Pengam is a former coal community in the Rhymney Valley of South Wales.
Location and population
Most of the village is on the east bank of the River Rhymney, in the traditional county of Monmouthshire, but those parts of the village on the west bank are known as Glan-y-Nant and are in Glamorganshire.
As of March 2005, 3,842 people live in Pengam, there are about 1,561 homes. 1% of residents are from minority ethnic groups, 27.67% of people are between the ages of 20 and 39, and there are 797 people over the age of 60. 67.78% of residents own their own homes either owned outright or with a mortgage. 24.79% of residents live in council or housing association homes. 5.89% of residents live in privately rented homes. 1.54% of residents live completely rent-free!
The population density of Pengam is approximately 4,204 people per square mile (1623/km�).
The actual size of the ward is 0.9 square miles (2.3 km�).
The biggest employer in this area (with 29.42% of people) is the manufacturing industry.
Pengam is home to Lewis School Pengam.
Coal and the railways
There used to be two collieries in, or near, Pengam. One at the top of the Main Street (Pengam Pit), and the other was on the Aberbargoed Road (Britannia Pit).
The sinking of Pengam Colliery was begun in the late 1890s by the Rhymney Iron Co. Ltd. to work the Brithdir House coal seam at a depth of 312 yards. By 1908 it was employing 196 men and in 1918 the workforce numbered 518. During the late 1920s it came under the ownership of the Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd., who employed 67 men there in 1938. The workforce numbered 195 in 1945.
As with most House Coal collieries in this area Pengam was troubled with water inundation and heavy pumps worked around the clock to avoid flooding. Production ceased in 1956 but it was kept open as an underground pumping station, to prevent the flooding of the nearby Britannia colliery. There was a landing, about half way down in each of the Britannia shafts (North and South) from which it was possible to access Pengam pit bottom. The official entrance to Pengam colliery was adjacent to Pengam (Mon) station, on High Street previously known as Waunborfa Road.
Pengam at one time had two railway stations - one in Glamorgan and one in Monmouthshire. The line in Pengam (Mon) belonged to the Brecon and Merthyr Railway. Construction began in 1825 and it was opened in 1836, mainly to cater to the needs of the small pits and levels, and then increasingly for the collieries when they were sunk at the start of the century. It also accommodated the desire for more mobility by the rapidly growing population of the valley, when the steam locomotives pulled the passenger carriages up and down the line. The railway track from Newport to Brecon, or Tredegar, branched at Machen, the line going from there to Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil. The line branched behind Britannia Colliery for Brecon, or carried straight on to Tredegar where the line terminated.
The locomotives hauling the coal trains along this line were pannier-tank type engines. The station, and stationmaster�s house were directly adjacent to Pengam pit.