Landshipping Pit Disaster, 1830

Another new item that has appeared during the six month hiatus on this blog is local historian Gerry Brawn’s article in Pembrokeshire Life magazine about a little-known disaster at a colliery in Landshipping. Although the pit is not strictly in the area covered by this blog as it is five miles or so to the west of Saundersfoot, it is important as it is the start of a sequence of increasingly serious accidents in the Pembrokeshire coalfield which culminated with yet another at Landshipping in 1844.  The 1838 Thomas Chapel disaster is part of this sequence.

Thanks to Gerry for providing the following abstract from his article:

“Landshipping, although some way from the coal mines of Begelly and its environs, deserves a mention because of the substantial coal workings in this area, known both as “The mines to the east of the Cleddau”, and also for the infamous accident at the Garden Pit in 1844 where some 40 lives were lost when the River Cleddau broke into the workings.

This church was much re-built in 1848-50

St Marcellus Church, Martletwy, much re-built in 1848-50, scene of the miners’ burials in 1830

However on 3rd August 1830 a disaster occurred at Landshipping Colliery which was owned by Sir John Owen. Reported in The Cambrian newspaper of the 7th & 21st August 1830, it was the result of an explosion of firedamp and claimed the lives of 5 miners.  This is a list of the victims together with the dates of their burial and abode.

6th August ~ John Rees of Weston, age 24

6th August ~ David Rees of Weston, 20

6th August ~ Roger John of Weston, 17

8th August ~ Thomas Eynon of Landshipping, 19

23rd August ~ John Dally of Millbank, 16

They were interred at St Marcellus Church, Martletwy; the curate, J.K. Humphrey, was the officiating minister in all cases.

A fuller account of this disaster is published in Pembrokeshire Life magazine, January 2011 issue.”


The above picture is copyright to Humphrey Bolton and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

4 thoughts on “Landshipping Pit Disaster, 1830

  1. why are there no photos available of landshipping quay as it used to be when there was coal mining in the village.

    • The Landshipping area is outside of my expertise.

      However, I have checked Martin Connop Price’s book about the coalfield (“Pembrokeshire The Forgotten Coalfield”) and infer that there were some attempts to restart mining at Landshipping in the 1850/1860s but these met with little success. The likelihood that photos were taken at this time – and survived – must be low.


  2. I believe an ancestor of mine together with his son were killed in the disaster but neither are on the memorial

  3. Richard Barry from St Austell Cornwall
    Killed in Pembroke mine disaster 1830
    Age 39 buried 10th December 1830
    John Barry (from family records)

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