Crumlin Navigation Colliery, Caerphilly

Project to restore the finest group of coal mining buildings remaining in Wales that have been rated among most endangered in country.

The Colliery was built in 1907-1911 at a time when South Wales was the world’s largest coal-exporter. It still has 11 separately listed buildings as well as other listed surrounding structures – the winding houses, fan house, chimney and power-house are all listed Grade II*. 

The former owner, Pontypool Estates, sold the site to Carmarthenshire Building Preservation Trust (CBPT) in the summer of 2011 for £1. 

We were approached by CBPT and Cadw to advise them on the project, and we are now part of the project steering group. We are also working with Glofa (Friends of the Navigation), a very active local group raising awareness and funds for the project, and with Caerphilly County Borough Council, which is very supportive.

Our ideal goal is to adapt these buildings for a range of new uses to benefit the local community. However, two big issues must be addressed to make this possible. First there is the pollution rising from the former mineshaft and secondly there is a collapsing culvert beneath the main access road. 

Caerphilly Council has successfully secured some funding from the Welsh government’s Tranquil, Greener and Cleaner Places grant scheme to pay for urgent works and to develop a strategy to stop further deterioration at the site. The next step will be to complete an options appraisal examining various potential uses for the site and taking into account the current issues.

In 2014, the Victorian Society listed the Colliery as among the top 10 most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales in its annual survey.

In 2015, PRT appointed engineering and contracting specialists Hydrock to carry out the first phase of work to kick-start the regeneration of the historic Colliery. Hydrock are investigating and tackling flooding and pollution risks and are securing the site by repairing a large pipe beneath the main access road which is on the brink of collapsing. The urgent works, which are due to be completed by the end of August, have been funded by a £250,000 grant from the Welsh Government.