Cwm coke works is a large site just north of Beddau in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Up until the mid 1800′s Beddau was a small collection of farmsteads at the conjunction of four crossroads. As the industry moved in, Beddau grew quickly, and in 1958 Cwm coke works opened, furthering the expansion. At its peak, Cwm colliery was producing hundreds of thousand of tons of high quality, low sulphur coal per year. Much of this was processed at Cwm coke works, into high-grade coke suitable for foundry use. The National Coal Board closed the colliery in 1986, and Cwm Coke works in 2002, leaving yet another small Welsh town deprived and forgotten. It would seem now, work has begun to reclaim the land, so perhaps this magnificent example of commanding industry and stark, utilitarian architecture won’t be around for much longer, despite delays, the site is due to be redeveloped into housing.
I spent a cold winters morning at the site and was fortunate enough to avoid being caught by security. The place is a total death trap, I had heard rumours before that it was a dangerous location to wander about in but you don’t really grasp that until you get inside.. I think I must have only been walking around 15 minutes whenI almost sunk into a pool of sludge. If your thinking of exploring CWM, just watch yourself, or at the very least your camera equipment! Im glad I got to see this monster of an industrial location, one the of the last of the great old coke works that remain to this day. It’s not a place however I would be looking to rush back to anytime soon!
35mm Film Shots