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Winding Engine

The Winding House is built on the former site of the Elliot Colliery. The museum’s centre-piece is the original Victorian winding engine, which dates from 1891. This remarkable machinery was used to operate the cages which transported men and coal between the surface and the mine below.

We preserve the winding engine in-situ in the original winding house, which is accessible through the main museum atrium. This enormous piece of machinery gives you an insight into what it was like to work in the South Wales coalfield, right down to the engine oil and coal dust. Exploration of the winding room will take you on a deep-dive into the history of the Elliot Colliery and the importance it held in the local community.

A History of Elliot Colliery

The coal boom of the 19th century hit the Rhymney Valley just as it did the rest of the South Wales Valleys, and within just a few years it had transformed the quiet hamlet of White Rose into the busy mining town of New Tredegar. The town was named after Lord Tredegar, who owned the land upon which it stood.

One of the first of the modern “super pits” to be sunk in the Rhymney Valley was Elliot Colliery. The mine was owned by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company Ltd.  and was named after George Elliot, one of the men who founded Powell Duffryn.

Elliot Colliery had 2 shafts. The West shaft was approximately 402m deep (1320 feet) and work began to sunk the shaft in 1883, taking 23 months. The East shaft was approximately 484m deep(1590 feet ) and its sinking began in 1888, taking 15 months . By 1891, the new winding engine at the East Shaft had begun raising coal.

During its peak, prior to the First World War, Elliot Colliery produced over a million tons of coal per year and employed around 2 800 people. Many experts at the time, described its coal as being of the best quality.

Elliot Colliery’s surface plant and buildings included lamp rooms, explosive stores, workshops, the washery, railway sidings and in later years, a canteen and baths. Below this was a complex network of tunnels and roadways leading to and from the coalface.

The colliery closed in 1967. Its buildings were demolished and machinery sold or scrapped.

Fortunately the East Winding House and its Thornewill and Warham steam engine survived. The Grade II* listed winding house and Victorian winding engine form the centre-piece to the Winding House museum.

Our dedicated and enthusiastic Engine Volunteers maintain and run the engine for members of the public on specific days throughout the year. The engine runs at 12pm for 10-15 minutes.

2023 schedule:

Saturday 25 February

Saturday 25 March

Saturday 29 April

Saturday 27 May

Saturday 24 June

Saturday 29 July

Saturday 26 August

Saturday 30 September

Saturday 28 October

Saturday 25 November

Historic images of the Winding Engine and Elliott Colliery

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