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Title: Pembrokeshire : the forgotten coalfield
Author: Connop Price, M. R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2003
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For generations South Wales was synonymous with coal, but for the last 150 years one of the earliest areas worked - Pembrokeshire - has been overshadowed completely by the coal industry in the valleys of Monmouthshire, Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire. This thesis endeavours to recount the long history of coal mining on the Pembrokeshire coalfield, initially by noting the occasional early references prior to 1700. The limited evidence available points to the existence of significant mining activity as early as the thirteenth century. It was not until the Tudor period that the activity clearly became an industry, with expansion continuing into the seventeenth century. From 1700 the thesis follows a thematic approach, with chapters on landlords and leases, mining technology, labour, and health and safety. Pembrokeshire was notable not only for the poetry of the workforce, but the high royalties received by the landlords. Technically the county was usually behind the times, and steam power was not adopted until the nineteenth century. Working conditions were appalling, and the employment of children and women below ground was highlighted by the Children's Employment Commission Report of 1842. Accidents were commonplace, but after the Landshipping disaster of 1844 the frequency of fatalities was moderated as much by the decline of the industry as by the improvements effected by early mines inspectors. Trade unions were never strong, and could not alter the fact that by the twentieth century the few surviving collieries were becoming increasingly uneconomic. The coalfield always relied heavily on shipping to dispatch not only coal, but also culm (the small of coal) which was a distinct product. Additional chapters discuss land transport, shipping, and the complexities of trade in coal and culm. The main colliery of the Saundersfoot district, Bonvilles Court, closed in 1930, whilst the only pit nationalised in 1947, Hook, was soon abandoned. By 1951 mining was at an end.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available