Coal Miners-South Wales.

Mining in Wales provided a significant source of income to the economy of Wales throughout the nineteenth century and early to mid twentieth century. It was key to the Industrial Revolution in Wales, and to the whole of Great Britain.

Wales was famous for its coal mining  in the Rhondda Valley the South Wales Valleys and throughout the South Wales coalfield   and by 1913 Barry had become the largest coal exporting port in the world, with Cardiff  as second, as coal was transported down by rail. Northeast Wales also had its own coalfield and Tower Colliery  (closed January 2008) near Hirwaun is regarded by many as the oldest open coal mine and one of the largest in the world. Welsh coal was regarded as some of the best burning an highest quality material for power generation, railroading, shipping, and was sold for higher prices. Wales has also had a significant history of mining for slate, gold and various metal ores, making it one of the most materially rich plains in the world.

There had been small-scale mining in Wales in the pre-Roman British Iron Age but it would be undertaken on an industrial scale under the Romans, who completed their conquest of Wales in AD 78. Substantial quantities of gold, copper, and lead were extracted, along with lesser amounts of zinc and silver. Mining would continue until the process was no longer practical or profitable, at which time the mine would be abandoned. The extensive excavations of the Roman operations at Dolaucothi provide a picture of the high level of Roman technology and the expertise of Roman engineering in the ancient era. Soon after the fall of the Roman empire, mining quickly became unprofitable and most investors and buissnesspeople sold their shares. In the 1600s, around the age of an increased population, slate mining had started, and by the 1750s, the mining industry there had struck almost every type of material imaginable, making it a hub of mining.

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