Aberbargoed (Welsh: Aberbargod) is a town in the Welsh county borough of Caerphilly.
It is believed to have once contained the largest ever man made colliery waste tip in Europe although this has now been reclaimed and turned into a country park.
Where the Bargoed River (known now as the Deri River) joins the Rhymney River that flows down the Rhymney valley, a small hamlet named Pont Aberbargoed was formed. In 1851 the census recorded the population of this hamlet to be 351. The hamlet straddled the Rhymney River and therefore was both in Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire. In this small hamlet were five inns, the Quarry Arms, the Smiths Arms, the Travellers Rest, the Greyhound and the Old Mill Inn. In modern times only the Travellers Rest (now a residential house) and the Old Mill Inn (now a pub called the Goldmine) are still there. During this time, Pont Aberbargoed was mainly a collection of farms, namely
- Gilfach Fargoed Fawr
- Gilfach Fargoed Fach
- Gwerthonor Ganol
- Gwerthonor Isha
- Pen Cae Drain
- Heolddu Isaf
- Cwrt Coch (site of modern-day Aberbargoed)
- Ty Llwyd
- Ty'r Graig
Gilfach Fargoed Fawr farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings still in the area.
In 1858 a railway station was built in Pont Aberbargoed. The signwriters at the time decided that this name was too cumbersome and so named the station "Bargoed". This was the death knell of Pont Aberbargoed and the start of two areas, Bargoed and Aberbargoed. Bargoed now stood on the Glamorganshire side of the river and Aberbargoed on the Monmouthshire side of the river.
Operations in Bargoed Colliery started in 1897 when the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company started to sink the shaft. In 1901 the "Ras Las" nine-foot seam was discovered at a depth of 625 yards. The North and South shafts were completed. In November 1903, Sir Alfred Thomas, M.P. for East Glamorgan, started the engines to raise the first four trams of coal.
By 1910, the pit was employing 1,943 miners and was the largest coal mine in the Rhymney Valley. On 10 December 1908 it broke the world record for production when a ten hour shift produced 3,562 tons of coal. It further broke its own record on 23 April 1909 when 4,020 tons were raised in a ten hour shift.
Bargoed Colliery closed on 4 June 1977. By this time only 360 men were employed there.
The population of Pont Aberbargoed was 351 in 1851. Aberbargoed reached a peak in 1961 of 5,157 and had dropped to 3,882 according to the 1991 Census. Bargoed in 1921 had a population of 13,900, dropping to 9,184 by 1991.
The tip that lay between Bargoed and Aberbargoed once towered to a height of 400 feet in the 1970s. The local school had a "Plant a tree in '73" campaign in an attempt to make it more pleasurable on the eye. The tip has now been levelled and the area has been reclaimed with walkways. The Colliery has gone and is now home to an Ambulance Station and other small industries.
The large tip at Bedwellty is still there but has been grassed over and now looks much like the surrounding countryside.