baths building and the Lamp room, close to the rear of the latter and set slightly higher in the slope.
  • II* Penallta Colliery No.1 Headframe
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The western of the two headframes, at the centre of the complex.
  • II Penallta Colliery Lamp Room
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The Lamproom is immediately to the south of the Workshops.
  • II Penallta Colliery Pit-top Offices
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The Pit Top Offices are to the east of the baths building.
  • II* Penallta Colliery Baths Building
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The Baths Building faces Penalltau Road, on the west of the complex.
  • II* Penallta Colliery Engine Hall and Fan House
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The Engine Hall is at the north side of the colliery complex.
  • II* Penallta Colliery No.2 Headframe
    Situated between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, on the east side of Penalltau Road. The eastern of the two headframes, at the east of the complex.

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