Coal Mining History
Wales was famous for coal mining in the South Wales Valleys. Coal was transported from the valleys by rail to Cardiff and Barry Docks. These docks became major exporters of coal. Northeast Wales also had its own coalfield, Tower Colliery (closed January 2008) near Hirwaun being one of the largest. Welsh coal was regarded as some of the best burning and highest quality coal for power generation, railways and shipping, enabling it to be sold for higher prices. Wales also had a significant history of mining for slate, gold and various metal ores. By 1913 the South Wales coalfield was one of the largest coalfields in the world. In 1947 the industry was nationalized and the National Coal Board was created.
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