About Trimsaran

Trimsaran is a village in the Gwendraeth Fawr valley located halfway between the towns of Cydweli (Kidwelly) and Llanelli on the B4308 in Carmarthenshire.  It is known as a former mining village and for its tradition of producing international rugby players, sport stars and singers.  The 2011 census showed a population of 2,534 with 50% indicating they were Welsh speakers.   

Trimsaran was originally a Welsh Gentry Manor house and medieval estate in the Lordship of Kidwelly and in 1606 the estate leased the mines, coal seams and other metals under the Duchy of Lancaster land.

By the mid/late 1800’s, a street of houses were built to accommodate the increasing number of workers that were employed at the coalmines, ironworks and brickworks. The last of the large drift mines closed in 1954 and the remaining coal was extracted by open cast in the late 50’s and from 1983-97.  This land was then re-developed and in 2009 the Ffos Las Racecourse opened.

The oldest tramroad bridge in Wales is located outside the village together with the medieval Spudder’s Bridge, which span the Gwendraeth Fawr river.

The Wimpey Open Cast
Coal Yard Trimsaran
The first washeries

Mining @ Trimsaran

The earliest record of mining in the Trimsaran area is from the 1600s, when coal was being extracted in Carway. By the 1970s the area saw further coal-mining and also the building of the first major canal in south Wales, transporting anthracite and culm from pits near Trimsaran to the harbour at Kidwelly.

By 1896 Trimsaran Colliery employed 144 men and produced both anthracite and fireclay. The industry and the village continued to grow hand in hand, until 1931 until the workforce of the colliery was over 700 men. But coal was not the only industry to shape the look of the village. In 1909 one of the most ornate terraces in Trimsaran was built specifically to show off the products of the Trimsaran Brick Co. This had been an operating brick works since around 1900.

Although the drift mines were closed in 1954, there was later open-cast mining here, up until 1997. This land has seen major redevelopment from new housing to a race-course and grandstand. Whilst Trimsaran is a typical colliery village there is a much longer history and the earliest evidence for human occupation in the area dates back over 2,000 years.