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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Important To Colliery Owners And Managers

Derby Mercury – Wednesday 21 January 1857

On Friday, the 9th instant, Mr Hedley, the Government Inspector of Coal Mines for the Midland Counties, summoned the undermentioned proprietors before the Magistrates, for non-compliance with the Coal Mines Inspection Act:-

Mr. Nathan Mellers, Berristow Colliery.-
1st. for not providing some proper means of signalling from the top to the bottom of the shaft. Fined £1and costs.
2nd, for not providing a proper indication to show the position of the load in the shaft. Fined £1 and costs.
3rd, for not providing a brake to the drawing engine. Fined £1 and costs.
4th, for not providing a steam gauge. Fined £1 and costs.
5th, for not providing a water gauge. Fined £1 and costs.

Mr Hedley stated, that as many proprietors have been so negligent in complying with the Act, he was determined to summon all parties who have not done so. It really did appear inexcusable that, after 12 months working of the Act, many have not yet complied with it. To allow this, was an act of great injustice to those proprietors and managers who have complied. rm

Changed Hands

In 1857, Hill Top colliery, Eastwood, was put up for auction, lease and all. It had been worked by Messrs Fulwood and Richardson for a short time only.  It was purchased by Barber Walker and Co and closed down, mainly to protect their other interests.


Thos Firth and Sons opened the New Whittington ironworks. William Fowler and Son bought land at Sheepbridge to build ironworks. (by 1862 there would be 3 blast furnaces in use and the demand for coal was growing fast). Fowler would be one of the founder members of the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co in 1864.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1857

  • Allpits, Westwood (Earl Manvers), Blackshale 5’ 0” (1.52m) and ironstone, Surveyor Richard G Coke.
  • Avenue (Wingerworth Coal Co).
  • Bretby No1 (South Derbyshire) 1855-1857 (Earl of Chesterfield), George Williamson was Ground Bailiff and Colliery Agent and William Johnson was Manager.
  • Clay Cross No4 colliery was sunk (Clay Cross Co), 2 shafts were used for downcast air, the upcast shaft being 1 mile away where there was an underground furnace in the Tupton seam pit bottom.
  • Coates Park Soft coal (John Henry Barker landowner of Cotes Park Estate).
  • Denby New (William Drury Lowe).
  • Donisthorpe (South Derbyshire) (Donisthorpe Colliery Co).
  • Grassmoor (Barnes and Co).
  • Grassmoor (Barnes and Co).
  • Ilkestone (Butterley Iron and Coal Co).
  • Ripley New or Foundation (Butterley Co) 195 yards (178m) to Main Soft and 210 yards (192m) to Main Hard seams (nearby Cooper Cote pit engine and Marehay colliery 110 yards (100m) to Hard coal).
  • Oakthorpe (‘Owed a thought it’) pit.
  • Oldfield Cartwrights, (brothers Harry, Moses and Robert) or later Alliance Colliery and nicknamed Shoddy was sunk in 1857 (Swadlincote Colliery Co) shaft section Dicky Gobbler seam 4’ 6” (1.37m) at 49’ 6” (15.0m), Block 5’ 6” (1.68m) at 190’ 0” (57.9), Yard 4’ 6” (1.37m) at 315’ 0” (96.0m), Little 5’ 0” (1.52m) at 405’ 0” (123.4m), Nether Main 6’ 3” (1.90m) at 594’ 0” (181m), Little Woodfield 5’ 6” (1.68m) at 645’ 0” (196.6m), Woodfield 5’ 0” (1.52m) at 750’ 0” (228.6m), Stockings 6’ 0” (1.83m) at 804’ 0” (245m), Eureka 4’ 0” (1.22m) at 858’ 0” (261.5m) and Stanhope 5’ 0” (1.52m) at 918’ 0” (280m).
  • Rough Piece (Richard White), Unstone district, Blackshale.
  • Sheepbridge (Dunston and Barlow Iron Co); on 4th September a new pit was laid out at Staveley Woodhouse and on 20th September the first sod was cut for the new mine at Seymour (Richard Barrow) E445189 N373945 – (however not mentioned by name until 1874 …. part of Speedwell).
  • Shireoaks 2 shaft sinkings (Duke of Newcastle) were now down 400 yards (365m)...named Newcastle colliery for a time.
  • Wallsend (Abbott and Baker) at Chesterfield sunk to Dogtooth ironstone at 12 yards (11m), Tupton or Furnace coal at 40 yards (36.5m), Tupton Threequarters at 54 yards (49.3m), Blackshale at 94 yards (86m), and coal at 102 yards (93.3m) Surveyor Richard G Coke; Water Gates (Butterley Co).
  • Whitebanks (Wingerworth Coal and Iron Co), property of EG Mayward.
    (16 Pits)

Collieries Closed in 1857

  • Albert (Staveley Coal and Iron Co Ltd) closed Ironstone pit 25 Feb 1857 and Blackshale workings at 109 yards (100m) 30 Jun 1857, workings pre 1840 to west, connected to Victoria 76 yards (69.5m) to Blackshale (pumping pit kept open, see 1927).
  • Bobbers Mill (Thomas North)
  • Brimington (W Ripley)
  • Britannia (Johnson and Lucas) Coal Aston, Blackshale, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth, Mar
  • Dronfield Woodhouse (Cartledge and Brayshaw)
  • Glasshouse End (Abney?)
  • Grassmoor (Knowles and Co) 2nd Waterloo, Hardwick
  • Heanor (Mrs E Sutton), Coombe coal
  • Hockersley (…?) First (Red Ash) Big Mine (1851-57) (North West Derbyshire)
  • Inkerman (Goodwin and Swallow) Chesterfield
  • Inkerman (Ashgate Collieries – Inkerman Brickmaking Co) Tupton Threequarter bat 10” (0.25m), coal 1’ 7” (0.48m), bat 7” (0.18m), adits from Quarry and a pit 5 yards (4.5m) deep.
  • Johnson and Lucas pit
  • Lockoford (Robert Stephenson) Blackshale
  • Lower Birchwood (Milnes and Eggleshaw), Alfreton
  • Measham (Oldfield) (Leicestershire)
  • Mill Hay (McAlum and Allen), Alfreton
  • Newbold Knowles (M Knowles) Chesterfield, Dogtooth
  • Ormonde was closed (Butterley Iron and Coal Co)
  • Plumbley Lane (JW Bishop’s old pit), Silkstone 5 feet thick (1.5m), Fox Air pit
  • Railway and Hockersley (...?) nr Whaley Bridge
  • Spite Hill (Wingerworth Iron Co), Furnace coal, Strelley Hard Coal pit (John T Edge Esq), Surveyor, John Boot (Mineral Surveyor), note - shaft pillar called a post on the plan.
  • Swaddale or Swaddle (…?) Chesterfield
  • Tapton (Stephenson) Blackshale and ironstone, start 1851, last worked Sep 1857
  • Walton (Appleby and Co)
  • West Hill (FB Charlton) Heanor, Coombe
  • Whittington (C Wharton)
  • Wingfield Lane (Wilkinson).
  • Calow Old Furnace pit, (...) Blackshale and Dogtooth ironstone, Surveyor Richard George Coke, Ankerbold.
  • Califat the working was difficult due to numerous old hollows filled with water lying between the shafts and Limby Hall.

Both Coal And Ironstone Worked

Mr Richardson was Manager at pits at Newbold from 1840s to 1857 where ironstone was worked as well as coal. The Dogtooth coal was wrought by Messrs Knowles and Co, John Ashton Surveyor. From 1st January 1854 to 31st December 1854 no coal was worked and from 1st January 1854  to 31st December 1855 only 1 rood 7 poles in area and subsequent years 1856 only 26 poles and 1857 only 33 poles. This was due to the workings meeting old hollows, William Weston. The pits belonged to the Duke of Devonshire. There were 5 shafts, 1 deep level and an under level. Newbold Thin coal worked to Mix 1857. The DC shaft and UC shaft were both 19 yards Watnall ? – coal worked by James Morley in Sept. 1857.  At Grassmoor Birchill pit (Robert Knowles) the Top Hard was finished.  Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth signed the plan in Aug 1857. In 1837 the Duke of Devonshire owned the bed of coal known as the 2nd Waterloo. This seam was wrought by Messrs Knowles and Co at old Grassmoor pit from around 1847 to 25 Feb 1857.

Fatal Accidents 1857

  • Birchwood (Butterley Co), J Carter (28), fall of coal 6 Nov 1857.
  • Bretby, R Walley, a loader was killed by a roof fall, Autumn 1857.
  • Clay Cross, W Boot (16), run over by tubs 21 Sep 1857.
  • Denby (Lowe), J Cresswell (31), fall of roof.
  • Highfield (Barrow), S Navis (27), fell down shaft; on 15 Nov 1857, the following 10 men and 2 boys were killed by suffocation through smoke inhalation following an underground fire at Hollingwood (owner Richard Barrow, Staveley) – Arthur D Cooper (30) Undermanager, Daniel James Cooper (22) (visitor), William Chapman (64), Joseph Corn (33), Roland Fowkes (37),  A Thomas Scott (16) and his 2 sons Alexander and Thomas Scott (16), Thomas Watson (40), William Truman (37), Joel  Walters (56) and Geo Wagstaff (34).
  • Ibstock (EM Green and Co), William Glover (38) fell from cage.
  • Ingmanwell (Jno Knowles), T Pendleton (24) overcome by gas 4 Mar 1857.
  • Manners, 8 men killed and 6 injured in an explosion (...) in the Deep Hard seam on 9 Mar 1857.
  • Moira (Marquis of Hastings), William Farmer (12), run over by tubs 25 Jan 1857.
  • Moira (Marquis of Hastings), R Nichols (13), run over by tubs 29 Aug 1857.
  • Renishaw Park (Wells and Co), William Clayton (28), fell down shaft.
  • Ripley (Butterley Co), George Gyte (23) explosion 5 Oct 1857.
  • Ripley (Butterley Co), 3 men and 2 boys killed in an explosion on 10 Oct 1857, W Bullock (24), W Bunting (30), H Hiving (14), S Shooter (14), William Williams (38).
  • Shipley, 6 men and 2 boys killed in an explosion (EM Mundy) on 2 Mar 1857...Abraham Starbuck (43), Abraham Starbuck (Junior) (13), John Starbuck (46), Thomas Henshaw (15), Joseph Richardson (25), John Purdy (36), Joseph Fowkes (20), Job Richardson (21).
  • Swannington (W Worswick), S Stinson (32), fall of coal 2 Mar 1857.
  • Wingfield (Hopkinson andCo), Joseph Radford (12), fell down shaft 25 Feb 1857.
  • Smalley, another explosion killed 5 men (...) on 1 Oct 1857.


John Thomas Edge had Hard coal and Soft coal pits at Strelley. His father Thomas Webb Edge had mines there in 1839. John Boot was Surveyor.

Great Storm

A great storm in June 1857 did massive damage to the windows at Chatsworth houe requiring them to be replaced. Extra coal was produced for melting the lead for the windows.


The combined coal output for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire pits in 1857 was 3,657,442 tons.


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