Report - - Cwm Coke Factory - South Wales | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Cwm Coke Factory - South Wales


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi there, first post and I thought I'd start with a big one for my first report - my one and only trip to a Coke Factory in South Wales. An by Coke I don't mean the soft drink but the fuel source.


Cwm Coke's origins lie with the Great Western Railway and provided its supply of coal. The GWR sunk pits at the Cwm site in 1909 as well as in other areas of the Rhondda, but Cwm didn't become known for it's coke until 1958 when the coking ovens and associated plant for producing coke and refining by-products of the process were installed. The factory secured a £9 million investment and by the 1970's the two pits 'Margaret' and 'Mildred' and the coking plant were the workplace of 1,500 men. The factory produced 515,000 tons of coke per annum and continued production of coal right up until privatisation of the National Coal Board in 1986.

The coking plant remained in use until 2002 and now, local residents are calling for the premesis to be torn down in favour of 800 homes and a school. This is still in the planning stages and the CPL are actively pursuing redevelopment plans but estimate the cost of this to be 'tens of millions of pounds'.

The Explore

Now, onto the good stuff! Though the site is no longer in use, it's heavily guarded with cctv, security and dog patrols, so finding a way in was no picnic but incredibly worth it. I've since tried to get back into the site a further 2 times but have been spotted both times (one within 5 minutes of entering the site!) and swiftly escorted off the premesis with threats of a hefty penalty but thankfully, I've not encountered the dogs yet! I think we were just incredibly lucky to have gotten in the first time, as security has definitely increased.

The side itself is absolutely huge, spanning maybe two or three miles long. During our visit, we were there for 8 hours in total and even then, we'd only seen about half of the buildings.

This seemed to be an old loading bay for the furnaces down below, with pressure galves and shoots built into the floor. For once, I actually quote like some of the graffiti we found.


Much of our explore was spent ducking for cover due to the thunder and rain storm going on outside. I'd wanted to explore a lot more of the upper floors but with the wind and pelting rain, we could only emerge for brief periods of time. Not that we minded, as the insides were incredible.

This room led directly to the loading bays beneath the buildings where the Coke and a lot of it was submerged in water. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd have said this room was used to control furnace temperature and pressure.

As we'd forgotten to bring a torch, we weren't able to explore much of these corridors but this patch next to a busted out window looks just beautiful in its dilapidation.

A control tower at the edge of the site directed the Coke belts all across the site. The remains of the control panel were just gorgeous

Getting onto the railway track that spanned three different buildings was tricky given that it was a good 30 feet high but it was definitely worth the scale.

Easily my favourite portion of the explore, these were the loading bays at the very bottom of the building. The floor was covered in black slime that turned yellow once you trod on it and these gorgeous pipes hung from every few feet in rows. This area must have easily been about half a mile long.

Though it might not look it from the photo, this was almost at the peak of the main building about 6 story's up.

To give some indication of scale, one of the remaining chimneys.

This room was brilliant to behold and was definitely the main workshop back in its hay day. Left over in the debris was fully operation band saws, pilot drills, routers and all sorts of amazing metal working equipment.

We could have easily stayed there all day but eventually, a lack of light, the constant thunder storms and thirst (in our excitement we'd spent 8 hours there and forgotten to bring any food or water) eventually led us to leave the site. Only once we came across the dog patrol but thankfully by that point we were several story's high and we're able to duck down and wait it out.

My only regret is that I didn't bring my camera with me that day. The images above were all taken on a camera phone. As both a photographer and a model, I source urbex not only for fun and interesting history but also to use for future photoshoots and this day, I was a model and not a photographer. Given how much trouble we've had since trying to get back into Cwm Coke, to say I'm gutted is a bit of an understatement but this was definitely the best urbex day I've ever had. What a place!

Here's hoping that sometime in the future, security lessens up a bit and I'll have another chance to take some proper pictures of the place.
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I have no idea why that last picture was included and apologies for all of the grammatical errors also. Lesson learned - don't use your phone to post reports!


28DL Member
28DL Member
Industrial epicness, twinned with secca patrols! sounds very much like the old pyestock days :thumb

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