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Grove Colliery Cornish Beam Engine House

A Grade II Listed Building in Narberth, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.7317 / 51°43'54"N

Longitude: -4.6962 / 4°41'46"W

OS Eastings: 213909

OS Northings: 207110

OS Grid: SN139071

Mapcode National: GBR GF.457W

Mapcode Global: VH2PD.KQ5T

Plus Code: 9C3QP8J3+MG

Entry Name: Grove Colliery Cornish Beam Engine House

Listing Date: 18 March 1997

Last Amended: 18 March 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18276

Building Class: Industrial

Location: 100 m SW of Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The engine house is at the centre of a group of ruined colliery buildings, close to a quarry face at its rear.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Kilgetty

Community: Kilgetty/Begelly (Cilgeti/Begeli)

Community: Kilgetty/Begelly

Locality: Grove Colliery

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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In 1845, in anticipation of establishing iron furnaces at Kilgetty, the Pembrokeshire Iron and Coal Company started to consider sinking a new pit at Grove. The decision was taken in 1852 and the new pit opened in 1856. By this time the Ironworks was in production. The pit was linked underground to the workings of the older Kilgetty Colliery, which it drained. It had a tramway link directly to the Ironworks and was also connected to the Saundersfoot Railway.

The shaft was of large diameter, described in 1859 as the largest in Wales. Its main purpose was to reach the Kilgetty Vein, found at 105 fathoms (189 m), but the vein proved to be very disappointing. Regular exploitation of the colliery outlived the Ironworks, and ceased in 1884. Thereafter the shaft was maintained for pumping and ventilation. By 1900 it was proposed to remove all machinery from Grove to Kilgetty Colliery, which was presumably done. It is reported that there remains a fully equipped stable at the foot of the shaft.

At that time the machinery consisted of an engine of 274 h.p., with a cylinder of 80" (2 m) and 10ft (3 m) stroke in-house and a stroke of 8ft (2.45 m) in-pit.

The shaft has been capped in concrete and the engine house now remains with a few other ruined buildings. The enterprise was described by M R C Price, the local historian, as "an imaginative and expensive venture that went badly wrong", but its engine house is a magnificent ruin.


A very large beam engine house of Cornish type, about 7 m by 10 m in plan. It faces N to the position of its pit, now capped. It is now roofless but the building is complete to its full height. Walls faced in squared limestone externally in irregular courses, but with a backing of local sandstone. The exception is the bob-wall, about 1.65 m in thickness, entirely in limestone. Above beam bearing level the masonry changes to larger courses.

There is a tall arched aperture to the front and a lower but wider archway to the rear. The arches are plain and of circular form. Smaller brick-arched openings in the side walls. Apertures internally for girders in the N and S walls. High-level window apertures at sides and rear, arched with backing lintels, and splayed sides.

Internally the building has been plastered, but some finished stonework internally indicates that it was originally fair-faced masonry.

Scheduled Ancient Monument Pe 418.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a very fine colliery engine house of the Cornish type and for group value with the listed buildings of the Kilgetty Ironworks.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Tramway Incline Structure above Kilgetty Ironworks Furnace bank
    On high ground, to the rear of Kilgetty Ironworks and its limekilns, on the W side of Pleasant Valley.
  • II Walls and Kilns above Furnace Bank
    On high ground to the rear of Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley.
  • II Furnace Bank Revetment Wall
    Kilgetty Ironworks is at the W side of Pleasant Valley. The furnace bank is a high retaining structure about 20 m W of the Ironworks casting shed.
  • II Casting House
    In Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The casting shed is the most prominent surviving building in the group.
  • II Double Engine House
    In Kilgetty Ironworks, on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The Engine House stands a short distance to the N of the Casting Shed.
  • II Workshops
    Part of Kilgetty Ironworks on the W side of Pleasant Valley. The workshops are at the N of the site, beside the footpath to Stepaside.
  • II Saundersfoot Railway Bridge
    Located on Ford Lake, which is now the Community boundary. The bridge is partly in the Community of Saundersfoot and partly in the Community of Amroth.
  • II Tramway Bridge
    Over Ford's Lake in the village of Stepside, to the SE of Brook Cottages. Ford's Lake is the Community boundary between Amroth and Kilgetty/Begelly.

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