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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1853

  • Calcutta sunk on Swannington Common, but seams above the 7’ 5” Main coal at 158 yards (144.5m) were found to be worked out.
  • Campbell opened (Richard Barrow).
  • Gresley Wood (Robinson and Co) (South Derbyshire) to Main seam.
  • Newcastle (Chas Seely) (Derbyshire).
  • M Royston sank a new pit in 1853 at Stoneyford close to the River Erewash in Codnor Park.
  • Shaft sunk at Bobbers Mill and No4 shaft at 10 feet (3.05m) dia was sunk at Cinder Hill (Thomas North) as a downcast shaft to 222 yards (203m) deep plus a sump of 28 yards (26m).  There was a road driven from No4 pit bottom closed off by doors to No1 and No2 shaft pit bottom that allowed coal to be drawn at any shaft.  There were 2 cages in wooden guides with each cage containing 3 trams lifting a total of 36 cwts (1 ton 16 cwts) of coal per wind, the total weight of the cage and contents being 3 tons 18½ cwts.  Wooden brattice (partitioning) was fixed between the cages throughout the shaft.  A new engine by Davis and Co of Tipton was installed in 1854 of similar design to the No1 and No2 shaft engine. 8 egg ended boilers each 4 feet 6 inches (1.37m) dia and 32 feet (10m) long were installed.  The ropes were 4½” (0.11m) flat iron wire and the pulley wheels 12 feet (3.66m) dia.
  • Cotes Park Heighington pit Hard coal (Seely).
  • Springwell (George H Barrow) (North Derbyshire).
  • Swaddale or Swaddle pit (…?) Chesterfield.
  • Swannington Bye pit (Calcutta pit) (Leicestershire) (W Worswick) commenced sinking Feb 1853, sunk to 763 feet (232.5m).
  • Whitehouse (Hall and Boardman) opened.
  • Oakerthorpe (Derbyshire) sunk, (William Worswick) (later to be included in East Midlands Division of NCB in 194). Gibbons sank 2 shafts to the 14’ 9” (4.5m) thick Main seam to the side of the Ashby Canal near Willesley
  • Woodfield colliery was re-opened (South Derbyshire).

Shaw's Plan

A plan of the hamlet of Kimberley in the Parish of Greasley by John Shaw, Surveyor of Derby showed Top Hard coal gotten in 1853 in the Parish of Nuthall at Strelley, bounded by the hamlets of Watnall Canteloupe, Moor Green and Watnall.

Twigg's Plan
  • Twigg drew a plan in 1835, and from an updated version in 1853 shows a Whymsey pit opposite the road to Codnor at Denby Common.
  • Also at Swanwick, New Soft Coal 70 yards (64m) One Rope.
  • Wagtail 130 yards (119m) to Hard coal.
  • Blind Foundation about 330 yards (302m) to West.
  • Engine pit some 154 yards (140m) South West of Wagtail, sunk 146 yards (133m) on fault.
  • Old Alder pit 176 yards (160m) South of Wagtail and 176 yards (160m) North East of Old HallHell Croft pit 264 yards (241m) due South of Old Alder.
  • Roby Field pit 220 yards (201m) South West of Old Hall.
  • To the South of the Old Hall ran a Sough South West to North East to a Bye pit and Engine pit (101 yards (92m) deep) East of Hell Croft pit.
  • Some 154 yards (140m) South of the Bye pit and Engine pit was Yew Tree pits.
  • To the East of Old Alder was Old Brook pit and a further 110 yards (100m) East was Rough Close pit.
  • 286 yards (261m) South of Old Brook pit was Brook pit and a further 110 yards (100m) South of that lay Old Stonehouse which also lay 101 yards (92m) East of Engine pit.
  • to the East of Brook pit was Pit 42 yards (38m) deep to Minge coal and a further Pit to Minge coal was 132 yards (120m) South East.
  • Mount Pleasant pit was 198 yards (181m) further South East, and due East of Old Stonehouse.

The Three Newcastle Collieries

Newcastle colliery (Nottinghamshire) was sunk in 1853 by Thomas North and the 2 shafts both at 7 feet (2.1m) dia were 136 yds (124m) deep but the No2 shaft had a sump of 10 yards (9m) also.  The shafts were sunk to the east side of a dipper fault of 23 yards (20m) to the east. No1 shaft was to work the west side coal with a short stone drift into the shaft.  No2 shaft was to work the east side coal to the dip of the fault.

Cinder Hill Winding Engine

The winding engine had been brought from Cinder Hill where a new engine had been installed in 1853 (see photo). This engine had worked since 1845 and had been made by Butterley Co.  It was a single vertical high-pressure direct acting engine with parallel motion and had 33” (0.84m) cylinder with a stroke of 5 feet (1.5m) and generated 100hp.  A bank of 5 plain egg-ended boilers of 4 feet 6 inches (1.37m) dia by 30 feet (9m) long supplied the steam.  The cages running in wooden guides carried a single cage in each. A small 10hp beam engine with a single wire rope passing down No2 shaft hauled coal from the east side. Surface buildings included smiths with one fire and bellows for shoeing, sharpening picks etc. 

Also there was a Joiners’ shop with 4 men, Stables for 3 horses, storehouse, Underviewer’s office, and Underviewer’s house with 7 rooms, 10 cottages, a weighing machine and a check weigh.  Eventually 500 trams would be in use.

Note that another Newcastle Colliery named after the Duke was sunk in Derbyshire by Chas Seely at the same time, as mentioned above. A further pit referred to as Newcastle pit for a short time would be sunk in North Nottinghamshire and then renamed Shireoaks. Care must be taken not to confuse them.

A new winding engine by Thornewill and Warham of Burton on Trent was installed at Cinder Hill to work both shafts. It was a 150 hp engine and had a cylinder of 40” dia (1.01m) and a stroke of 5 feet (1.05m).  There were 6 plain egg-ended boilers of 4 feet 6 inches (1.37m) dia by 32 feet (10m) long and one boiler 4 feet dia (1.22m) and 29 feet (9m) long with smoke exhausting from 2 large brick built chimneys.  There was a single cage in each shaft running in wooden guides and containing a single tram. The ropes were flat iron wire at 4½” (0.11m) and the pulleys were 12 feet (3.66m) diameter.  

Shipley Winding Engine

At Shipley (Mundy) the last vertical-type winder like the one at Church Gresley (Marquis of Hastings) in 1844 was installed.  This engine had a 5 feet (1.5m) stroke and a cylinder 33” (0.84m) diameter.


At Grassmoor (Barnes) No4 UC and No5 DC shafts to Top Hard in 1852, and Nos 1 to 7 benks were being worked. The land belonged to the Duke of Devonshire.  Surveyor: John Ashton.

Collieries Closed in 1853

  • Bagthorpe (Fenton) - (Williamsons or Creswells?) Selston.
  • Chambers pit.
  • Jobs New pit (J Broughton) (sunk 1849-1850).
  • Lower Hady (…?) Blackshale 1 Nov 1853.
  • Newbold Bromehead (Knowles?), Piper, Deep Hard or Potters seam.
  • Newlands (Butterley Co).
  • Orwins pit, Newbold.
  • Pentridge (Pentrich) (Messrs Haslam) Deep Hard seam, Surveyor John Thos Woodhouse, May 1853.
  • Smoile (Walker and Worswick), (Leicestershire).
  • Spital Lane (…?).
  • Swanwick Damstead (WP Morewood).
  • Townend, Chesterfield / Newbold, (Beale and Geach?) Manager Mr Richardson, thin coal, (Piper?) met old hollows or pricket. 2 soughs, one almost due north with shaft depths from north to south, 15ft (4.5m), 28ft (9m), 40ft (12m), 49ft (15m), 73ft (22m), 92ft (28m), 81ft (25m), 73ft (22m), ?, 9 shafts, joining another sough with 4 shafts running south west at Town End pit then north west (Dogtooth coal got by Appleby and Co from 9 shafts and south east (Potters seam got by Beale and Geach from 5 shafts), meeting another sough running south with 5 shafts, to a shaft 19 yards (17m) deep with one shaft called Quarry pit
  • Cotes Park Soft coal pit (Copeland and Co?) sunk 1851, and worked from 1852, was stopped on 1st April 1853.


Robert Stephenson worked Blackshale coal at Tapton at his pits from 1846 to Oct 1853.

Midland Railway

In 1853 a Springwell branch railway was connected to the Midland Railway.


Nailstone was purchased by Fitz Hall, Manager Wm Bridgett.

A Part List Of Fatal Accidents For 1853 From Charles Morton's, Mines Inspector's Report

  • Bagworth, William Johnson (?), fell down shaft 26 Nov 1853.
  • Butterley Park, FC Taylor (boy), run over by tubs 26 Apr 1853.
  • Church Gresley, Richard Badkin (?), fell down shaft 21 Apr 1853.
  • Clay Cross, J Farnsworth (boy), fell down shaft 27 Apr 1853.
  • Coates Park, one (boy?) fell down the shaft 7 Jan 1853.
  • Coleorton, Henry Watson and a boy Joseph Horne both fell down the shaft 28 Jan 1853.
  • Coleorton, John Lakin (boy), killed by blow from windlass handle, 2 Dec 1853.
  • Ibstock, Thomas Allsebrook, boiler burst 24 Sep 1853.
  • Langton (Hall), Thomas Beardmore (23) labourer and a mate were ganging rubbish from the pit mouth to the hill and were returning with an empty truck in which they were riding. The truck came off the rails and the horse became restive and in the act of getting out of the truck where one side of the road was higher than the other the truck was upset and the deceased ear was cut off by the wheel and his head badly bruised. He was heard to speak once then died, 14 Jul 1853.
  • Morley Park, John Bundley (8), fell down shaft 10 Dec 1853.
  • Morley Park, Jediah Iley, bruised by corves 20 Dec 1853.
  • New Cottam. Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 21st. January, 1853. The colliery was the property of Appleby and Company and three men and four boys lost their lives by the breaking of a chain. George Hodkinson, engineer at the colliery said that about seven in the morning the men came to work to go down the pit. He set the engine in motion and when it had gone about six yards he found that the weight had been lost. He stopped the engine and went to see the banksman who said the chair had gone down the pit. He raised the rope and found that the ring was broken. The link had been put on the day before and he had examined it and found no defect in it.

    Those who died were-
  • Charles Greaves aged 38 years, married with two children.
  • John Greaves aged 29 years, married with two children.
  • Thomas Waterhouse aged 26 years, married with one child.
  • Robert Robinson aged 16 years.
  • John Barton aged 18 years.
  • Joshua Naylor aged 20 years.
  • Richard Wright aged 20 years.
  • At the inquest at the Rose and Crown, the coroner after hearing all the evidence summed up and said that there appeared to have been some neglect on the part of the management. It was stated that the iron ring was strong enough to carry five tons and it appeared to him that the engineman was bearing the brunt of the responsibility undeservedly. They jury retired and after some deliberation returned the following verdict-
    “We are of the opinion that the deceased came to their deaths by the breaking of the iron ring but we have not been able to discern the cause of it breaking. We recommend that Messrs, Appleby and Co. should carry out their works with more regularity in future and that no more that two persons should ascend or descend at any one time
  • Nuttall (Barber Walker and Co), William Burrows (58) an engine man went to oil the headstock wheel whilst the whimsey engine driven by his grandson was in motion and fell down the 300 feet (90m) deep shaft. He had failed to notify his grandson what he was doing as he should have done, 30 Apr 1853.
  • Peggs Green, John Waldram, fall of roof 12 Jul 1853.
  • Peggs Green, Jarvis Marshall, fall of roof 23 Jul 1853.
  • Pentrich, John Hunt, fall of roof 26 Jul 1853.
  • Riddings pit (Messrs Oakes), Samuel Elliott (?), on his way to work underground on 5 Oct 1854 when the light he had with him ignited some foul air and caused an explosion. He was severely burned but lingered in the Infirmary until 17 Oct 1854 when he died from his injuries.
  • Skegby, Bye Pit, (Dodsley), Aaron Radford (14), engine tenter, fell into winding machinery in the engine house at 7.30am on 13 Sep 1853.
  • Snibston, David Christal, fall of roof 11 Jan 1853.
  • Snibston, John Rose, crushed by tubs 6 Mar 1853.
  • Snibston, John Moult, fall of roof 12 Mar 1853.
  • Snibston, Joseph Burton (boy), fall of roof 26 Jul 1853.
  • Speedwell, George Rogers, fall of roof 13 May 1853.
  • Speedwell, George Hobson (boy ?), fell down shaft 16 Sep 1853.
  • Staveley, William Scott, fell down shaft 8 Nov 1853.
  • Morley Park, John Brindley (8), fell down shaft 10 Dec 1853.
  • Morley Park, Jediah Iley (boy..?), bruised by corves (crushed) 20 Dec 1853.
  • Whitwick, Samuel Smith, fell down shaft 20 Jan 1853.
  • Whitwick, William Clemmons, fall of roof 1 Jul 1853.

Other Fatal Accidents Reported By The Press

  • Cinder Hill (T North), Edward Hudson was at work on the morning of 24 Dec 1852 when the roof came in and crushed him dreadfully. He was taken to the Infirmary and lingered on until finally dying on 8 Jan 1853.
  • Cinder Hill, No2 pit, (T North), John Aram (36) was at work on the coal on 5 Feb 1853 when a fall of bind roof estimated at a ton and a half fell and buried him. He was attended by a Mr Marshall a surgeon but died within the hour. He left a widow and 4 children on whose behalf a subscription is to be made.
  • Cinder Hill (T North), William Ball was employed to take off the hooks of loaded trucks at the bottom of a 36 yards (33m) long incline and then put the hooks on the empty trucks going back up. On Friday at noon on 18 Feb 1853 he was found lying across the rails and a loaded truck leaning against his head. He was pulled out but died within a minute. He had previously been a farm labourer and had only started work at the pit on Monday 14 Feb 1853.
  • Heage, Jedidiah Key aged 15 was killed on 20th Dec 1853. He was at work with his father at the deep coal pit at Morley Park and had attached himself by a strap round his loins, and a chain to the last of a line of empty trams which had just been drawn up on a tramway about 200 yards long, and on a considerable incline. He detached the last tram before it had quite reached the level at the top of the incline and it immediately ran down with tremendous speed, dragging him after it. When the tram stopped he was quickly released and it was found that he had received a deep and jagged cut in the small of his back, besides many other bruises. He was quite sensible and was transported home where he went on very well for several days with medical care but on the following Monday symptoms of lock-jaw (tetanus) appeared and he eventually died on Wednesday 28th Dec 1853.
  • Langton? Kirkby, (Coke & Co) Thomas Beardmore was killed on the early morning of 14th Aug 1853 at 2 o'clock. He was working with another man called Needham and they were ganging dirt from the pit to the mouth (pit bottom) and as the pony was drawing the truck on, which they were sitting in, it slipped off the rails. Needham jumped off but Beardsmore did not and when they got to the part where the roof was lower the truck turned over and threw the boy between the horns of the drum while it was still in motion and carried him round the lower half of the wheel's revolution.
  • Marehay, a boy, John Brindley was killed on 10th Dec 1853. He was pushing empty trollies or trams on the tramway leading to the mouth of the pit. He used so much force that instead of staying on the notch or indenture near the shaft the tram rolled on and down the shaft, along with the deceased, a distance of 90 yards.
  • Old Radford (Lord Middleton), David Reddish (19 or 20), killed by a roof fall of bind weighing about 3 cwt that crushed his head, 1 Jan 1853.
  • Plumptre pits (Butterley Co), Garvis Granger (28) was working as a whimsey man at the sinking of two new shafts. He had been at work the whole of Friday night 11 Feb 1853 and about 1 o’clock went to help 2 men Priest and Ward in stubbing. A moon or platform or stage on which the men stand was suspended about 25 yards (23m) down the shaft held by crabs on the pit top worked by Sam Cooper who at about 4pm next day 12 Feb 1853 left the machinery as he thought properly secured but as he reached the top of the shaft to hearken if the men should want anything, the machinery of the crab became deranged and the platform was tilted and the platform and men fell down the shaft about 60 yards (55m) into the water that was about 9 yards (8m) deep. The wooden moon platform floated. Priest broke his arm and Ward was stunned but Grainger was trapped and crushed to death between the platform and the side of the shaft. Cooper was admonished for not being careful enough to make sure that the crab was not in motion and the Coroner’s jury said that in future 2 men should be employed on the crab.

Boys Were Not Classed As ‘Workers’

As stated previously, boys were not classed as ‘workers’ and subsequently it was deemed not necessary to state their ages. Sometimes even their names were not mentioned. Although under the Coal Mines Act of 1842 women and girls and boys under 10 were banned from underground work, according to Aaron Stewart who became an official of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association in later life said that he started work down the pit aged 8 in 1853. Obviously there was not full control over the setting on of young boys and numerous cases such as this were to be found all over the country.