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Located on the eastern bank of the Bargoed Rhymney River between the villages of Deri and Fochriw, the sinking of the shafts for Ogilvie Colliery commenced in 1918. The North (downcast) shaft was 483 yards deep and the South (upcast) shaft was 546 yards deep.


Ogilvie Colliery was sunk and thereafter operated by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company, the largest coal mining company in south Wales and also the UK as a whole. At its peak, the company owned over seventy collieries in south Wales (including many in the Rhymney Valley), and accounted for about one-third of the coalfield’s output. 

Powell Duffryn had been served prominently by several members of the Ogilvie family, and the name of the colliery marked the company’s longstanding association with them:

  • Alexander Ogilvie was a founding director
  • Arthur Graeme Ogilvie had served as chairman between June 1892 and September 1897
  • In August 1921, Campbell Patric Ogilvie sat on the company’s board. 

Coal production commenced at Ogilvie in 1923, with 877 men employed at the colliery.

There were 1,236 miners employed at Ogilvie in 1939, a number which had reduced to 967 in 1945.

Like every other British colliery, Ogilvie was nationalised on 1 January 1947. Thereafter, it was owned and operated by the National Coal Board (NCB).

Pithead baths, with a capacity of 1,112 men, were opened at Ogilvie Colliery on 25 March 1952 – before that, there was no provision at the colliery for miners to get clean after their days’ work.

In 1953 a major programme of modernisation of the colliery workings of Ogilvie commenced. Some of the main features of this plan included:

  • An increase in coal-winding capacity to 1,320 drams (coal wagons) per day.
  • An underground link to McLaren Colliery in Abertysswg, to provide a dedicated point of entry and exit into the underground workings for Ogilvie’s miners. This link was completed in 1958. McLaren closed in 1959, but continued to be used for transportation for the Ogilvie workforce.
  •  An underground link to Rhymney Merthyr Colliery at Pontlottyn, which was kept open for ventilation and maintenance purposes only.
  • Improved underground water-pumping facilities.
  • A new coal preparation plant constructed at Ogilvie.

This programme of work was completed in 1961, at an estimated cost of £2.75 million, of which £1.5 million was for the surface works.

During 1971 a fire broke out at Ogilvie’s South Pit, which brought an end to coal production from that pit.

An episode of ‘Doctor Who’ was filmed at Ogilvie Colliery in 1973.

Despite being a high-output colliery with an excellent industrial relations record, Ogilvie was closed in April 1975, because the NCB deemed that too high a proportion of its coal was unsaleable. Evan Jones, the Ogilvie miners’ leader, said at the time: ‘I saw men of 50 or 55 leaving the pit with tears running down their cheeks. To lose a pit is like having a death in the family.’

The closure of Ogilvie Colliery was the subject of the docu-drama film ‘Above Us the Earth’, which was released in 1977.

Following the closure of Ogilvie, the colliery site was landscaped and repurposed, and has since then been the location for Parc Cwm Darran.

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