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U-Shaped Group including Welding and Fitting Shop, Blacksmiths Shop and Tea Shop

A Grade II Listed Building in Blaenavon, Torfaen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7722 / 51°46'19"N

Longitude: -3.1053 / 3°6'19"W

OS Eastings: 323831

OS Northings: 208742

OS Grid: SO238087

Mapcode National: GBR F2.ZDCW

Mapcode Global: VH79C.4Q6B

Entry Name: U-Shaped Group including Welding and Fitting Shop, Blacksmiths Shop and Tea Shop

Listing Date: 9 February 1995

Last Amended: 9 February 1995

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 15282

Building Class: Commercial

Location: Situated in the centre of the museum site.

County: Torfaen

Community: Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Community: Blaenavon

Locality: Bit Pit Mining Museum

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Blaenavon

History

Built around 1900. Big Pit was operated in connection with Blaenavon Ironworks, then by the National Coal Board from 1947 to 1980. Underground workings date from the early C19 but the shaft on this site was sunk in 1860. The present surface structures date from between c1900 and the 1970's. This piecemeal development was typical of mines in South Wales and it is now the most complete remaining, having been reopened as a museum in 1983.

Exterior

U-shaped group of whitewashed ranges, the outer of which have hipped slate roofs while that between has corrugated iron roof; brick chimney stacks.

The 2-storey brick Welding and Fitting Shop is to the left; this building was later adapted to replace the original workshop (now the Museum Reception). It contained the tools for repairing mining equipment including two forges for sharpening picks. Wide door to ground-floor flanked by windows with metal lintels and single casement window above with timber lintel. Later extension to north-east.

At right angles is the 6-bay rubble Blacksmiths Shop where, before mechanisation, most of the tools and equipment for the colliery were built. There were originally nine forges, of which four are still intact; it was in use until 1974. Front to north-east has two wide doorways with iron lintels and four windows with cambered brick arches. The south-west roof pitch has five brick chimneys.

At right angles, to north-west is the brick range that is now the Tea Shop and was formerly the Stables and Electrical Shop. An electrician's workshop and vulcanising house was needed to maintain electrical equipment, insulation of cables and re-winding of motors. Various doorways, two camber-headed and one square-headed plus two iron-framed windows; all have angled stone sills.

Interior

The Blacksmiths Shop retains four brick hearths and two winches on the south-west wall; also bellows and anvils and wooden king-post trusses. The Electrician's Shop has been converted into a Tea Shop but the Stables retain stalls and cast-iron watering troughs on brick bases; tiled floor and similar trusses.

Reasons for Listing

Included for group value with other listed items at this exceptionally complete colliery site.

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