The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
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BLAENAVON ENGINE PIT
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 03321g Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Blaenavon Unitary authority : Torfaen NGR : SO24390899 Site Type (preferred type first) : Post-Medieval Colliery Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : Engine Pit was the first shaft mine in the Blaenavon area, probably sunk around 1806 and certainly before 1812.
Description : Engine Pit was the first shaft mine in the Blaenavon area, probably sunk around 1806 and certainly before 1812. By 1819 it had become significant as the drainage mechanism which permitted the use of water-balance operated coal and iron ore slopes and shafts throughout the area. A single unlined vertical shaft a second offset at the bottom as a drainage sump. This shaft was drained by a waterwheel and pump rods to a beam below the ground, shown on a section of 1824. Later, beam engines were installed both on the surface and at the top of the lower lift, the latter of which is believed to survive below ground. Photographs show the shaft in good condition in 1976. At the surface, there are upstanding retaining walls and foundations, cast iron pump pipes, and cast iron bed plates for an engine on carved sandstone corbels. There is considerable archaeological potential for study of the waterwheel and engine arrangements. An exceptionally large level lies in the bank above the shaft, and Enginepit row formerly lay immediately to the south-east. Of national importance as a historically significant early drainage shaft, with good documentation and high archaeological potential, associated with Blaenavon Ironworks.