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Bearland Ventilation Chimney

Bearland Ventilation Chimney was built in 1860 and is a rare survival of Welsh coal-mining technology.  Its purpose was to assist the ventilation of the iron mine workings beneath it.

 

The chimney (around 6 metres tall) was connected to the mine workings by a duct.  A fire was lit on a grate within the chimney and the fire drew stale air through the duct from the mine workings, thus ensuring a flow of fresh air through the workings themselves. 

 

Bearland Ventilation Chimney before conservation
Bearland Ventilation Chimney before conservation

 

 

 

 

The solution was to scaffold the chimney, refill the voids with masonry and deep pack the joints.  Stainless steel spiral ties were used to stitch the cracks.

 

Care was taken to match the lime mortar used for the re-pointing with samples from the original pointing.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPAB scholars at the repaired Bearland Ventilation Chimney
SPAB scholars at the repaired Bearland Ventilation Chimney

 

 

 

 

 

The chimney was on English Heritage’s Register of Scheduled Monuments At Risk but by the time the repair work was programmed to start, it had already declined into a perilous state, with masonry dropping from its upper courses.  

 

To maker matters worse, there were a number of cracks twisting around the structure and some voids in the masonry.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bearland Ventilation Chimney being re-pointed
Bearland Ventilation Chimney being re-pointed

 

 

 

 

 

The chimney stands in coniferous woodland on a very steep slope some 60 metres below a forest track and presented a number of logistical challenges.  The awkward access to the structure was overcome by installing a ramp and winching materials down from the forest track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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