Historic Landscape Characterisation
Merthyr Tydfil

017 Graig

HLCA 017 Graig Early canal side colliery settlement (Glamorganshire Canal) and coal pit.

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(Photo: GGAT Merthyr 017)

Graig character area: early canal-side settlement.


Another early canal-side settlement dating to the first half of the 19th century, which consists of isolated rows of housing. The surviving remains include examples of rows of 'house-over-house' construction, associated with colliery development. This early housing has now been augmented by modern housing.

Historical background

The historic landscape area of Graig is a mixed settlement comprising a modem estate, Graig Grove, built at the end of the 20th century to the south of Graig Road, just east of the recent A470(T) Road with examples of earlier industrial housing, mostly isolated Rows associated with Graig Pit. The latter includes Pond Row dating to c. 1840, a good, and now rare, example of house over house construction.

Graig Pit, or Pit-y-Witw, was in operation producing coal for the steam coal trade from the mid-1830s leased to Lucy Thomas and her son William; by the 1840s demand for coal from pits such as Graig Pit was already outstripping supply, in 1861 the Graig Coal Company (Abercaniad) raised 24,000 tons of coal.

The area developed from the turn of the 19th century at a crossing point on the Glamorganshire Canal (canal bridge of 1792/94, demolished); by 1832, Graig Cottage had been constructed just west of the canal. At the middle of the 19th century, the settlement, then owned by one Mary Morgan, had been expanded following the opening of the Upper Abercanaid and the Graig coal pits. The settlement included, by this period, two parallel rows, either side of the Glamorganshire Canal, one of which was Pond Row; the Graig Dock of the Glamorganshire Canal located to the south, also indicated were various allotments. Graig Chapel (Welsh Wesleyan) together with its adjoining burial ground had also been constructed by this date (now demolished).

Both Upper Abercanaid and Graig pits were disused by the end of the First World War. By this date the area had a station on the GWR and Rhymney Joint Railway near Graig Cottage, the site has been removed by construction of the modern A470(T) Road (HLCA 081).


For further information please contact the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust at this address. Link to the Countryside Council for Wales website at www.ccw.gov.uk or Cadw at www.cadw.wales.gov.uk