Llanbradach miners’ memorial

Llanbradach miners’ memorial

This memorial was erected in 1996 to commemorate the men and boys – estimated to total 160 to 170 – who died at Llanbradach colliery. The path alongside the memorial leads up from the main road to the site of the colliery, which was landscaped after demolition and clearance.

The first shaft at Llanbradach was dug in 1893 by Cardiff Collieries Ltd. By the outbreak of the First World War, Llanbradach was one of the largest collieries in the South Wales coalfield. The colliery was nationalised in 1947, passing into the ownership of the National Coal Board. It closed in 1961.

In 1901 eight men died in an underground explosion at Llanbradach, but otherwise the death toll at the colliery was not caused by major accidents like the one at nearby Senghenydd in 1913 (which killed 439 miners and a rescuer). Workers at Llanbradach suffered the kinds of fatal injuries which were common in colleries at the time, although in the 1950s the NCB had some concerns about the mine’s safety record.

Common causes of death were rock falls, collapsing sections of the underground roof and breakaway trams. Many died in one-off accidents such as falling into the mine shaft or scalding by boiler water. Several accidents were caused by pit ponies, including one which was frightened by a rope and fled into an engine house, putting the engine into motion.

One of the last casualties was James Mitchell, aged 62, who was killed the day before he was due to retire.

To read details of men and boys who died, choose a category below. Where you read that a “fall” was the cause of death, this means a fall of rock underground. A “tram” (or “dram”) is a basic railway wagon used to carry coal and spoil.

A full account of the 1901 explosion is in Dennis Sellwood’s book Llanbradach 1887-1914.

With thanks to Dennis Sellwood of Caerphilly Local History Society

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: CF83 3NT

Llanbradach colliery deaths 1888-1903
Llanbradach colliery deaths 1904-1913
Llanbradach colliery deaths 1914-1923
Llanbradach colliery deaths 1924-1933
Llanbradach colliery deaths 1934 and later