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Background information on Coal Mining

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Ystrad-dyfodwg, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdommap
Surname/tag: Gingell
Profile manager: Hilary Gadsby private message [send private message]
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Development of Ystradyfodwg

The area would become better known in the mid 19th century a dynamic centre of the coal mining industry, with a large, new industrial population. During the 19th century, the population of the parish increased as follows:


Lower-quality coal from the Upper Coal series was worked in a small way in Trealaw as early as 1807, but the development of the Rhondda steam coal gave rise to the rapid population growth. The development began with the start-up of the Bute Merthyr colliery in Treherbert in 1855. In the Rhondda Fach, the first coal was mined in 1862 at Ferndale. The Taff Vale Railway reached Treherbert in 1856. Collieries then rapidly developed along the valley, with the lower part of the valley developing last because of the deeper pits required to find the steam coal in that area. By the end of the century, mining villages formed an almost continuous urban strip along both valley floors, with coal mining and its ancillary trades virtually the sole industry. The majority of the incomers came from West Wales, particularly Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion and spoke Welsh. Over 70% of the population of the parish was Welsh-speaking in 1891.”[1]

From Slaters 1880 on Genuki

“YSTRADYFODWG is an extensive parish in the hamlet of RHIGOS, Rhondda Valley, which is watered by the river Rhondda, and intersected by the Rhondda Valley line of the Taff Vale Railway Co. The greater portion of this parish is mountainous waste, but rich in mineral wealth, and will, no doubt, at no distant period, become one of the most prolific coal-producing districts in this part of the Principality. The pits and levels, which are now in operation in this vale, are very numerous, and are gradually increasing. The principal owners of the soil and minerals, are the Marquis of Bute and the Countess of Dunraven. The parish contains many villages and hamlets, some of which are growing rapidly into importance, namely :- Treherbert, Treorky, Llwynpia, Pen-y-Graig, Pentre, Ystrad, Pandy &c. There are also other villages or hamlets of the parish, which are given elsewhere. The area of the parish is estimated at 24,000 statute acres. Population of the entire parish in1861, 3,857, but in 1871 it had increased to 17,777 inhabitants.”[2]

List of collieries in the Rhondda Valleys Men employed returns the numbers of workers at each mine at the colliery's peak. This does not reflect the tonnage of coal extracted, just the numbers of men working. Many dates reoccur as these are the years when the Inspector of Mines took official head counts.

See List of collieries in the Rhondda Valleys

This site has photos and info re the mines http://www.welshcoalmines.co.uk/Photo.htm I reckon Llwynpia is the most likely as it actually says it was at Trealw


Thanks to Jutta (Armstrong) Beer who kindly researched this for the WikiTree Challenge Week 20

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