Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Mining for coal in Victorian times
  Digging for black diamonds on the border

One of the large number of collieries in the district was called the Diamond Colliery. It became very well known because the coal which it produced was of exceptionally high quality, so the name of this mine was very suitable !
The Diamond mine was right on the southern border of Breconshire with the mine buildings and tips inside the county but the entrance to the workings was a few yards over the border into Glamorgan. The River Tawe was also only yards away.

Anthracite coal

The Diamond
next to the
River Tawe, as seen on a map
of 1903

The Ynscedwyn
Ironworks were just across the river.

The mine was opened up in 1874 and the stone coal or anthracite from here was the hardest of all, with a black shiny surface that wouldn't leave a mark on a clean white handkerchief !
When this coal was shaken about in a bag it would rattle like broken china, and when held up to the light it would often reflect all the colours of the rainbow. Diamond coal used to burn very fiercely and left very little ash behind.

The Diamond Colliery, which had started in the Victorian period, was employing over 500 miners by the early 1930's but closed in 1938 because the remaining coal was very difficult to remove.

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