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Culm was a mixture of coal dust and clay, made into balls to burn on fires (in grates rather than on the floor) and in corn drying kilns.

Through the part of Cardiganshire we have passed culm seems to have given place to peat which appears to be the universal fuel amongst the poorer sort of people.

Nicholson, Francis, The diary of Frances (Fanny) Nicholson, NLW MS15190C, p. 38

- the firing used here is called culm, it is made from the dust of coal rolled up in round balls, mixed with clay and gives great heat without smoke

Wigstead, H., Remarks on a Tour to North and South Wales in the year 1797, p. 51

The trade of Aberystwith is inconsiderable; lime-stone and culm are imported;

Warner, Richard, Rev. (1763-1857), A Second Walk through Wales in August and September, 1798, (Bath, 1799), p. 160

The rain continuing, we could not enjoy a walk, but was even glad to profit by the kitchen fire, which was an excellent one, but composed of materials with which I was unacquainted, they put on a number of balls of dirt, as they appeared to me but which proved to be a composition of small coal, clay and wood, kneaded together [culm] and a nice fire it made throwing out an immense heat.

Martyn, T., A Tour of South Wales, [1801], NLW MS 1340C, p. 93