Trefonen – a green environment tinged with black
In the 1700s and 1800s Trefonen’s traditional agricultural pursuits were complemented by coal mining and brick making.
First bell pits, and then more developed shaft and tunnel workings, were used to extract rather poor quality coal from thin seams. The clay dug out as a by-product was used locally in the making of bricks and pottery items.
Climb up on to the former spoil heap where you will see two sculptures which show miners at work. Behind them a fascinating fence surrounds an old mine shaft head. If you look at the fields around, you will see many lumps and bumps that show the waste from all those underground workings.
Two miles to the south, on the Shropshire Way between Gronwen and Sweeney Fen, there are obvious cuttings and embankments that were first used for the tramways and then the light railway that transported coal from the south Oswestry coalfields to the lime kilns near Llynclys and Llanymynech quarries. The main interpretation panel on the Field gives an artist's impression of Trefonen in 1880. The Old Trefonen Colliery was coming to the end of its working life and the New Trefonen Colliery was sinking its first shaft. In 1891 the New Trefonen Colliery closed, bringing to an end two centuries of activity in the Oswestry Coalfield which included pits at Coed y Go, Sweeney and Llwnymapsis near Morda