Great Exhibition Lump of Coal
Large block of coal bound by a wrought-iron band set on an elongated dram with wheels. The shelter was placed overhead in 1992 to protect the coal from the weather. The smaller block dating from 1951 stands next to the large block, also bound with iron bands, and under cover.
The Bedwellty Lump of Coal was cut as a special exercise to form a monument at the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was cut at the Yard Level at Tredegar by the expert collier John Jones, alias 'Collier Mawr'. Jones originally cut a block weighing twenty tons but a five-ton piece broke away during transportation. Despite its reduced size, it was still reputed to be the largest block of coal ever cut. It was decided that the block would not survive the journey to Crystal Palace and it was set up in the grounds of Bedwellty House, the home of the Homfray family who owned both the Tredegar Ironworks and the Yard Level. A block of two tons was cut from the same seam one hundred years later for the Festival of Britain and this was subsequently placed at Bedwellty Park.
PMSA recording information