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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913




In 1859 John Chambers of Wingerworth Coal Co took a new partner, John Ward of Ankerbold. Denby iron and coal furnaces erected in the same period would last until the company went into liquidation in 1927.


During 1859 peaceful picketing was legalised during a strike.


From 1859 to 1866 a Liberal Government was in Parliament and from June 1859 – Oct 1867 there was a Whig Peel Coalition & Conservative Government. Prime Minister Viscount Palmerston (Liberal) June 1859 – Oct 1865.

President of Board of Trade, Thomas Milner Gibson MP (Coalition), June 1859-1868.
Secretary of State Sir George C Lewis MP 1859-1861.


Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1859

  • Brinsley Hall (Brinsley Hall Colliery Co) had 2 shafts part sunk (and Parkers pit lay to the North West).
  • Burbage (Buxton Lime Firms Co Ltd) (North West Derbyshire).
  • Burton (High Peak Railway Co).
  • Cottam (Messrs Appleby and Co), Top Hard sinking.
  • Denby Ironworks (Messrs Dawes).
  • Foxley Oaks Chesterfield sinking (Rev’d W Pierce).
  • Green Lane (W Booker and Co).
  • Hartington (….?) was sunk to 391 yards (357m) in 1860.
  • High Park colliery owned by Barber, Walker and Co completed sinking to the Top Hard seam at 195 yards (178m) after a very hazardous period since 1856 and would be the first in Nottinghamshire to achieve an output of more than 1,000 tons a day.
  • Kimberley (Chas Seely) 2 more shafts were sunk.
  • New Langley (Butterley Co) to work Roof Soft, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Piper and Low Main.
  • Newbold (M Knowles) long drivages before opening working in 1860.
  • Owlcotes (Messrs W and J Galloway), Top Hard 60 yards (55m) and 64 yards (58.5m), pillar left for High House, barrier 13 yards (4m) wide would be left and paid for in 1863, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth.
  • Renishaw Park colliery (Wells and Co) sinking (production began in 1860).
  • Tapton (Sayers and Co).
  • Sheepbridge (Swann and Wharton).
  • Swadlincote Old (Messrs Hall and Boardman) (South Derbyshire), Plan scale 1½ chains to 1 inch.
  • Waingroves shaft sunk (Butterley Co) to work Deep Soft and Deep Hard.
  • Whittington (Dunston and Barlow Co).

The Babbington pits (Thomas North) were sunk 275 yards (251m) to the Deep Soft seam.  The downcast and winding shaft at 9 feet (2.74m) dia had a sump of 9 yards (8.2m).  The winding engine by Thornewill and Wareham was a vertical high pressure direct acting with 33” (0.84m) dia cylinder with a stroke of 5 feet (1.52m) and generated 90hp. 6 plain egg-ended boilers of which 5 were 5 feet (1.52m) dia by 37 feet (11m) long and one at 4 feet 6 inches (1.37m) dia by 28 feet (8.5m) long.  The upcast shaft was for ventilation only.  This too was 275 yards (251m) deep and 10 feet (3.05m) dia.  There was a jack engine of 15hp, single horizontal, with pulley frame over the upcast shaft, and also a pumping set in the staple for surface water.  A weighing machine, clerks’ office, engine stable, Deputy’s house with 2 up, 2 down and 2 attics, an Underviewer’s house with 3 down, 3 up and 2 attics completed the surface.  There was no underground engine for haulage, only horses being used.

Shireoaks sinking was completed at 520 yards (475m) to the Top Hard seam for the Duke of Newcastle in North Nottinghamshire. Position E455872 N380950. It was referred to as Newcastle colliery for a time. He had a lease of 9,000 acres of mineral rights North Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.  Ventilation was effected by an underground furnace producing 200,000 cubic feet of air per minute at a water gauge of 1½ inches (0.04m).  No1 shaft had wooden conductors and flat ropes and No2 shaft had wire conductors and the winding engine had a conical drum 17 to 19 feet (5.2 to 5.8m) diameter.  Tubbing was continued down the shafts to 170 yards (155m) to hold back the water from the water-bearing strata.  The underground haulage was run by steam from underground boilers in No2 pit bottom and by air from surface compressors. This had been a long and difficult sinking.

Changed Hands

West Staveley changed hands from Harrison and Co to Bainbridge and Co.


At Dunstead colliery Langley Mill, (Butterley Co) there were 15 shafts to the North of Dunstead House and the railway, varying from 8 yards (7.3m) to 33 yards (30m) deep to the Top Hard seam. Some workings were by Mundy to 1858, some workings by Butterley Co and through the faults worked by John Beardsley 1858-1859.

Collieries Closed in 1859

  • Coolham (…?)
  • Deep End (…?) closed Lady Day.
  • Gresley Wood (Robinson and Forman)
  • Furnace colliery inc Day Eye, pit Big mine coal, up to 16 May 1857 (owner ?) and then up to Oct 1859, met old works of 1810 and old workings all round, and Cupola pit (Jowitt ) (Chinley Air pit) White Ash mine. Mine in Township of Disley near Turnpike Road. Coal wharf. Pot Tunnel level from Chinley Air pit, Tunnel mouth, Furness, near Yardsley Hall. Note this abandonment plan was presented to the Mining Records Office by Messrs G Heywood Son and Hughes, Oldham, on 12th August 1955.
  • Deep End near to Manor Farm abandoned (North Derbyshire)
  • Hallowes (Blackshale and ironstone)
  • Hermitage No1 DC, 70 yards (64m), No2 DC, 54 yards (49m), No3 UC, 48 yards (44m) (Butterley Co), by side of Canal, Codnor Park.
  • Hollingwood New (Richard Barrow)
  • Lockerford (or Locoford) (Robert Stephenson) Chesterfield, Blackshale, and Deep Soft wrought by Messrs Lambert, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth 27 Oct 1859.
  • Peggs Green (Peggs Green Colliery Co) 1830-1859.  Fatalities included John Waldran (?) killed by fall of roof 12/8/1853 and Jarvis Marshall (?) fall of roof 23/8/1853.
  • Marehay New Deep Soft (Coursham and Co sold to Butterley Co)
  • Spitehill or Spikehill (Yates and Co)
  • Thornsett Hey (SF Hiddrington) (North West Derbyshire), Yard seam, sunk 1851, coal worked by Jon Jowett
    – Sep 1859 in Hamlets of Thornsett and Whittle belonging to Duchy of Lancaster.
  • Turkey Field, referred to also as Strelley colliery (Thomas Webb Edge) near Cossall village working Soft coal was abandoned.

Pillar of Support for Railway and Canal

A pillar of support for the railway was left in the Soft coal workings at Cotmanhay (Barber Walker and Co). 
The Erewash Valley Railway from Chesterfield to Nottingham crossed the take, with the Eastwood colliery Branch.

The Erewash Canal also crossed the take. John Thomas Woodhouse Surveyor of Overseal, Ashby-de-la-Zouch made a plan in Dec 1859.

Whitebanks And Hasland Connected

A 530 yards (485m) connection road between Whitebanks and Hasland owned by Mr Senior was completed. The pits had been abandoned previously due to flooding.

Fatal Accidents 1859 Included

  • Alma (Holdsworth), T Reeds (17), run over by trams 14 Dec 1859.
  • Bagworth (Lord Maynard), C Barker (25), crushed by cage 29 Sep 1859.
  • Brands (Butterley Co), J Pick (60), fall of roof 5 Apr 1859.
  • Carnfield (Coke and Co), J Cross (27), fell down shaft 4 Oct 1859.
  • Chisworth (North West Derbyshire), G Crawshaw (12), run over by trams 25 Jun 1859.
  • Cotmanhay (Barber Walker and Co), double fatality, William Ellis (37) and William Cook (21), fall of roof 14 May 1859.
  • Cottam (Appleby and Co), William Ellis (37) and William Cook (21), fall 14 May 1859.
  • Denby (Lowe), J Taylor (14), fall of roof 18 Apr 1859.
  • Heanor (J Eley), Joseph Wood (34) 18 Aug 1859.
  • Highfield (Barrow), A Chapman (29), fall of roof 29 Jun 1859.
  • Newbold (Clayton and Knowles), J Barnett (14), fell down shaft 5 Feb 1859.
  • Rutland (I and R Potter), W Shaw (15), fall of coal 19 Mar 1859.
  • Silkstone Main (R and J Swallow) 4 youths Hugh Bird, Nathan Kirkby, William Meggitt and Henry Stevenson were killed when the cage went down the shaft on 15 Sep 1859.
  • Snibston (R Stephenson and Co), J Tindall (23), fall of coal 25 May 1859.
  • Spring House pit (Barrow?), Matthew Homer (15) 2 Jan 1859.
  • Staveley (J Marples), H Woodcock (30), struck by cage 4 Oct 1859.
  • Staveley (J Marples), T Thorpe (36) and ? (..) both fell out of cage 8 Nov 1859.
  • Staveley (J Marples), T McHugh (34), fall of roof 30 Nov 1859.
  • Whitwick (W Stenson and Co), J Wright (27), fall of roof 24 Sep 1859.


The combined output for 151 Derbyshire pits, 23 Nottinghamshire pits and 14 Leicestershire pits for 1859 was approx 4,280,000 tons. A point of interest, there were 36 mines in Eire at this time.


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