Cwmtillery is situated north of Abertillery in the county of Blaenau Gwent, South Wales. It lies on the A467 road from Blackrock to Newport, with nearby towns and villages including Blaenavon, Rhymney, Tredegar, Pontypool and Merthyr Tydfil.
Cwmtillery made its name during the rise of the coal industry in the late 1800s. The first colliery here was known as Tir Nicholas Colliery, but later became the South Wales colliery. It was successful and profitable, but it did not go without seeing a series of disasters. In 1857 13 miners were killed, and 16 were killed in 1876 as the result of an explosion. In total there were four disasters at the colliery and by 1982 the mine had closed.