How to find us!
Crynant lies six miles to the north of the town of Neath in West Glamorgan. The road travels straight along the old canal bed towards Aberdulais where the road forks. To the right you follow the Vale of Neath and to the left you come into the Dulais Valley, the first village you come to is Crynant.
There is no mistaking it is a South Wales village founded on coal, but unlike the communities of the Rhondda, the beuty of its surrounding hills has been hardly tarnished. In fact, the greatest despoliation has been by the Forestry Commission whose uniform plantation of conifers have to a great extent obliterated the variegated hues of pasture, bracken and indigenous tress that were once there. The hills are not too steep and as high as many mining villages, nor is the valley bottom packed with rows of terraced houses. The village was an ideal compromise between industry and nature. You would never have to ask, "How green was my valley?“; it always was green; its pits and slagheaps never encroaching on the landscape to such a degree to dominate it.
Crynant once had three collieries in operation. First there was Crynant Colliery, better known as Mountain Colliery, since it was a drift mine driven into the side of Hir Fynydd (long mountain), the mountain which divides the Dulais valley from the Vale of Neath. Then there was the old Blaenant in the centre of the village. Which was called Gwaith Jebb (Jebb's Colliery) after the man who started it.
Like the true Cockney who can only be born in the sound of Bow Bells, a true son of Crynant was said to be born within the sound of the pumping engine of old Blaenant. It would thump away continuously, night and day, and everyone was used to it. If it had stopped suddenly in the middle of the night, everyone would have been woken up by the deafening silence.
The other colliery in the village was Cefn Coed, opened in 1930 it was, at that time, the deepest mine shaft in the world. It was know as "The Slaughterhouse" because so many men were killed there in mining accidents but, the opening brought a boost to the village in the depressed 30's and as a consequence of it's operation a new estate was built to house the newcomers to the village who came to work in the mine. It comprised of The Crescent, Mary Street and Lewis Road, but all three were popularly known as The Crescent. The residents had to wait 15 years before a proper road surface was laid down - we used to be a patient nation.
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