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Damon Donaldson
24 April 2012
Britannia Pit and Two unnamed Shafts


Your website is great. I am the head teacher at Britannia Bridge Primary School. I am very keen to know exactly where the Britannia Pit is and the other two unnamed shafts. Would it be possible for you to identify it on a map and/or point me in the right direction?

Many thanks

Damon Donaldson

Britannia Pit - Wigan

Known Shafts Within The Town Centre.

Excavations behind Wigan children’s library by Wigan Archaeological Society unearthed a mine shaft. The shaft was of brick construction approximately 6 feet in diameter and filled with pit waste, bricks and stone.

Chapel Colliery Mine Shaft could be found on the west side of the mainline between the railway and Great George Street. 
Two shafts could be found on Crompton Street under what is now the Bingo building. 

Expanding to take in the remainder of the Parish of Wigan helps to demonstrate the true extent of workings and how much coal there really was and so some extent still is. 

Just a stones throw from Britannia Bridge was Britannia Pit with one shaft and another unnamed Colliery with 2 shafts.


More Information

You could try:-

Wigan Family & Local History Society - Wigan World

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust

Britannia Pit - Pengam Wales

Pengam is a former coal village in the Rhymney Valley, Caerphilly county borough, in Wales. Britannia Pit was on the Aberbargoed Road. If you use Google Earth, coordinates 51 40 09 68N 3 13 16 66W, this should bring you to Britannia Pit, Pengam, now an industrial estate called St Davids, the shafts are concrete capped with locked access covers.

The sinking of Pengam Colliery was begun in the late 1890s by the Rhymney Iron Co. Ltd. to work the Brithdir House coal seam at a depth of 312 yards. By 1908 it was employing 196 men and in 1918 the workforce numbered 518. During the late 1920s it came under the ownership of the Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd., who employed 67 men there in 1938. The workforce numbered 195 in 1945.

At Britannia Colliery there was a tramway that ran due east for about 700 yards, which appears to have terminated at the rear of the gardens on the north side of Pencoed Street/ Avenue. This tramway carried muck up from Britannia if you look on Google Earth you will see a rugby field, starting there and going back west some distance is a reclaimed tip, the wagons were rope hauled up.

On 25 June 1957 the NCB, South Wales Board, approved expenditure of £216,751 at Britannia colliery for the partial centralisation of pumping operations, which would permit the permanent abandonment of Pengam, Gilfach and Bargoed Brithdir pits.

Britannia ceased production in Dec 1983 to prolong the life of the Oakdale complex by 20 years, its reserves being transferred to the North Celynen. For the following six years the shafts were used for ventilation for the neighbouring Oakdale Colliery, which was closed in 1989.

It remained as a training centre after closure, and was used as a pumping station to protect Oakdale, the NUM gave special dispensation during the 1984/85 strike for them to continue working on an underground dam.

Information from

Pit Terminology - Glossary