The only part that remains of Hafodyrynys Coal Mine is this unique concrete-built washery slurry tower. Comprising several Gwent collieries linked underground and thereby turning it into a giant drift mine, Hafodyrynys New Mine was to become the centre of one of the National Coal Board's first big investments in South Wales.
Millions of pounds were invested in creating conveyor tunnels to link the workings at Glyntillary, Tirpentwy and Blaenserchan collieries and a new state of the art pit head was built, along with the washery. At least 50 years of reserves were expected from the colliery, but unfortunately geological problems arose after only 10 years, resulting in the end of production during 1966. Costs prohibited maintenance of the link from Blaenserchan, and production was switched to Abertillery in 1977. At which time, Hafodyrynys finally closed.
I visited this site in February 2008, during an Urbex meet-up in South Wales to explore various sites. There were some lovely ponies grazing around the base of the washery, and I recently read that this has been an area of pony breeding for some considerable time and continues to this day. Our host of the weekend broke the ice from their water troughs. The ice was at least two inches thick...at midday on a very sunny day. It was cold!
The windows above once held glass, but no longer there. All the internal workings have been removed...just a few pipe outlets remain...and there is no access inside. Nonetheless, it's an amazing site to visit, and very photogenic with the low sun making the concrete shine.
These and a couple more photos can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.