Llanhilleth Old Pit Head Baths

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sheep2405

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This is a nice little site that Bishop and myself found about a year ago. The place had been boarded and burnt out many times, I have now recently got some shots of inside but havent had the chance to find them.

We were looking for something else when we stumbled along this litlte gem. We had a good look round thought we had found one way in but it was just a man made tunnel underneath the building and then hitting the underside of the floor. This made us chuckle a little bit. Bishop managed to get inside the first time, and his recce confirmed that it was just burnt out. Since then when i have been in there I have found tags and graff from the local kids and graff form another sect of UE explroers. Still dont understand the point of tags.

Here is a official summery of whats happening now.

Residents of Llanhilleth are celebrating as the old Pit Head Baths on the B4471 known locally as the Horseshoe Bend will be knocked down after Blaenau Gwent Council successfully bought the site for redevelopment under a Compulsory Purchase Order.

But the council is refusing to say who they bought the land from and how much they paid for it.

The news comes after years of protest from residents to get rid of the building on the 8,082 square metre site.

The pit head baths served the former Llanhilleth Colliery.

When the colliery closed in 1969, the baths remained and were used intermittently by other companies for light industry.

But for more than five years, the building has been up for sale and has fallen into a bad state of disrepair.

Under the CPO the council have acquired the site and plans are underway to knock it down and build houses.

Llanhilleth Tenants and Residents Association are delighted with the news.

"This is good news for the area," said committee member Ron Selway.

"Since the pit closed the baths have been used for many different things, none of which have really worked.

"Now its falling down and really looks awful, so we're glad its coming down."

Mr Selway said that he would like to see a lasting memorial to the colliery put on the site.

"There is a memorial to the colliery in amongst the bushes down over the banking opposite the baths," he explained.

"But you can't see it from the road and some people don't even know its there.

"I think the council would be better off putting a roundabout in the site to serve the connecting streets and then place the memorial on top so that everyone will know the history of the site."

The council have been trying to purchase the land since 2004, but the owners were unable to come to agreement with the local authority, so a CPO was pursued.


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you can see if you walk around the right hand side of the building 4 old terraced miners houses that are all boarded up, and since found out that they are in the land package that the baths consist of.

If you walk down the adjacent steps that are next to the baths you will find a memorial of the mine, which is pitiful because it just hidden away from people.

This is a picture of the original mine workings that I got from a Welsh mining website.

LlanhillethCollieryNo1and2Pits6.jpg



Hope you all enjoy.
 

snappel

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I've seen pictures of the insides, but it's absolutely wrecked. I think there's one row of toilets that are intact. A big shame really.

If you're local, how about getting down to Penallta? The headgear and winding house are still good for exploring, although the bathhouse might be a little tricky to get in.
 

sheep2405

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Yeah I got lots of photos of the insides, penalta is good been taking photos of that for a long time, there isnt much left in south Wales that i havent done, just only post items now and then.

These pictures are form 2006 from when Bishop and I had first look at the place. There is a thread on another UE forum which is much more recent with photos of the insides as well.

S
 
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snappel

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Fair enough, just thought I'd say. South Wales doesn't perhaps get the coverage it deserves. Some great coal-related and military places - I've been twice this month!
 

sheep2405

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I know at the moment I have about 60 reports that i need to finish and publish that I have done over the last three years. Hence why the Meet down here now is a four day one.

S
 

sheep2405

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Well if they havent done anything to drastic Ill take you there two weeks tomorrow.
 

Wishmaster

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I know at the moment I have about 60 reports that i need to finish and publish that I have done over the last three years. Hence why the Meet down here now is a four day one.

S

Get them up Sheep, would love to see what you guys have down there in Sunny South Wales :mrgreen:
 

Hayman

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Hi, Have you discovered who designed the pithead baths and when they were built?
A good question. Every building has to have been designed, even the most mundane. As to their age, they were built in 1944, during WWII when coal was an essential strategic resource. Found online from Meg Gurney's Local History of South Wales and Llanhillith Miners' Institute:

START

Welcomed in 1944


But in 1944 this building was welcomed with open arms by the majority of the community. These unassuming buildings, built at pitheads all over the UK, mostly between 1920s and 1950s, improved the health of mining families at a stroke.

Every day women had had back-breaking work, carrying bucket after bucket of cold water from the outside pump, or later the kitchen tap, to boil on an open coal fire, kept alight by carrying bucket after bucket of coal from the cwch [cubby hole, bunker] on the backyard.This coal had already been carried bucket after bucket from the back lane or the road in front of the terraced house into the coal cwch. This heavy work resulted in premature births, and miscarriages ensuring the lifespan of women (around 40 years,) at this time was even shorter than that of their husbands risking life and limb down the pit. These pithead baths also reduced the number fo women and children receiving scalds and burns, whilst the boiling water was transferred from the hob to the tin bath.

Prior to these baths, the men would walk from the Pit at Llanhilleth,Navigation in Crumlin, or even across the mountain from Abersychan, and arrive home dirty, dusty, sometimes wet or in winter, possibly with icicles on their clothes.Washing and drying such clothes without a washing machine was not an easy task.Meals were cooked on the coal fire or in the fireside oven, and all this while children played underfoot.

END

These baths did as much to ease life as any place of worship. But they do not have the same 'historic value' or give off the same vibes.
 

paul.dielemans

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A good question. Every building has to have been designed, even the most mundane. As to their age, they were built in 1944, during WWII when coal was an essential strategic resource. Found online from Meg Gurney's Local History of South Wales and Llanhillith Miners' Institute:

START

Welcomed in 1944


But in 1944 this building was welcomed with open arms by the majority of the community. These unassuming buildings, built at pitheads all over the UK, mostly between 1920s and 1950s, improved the health of mining families at a stroke.

Every day women had had back-breaking work, carrying bucket after bucket of cold water from the outside pump, or later the kitchen tap, to boil on an open coal fire, kept alight by carrying bucket after bucket of coal from the cwch [cubby hole, bunker] on the backyard.This coal had already been carried bucket after bucket from the back lane or the road in front of the terraced house into the coal cwch. This heavy work resulted in premature births, and miscarriages ensuring the lifespan of women (around 40 years,) at this time was even shorter than that of their husbands risking life and limb down the pit. These pithead baths also reduced the number fo women and children receiving scalds and burns, whilst the boiling water was transferred from the hob to the tin bath.

Prior to these baths, the men would walk from the Pit at Llanhilleth,Navigation in Crumlin, or even across the mountain from Abersychan, and arrive home dirty, dusty, sometimes wet or in winter, possibly with icicles on their clothes.Washing and drying such clothes without a washing machine was not an easy task.Meals were cooked on the coal fire or in the fireside oven, and all this while children played underfoot.

END

These baths did as much to ease life as any place of worship. But they do not have the same 'historic value' or give off the same vibes.
Thank you for sharing the useful background info. I know a few were done by architects J.H. Forshaw & C.G. Kemp, with many no longer exisiting. some like the Chatterley Whitfield: pithead baths complex are Grade II listed ( see historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1260223).
Cheers.
 

Hayman

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Thank you for sharing the useful background info. I know a few were done by architects J.H. Forshaw & C.G. Kemp, with many no longer exisiting. some like the Chatterley Whitfield: pithead baths complex are Grade II listed ( see historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1260223).
Cheers.
Thanks, Paul. Architects such as J.H. Forshaw & C.G. Kemp are not seen as being in the same league as, say, the one who designed The Royal Crescent in Bath. Two very different 'baths'. Good to see the ones at Chatterley Whitfield are preserved.
 

paul.dielemans

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Thanks, Paul. Architects such as J.H. Forshaw & C.G. Kemp are not seen as being in the same league as, say, the one who designed The Royal Crescent in Bath. Two very different 'baths'. Good to see the ones at Chatterley Whitfield are preserved.
Hey Hayman, yes I agree. I'm sure John Wood, the Younger, who built the Royal Cresent would have looked askance at all the pit head head baths that were built. However I remain enamoured with inter-war functionalist brick architecture!
Cheers
 
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