Powys Digital History Project 

Upper Swansea Valley
Coelbren School


Serving the coal-mining community
In 1894 a school opened at Coelbren in the Upper Swansea Valley to meet the needs of a growing local population of miners in the developing coal pits. Situated in an arc of the Neath and Brecon Railway, the community had for most of the 19th century consisted of a scatter of farms, smallholdings and cottages. The first edition Ordnance Survey map below shows the area around 1890.

The working people of the area sought employment in the local quarries, coalpits and farms and at the tinworks at Abercrave and Ystradgynlais. Some probably also worked on the large estate at nearby Craig-y-Nos.

around 1890

From the
1st Edition
Ordnance Survey
6" Map

County Archives

Coelbren in 1890
  At the end of the century coal mines were opened locally and houses built for the new workforce.
  There are 10 pages on Coelbren School. Use the box links below to view the other pages.