Llanhilleth Miners’ Institute

This building opened in 1906 to provide a range of social, sporting and educational facilities for workers at Llanhilleth Colliery and a venue for community events. It even boasted a swimming pool!

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As part of the deal to settle a dispute at the colliery in 1900, the management agreed to pay 3d per workman for two years – to be matched by contributions from the men themselves – to raise money for the new institute. Erecting the building was estimated in 1904 to cost £7,000. The colliery owners and major local landowner HPD Phillips gifted a field near the railway station for the institute.

The building featured a hall for public meetings. The hall was designed to accommodate 900 people, but 1,200 squeezed in when a free concert marking the institute’s official opening was held in September 1906. Meetings were already being held there by February 1906. The top photo shows the new building in 1906.

The swimming pool was on the ground floor. There were also a gym, a reading room and library, a billiards room with two tables, and rooms for the secretary and committee meetings.

The institute was converted into a social club in the 1960s, shortly before the colliery closed in 1969. Changes included turning the hall into a ballroom and installation of bars and a children’s area. Income towards the building’s running costs also came from bingo games, a health clinic and monthly court sessions.

The middle photo shows the swimming pool in 2007, after it was revealed during the building’s refurbishment. The lowest photo shows Prince Charles arriving in 2008 for the institute’s ceremonial reopening as a social enterprise.

The institute remains a community venue, used by local groups and events – follow the link below for details. 2014 saw the opening in the building of the Llanhilleth Heritage Centre, telling the story of the community through artefacts, photos, documents and digital displays.

The war memorial near the entrance was erected in 1989.

With thanks to Graham Bennett 

Postcode: NP13 2JT View Location Map

Website of Llanhilleth Miners’ Institute

More about the institute on Graham Bennett’s website