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Latitude: 51.7722 / 51°46'19"N
Longitude: -3.1071 / 3°6'25"W
OS Eastings: 323706
OS Northings: 208744
OS Grid: SO237087
Mapcode National: GBR F1.ZKXB
Mapcode Global: VH79C.3Q7B
Entry Name: Fan and Compressor House
Listing Date: 9 February 1995
Last Amended: 9 February 1995
Source ID: 15289
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Situated on the west side of the site.
Community: Blaenavon (Blaenafon)
Locality: Big Pit Mining Museum
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
The building was designed and constructed between 1909 and 1910 and housed an electrically driven Walker Fan. This fan was used up to 1975 when it was replaced by a pair of auxiliary fans installed in an extension to the main house. By 1980 the mine's ventilation requirements were reduced, resulting in the current ventilation system. 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.
The main building is a single-storey, rectangular, red-brick construction with dressed stone plinth; three bays to the side elevation and three bays to the gable end. There are extensions to the south-east, south-west and north-east and a low structure to the north-west. In the south gable are two identical arched doorways with wooden double doors. A third, taller, central arch is blocked. The slate roof is pitched with tiled ridge and a large square chimney base is in the south-west pitch. The north-east elevation has two semi-circular brick arched windows. The east window has a metal duct protruding from it. A brick extension to its western end has a corrugated iron cat slide roof. The south-west elevation has two windows, one with semi-circular brick arch and the other with a segmental brick arch. There is a brick extension at its west end which has two large iron ducts leading from it. The ground to the north-west is partly built up around a long, low, brick structure with dressed stone base.
In the main building, two compressors remain together with the base of the third. Some areas of floor still have their original tiles. The roof trusses are iron. The telephonist's room in the north-west extension has the remains of the communication system. The fan housing itself was not accessible (Autumn 1993).
Included for group value with other listed items at this exceptionally complete colliery site.
Other nearby listed buildings