Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,470 pages of information and 233,895 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Crumlin Navigation Colliery

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Crumbling Crumlin. Surviving buildings, 2014, as seen from the site of the Crumlin Viaduct

at Crumlin, Ebbw Vale, South Wales

This colliery, together with the neighbouring Crumlin Viaduct, were once potent symbols of South Wales' industrial strength. At least the colliery's engine houses and other buildings have so far escaped destruction.

There were two winding engines, one for the north and one for the south shaft, and a large ventilating fan engine by Walker Brothers of Wigan. These engines were photographed by George Watkins in 1967[1]. Another fan engine had been removed by the time of his visit. Both winding engines were made by Markham and Co of Chesterfield in 1908, but, for some reason, they were of different designs. The North Shaft engine was of modern design, with a trunk frame and drop inlet and Corliss exhaust valves, whereas the South Shaft was of an older design, having Cornish valves and four-bar crossheads. The fan engine was unusual in its large size (500 HP) and in being of the triple expansion type. Corliss valves were used. Flywheel 16 ft. dia., rope-driven fan 24 ft. dia. Fortunately, the fan engine was preserved and could be seen running on steam at Cardiff Industrial Museum. Unfortunately, the museum was closed, apparently reflecting officialdom's attitude to South Wales' industrial history.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 4: Wales, Cheshire & Shropshire', by George Watkins, Landmark Publishing Ltd