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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1874 - Page 1

Butterley Company

Butterley Company was the biggest employer in Derbyshire with the largest number of pits, 23 and 3 in Nottinghamshire. William Bean was Agent and Richard J Strick was Manager/Agent.

The Butterley Company Derbyshire Pits in 1874

  • Butterley Park 1, (Ell seam and Iron), 2, 3 (Iron), 5 Deep Soft, Deep Hard
  • Forty Horse Ell, DS, DH
  • Britain (opened 1874) DS, DH
  • Brands DS
  • Western (opened in 1874) Ell, DS
  • Ripley 1,2 DS, DH
  • Hartshay DS, DH
  • Waingroves DS, DH
  • Railway (opened 1874) DS, DH
  • Whiteley
  • Calley (opened 1874) DS, DH
  • Brickyard Ell
  • New Main 7, 8 Silkstone, Kilburn
  • Exhibition (opened 1874) Kilburn
  • Birchwood
  • Denby Hall 1,2 Iron
  • Langley DS, DH
  • Bailey Brook DS, DH; Loscoe DS, DH
  • Granby 1,2,3 (iron)

The Butterley Company Nottinghamshire Pits in 1874

  • Portland 1,2,4,6 Top Hard
  • Mexboro North, South and Bottom Top Hard and Plumptre.

Some pits were closed since 1873: Plumbley; Marehay; Newlands.

In 1875 Ormonde and Ilkeston 1 , 2 , 3 were opened for ironstone.

Nottingham Guardian
18th Sep 1874

There was an explosion at Newstead Shaft Sinking on 9th July 1874, when a chargeman named Lund told Sam Frear, a sinker, to drill out a miss-fired shot with a steel drill. The shot exploded and Frear and two others were injured, named James Towle and William Ward, one nearly losing an eye. Lund was fined 40 shillings and 2 guineas expenses.

Fire At Lockoford

There was a fire at Lockoford pit (Tapton Coal Co), Chesterfield, in 1874, which resulted in many men and boys being laid off for a fortnight.


At Pilsley the men came out on strike when the owners Holdsworth and Co refused to grant an advance of wages for working with safety lamps!

There was a strike at Pinxton No8 pit that lasted about 6 weeks over other grievances such as notice from the employer of a reduction in coal getting.

Development Of The Coalfields

The development of the coalfield continued unrelented.  Key workers at collieries such as carpenters, blacksmiths and other surface workers formed a branch of the South Yorkshire Coal Operatives Association in the Dronfield and Unstone districts of North Derbyshire.

Wider Screens (Forks)

In March 1874 wider screens (forks) were introduced at Britain colliery (Butterley Co), and also altered the price rates that according to the men ‘robbed’ them of at least 1 cwt per ton of coal raised.  There were strikes at the Butterley Co pits in April.  Similarly there were strikes in the Pinxton area pits in May. At Pinxton No8 pit near Brookhill Hall, they struck for 5 or 6 weeks from 1st May.  There had been a strike over shorter hours previously in 1872.


The number of Union Lodges increased over the winter from 46 to 54.   Demand for coal was further increased and many more mines were sunk.

Miners Housing

Joseph and George Wells built 600 miners’ cottages in Renishaw and Eckington.  Of course non-attendance etc meant the sack, and the sack meant no house!

"Victimised by the Butterley Company"

In 1874 unrest in the mining industry led to widespread strikes throughout the country. At a meeting at Codnor on the 13th April 1874, the Butterley Company miners unanimously voted to support the strike by ceasing work until Sir John G Alleyne of the Butterley company agreed to meet with them and discuss their grievances, which were as follows.

1. The company had taken off a premium of 2d. per ton without consulting the conciliation board (setup in 1873 by the company to settle disputes).

2. At Britain Colliery, a new, wider screen had been introduced which "robbed" the men of at least 1 cwt. per ton of coal raised.

3. Payment for heading and gate ripping had taken off the amount of 4s 6d per yard and upwards.

4. The payment of 1s 3d per ton for slack had also been taken off.

5. The company had started to fill Cannock Chase trucks with the intention of defeating the miners' strike in that district.

Sir John G Alleyne refused to meet with the representatives of the striking miners and eventually the men returned to work on 7th May 1874. However the Butterley Company prevented eleven of the striking miners from returning after they were accused of taking a prominent part in the dispute.

This postcard of the eleven miners "Victimised by the Butterley Company" was produced as part of a campaign to have them reinstated. Although the men were never charged of any crime, they were refused further employment at the Butterley company.

Their names are as follows.

Back Row left to right: Samuel Shooter, G Brown, S Cox, G Taylor, T Vickers, J Statham

Front row left to right: J Seal, William Purdy, T Wheeldon, J Wright, Thomas Purdy

Information for the above was obtained from the following sources.

  • The Heritage of Codnor & Loscoe, by Fred S Thorpe 1990
  • The Coal Authority.200 Lichfield Lane,Mansfield,Nottinghamshire,NG18 4RG.
  • Durham Mining Museum website:
  • History of Nottinghamshire Miners Volume 1" by Alan R Griffin

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1874

  • Alma (J Jowitt)
  • Alton 1 and 2 (Alton Coal and Coke Co) Ashover, sinking
  • Ambergate (Ambergate Coal and Brick Co)
  • Bailey Brook (Butterley Co)
  • Barlborough (Staveley Coal and Iron Co)
  • Barlow Lees (Monkwood Colliery Co)
  • Birley Hackenthorpe (John Plant)
  • Birley Railway (Jeffcock and Dunn)
  • Blackfordby clay and coal mine
  • Brickyard, Britain, Calley, Denby Hall, Railway and Western, (all opened by the Butterley Co around Ripley)
  • Birchwood Lane (Chas Seely and Co), Alfreton
  • Birchwood (Butterley Iron and Coal Co), Alfreton
  • Birdfield (Ward Bros), Eckington
  • Blackfordby (CF Hastings), Woodville, Manager Alfred Eley of Swadlincote
  • Blackshale (James Oakes and Co) Pye Hill
  • Blackshale (CH Plevins and Co) 
  • Blackwell B Winning (Blackwell Colliery Co) sunk to 345 yards (313m)
  • Bottoms Hall (J and N Tynn), Marple
  • Brierley Hill (Sutton Colliery Co) sinking deeper
  • Brimington Lane (Cornelius Black)
  • Brimington Lane (Robert Carr) Chesterfield
  • Brinsley (Beardsley and Hogg)
  • Brockwell (W and H Bridden)
  • Brockwell Road (Henry Naylor) Chesterfield
  • Broom Field (Whittington and Sheepbridge Coal Co) Sheepbridge
  • Brushes (John Cropper)
  • Bugsworth (Thos Bennett) New Mills
  • Cathole (Cathole Colliery Co)
  • Clay Cross (Tyler and Woodward)
  • Clay Cross No8 (Clegg Bros)
  • Clay Lane (Price and Langham) Clay Cross
  • Comber Wood (John Shirtcliffe), Killamarsh
  • Compsall Road (Andrews and Son), Marple
  • Coppice (AM Mundy)
  • Cottam New (Renishaw Coal and Iron Co)
  • Cowley New (Richard Bingham), Mickley seam, drawing pit 26 yards (23.8m), air shaft 14 yards (12.8m)
  • Cumberland (Kirby and Cross), Clay Cross
  • Danes Moor (Clegg Bros), Clay Cross
  • Deep Main (Jas Oakes and Co), Pye Bridge
  • Denby Hall 1 and 2 (Butterley Iron and Coal Co)
  • Digby (Digby Colliery Co)
  • Diminsdale New (Edward Chambers), Tibshelf
  • Dodson (William Ball), Ilkeston
  • Do Well  (Thos Brocklehurst), Brampton
  • Ellistown (Leicestershire)
  • Eureka (J and N Nadin)
  • Furnace (Kirby and Cross), Clay Cross
  • Furnace (Ilkeston Colliery Co)
  • Gomersal (John Sheard)
  • Goyte (Buxton Lime Co), Buxton
  • Grasscroft (Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co)
  • Griffydam (Leicestershire)
  • Heage New (WG Cursham)
  • Heanor Lane (Henry Fletcher), Heanor, re-opened
  • Heather (Leicestershire)  Winding shaft 1874-76 start sinking
  • Highfield (Lancaster and Knowles), Chesterfield
  • High Lane (J and G Wells)
  • High Moor (High Moor Colliery Co)
  • Hill Top (Small and Co), S Normanton
  • Hollingwood (Gosling and Co), Eckington
  • Holme, Chesterfield  (JB Crooks)
  • Hornthorpe (J and G Wells)
  • Horwich Tunnel (Buxton Lime Co)
  • Hundall (EM Bainbridge and Co)
  • Ilkeston New Sinking (Ilkeston Colliery Co), Ilkeston
  • Ireland, a single shaft was sinking also, (Staveley Coal and Iron Co), E443686, N374178, with a connection to be made through to Hartington colliery for ventilation
  • Kilburne (G and T Small)
  • Langley Mill (Langley Mill Engineering Co)
  • Lawn (Robinson and Co), Belper
  • Linby (Linby Coal Co) sinking
  • Locoford (Tapton Coal Co)
  • Lower House (Stanfield and Co) New Mills
  • Main (J and N Nadin) Swadlincote
  • Manor (Manor Silkstone Co) Dronfield
  • Marehay (Marehay Colliery Co)
  • Marlpool (Heanor and Marlpool Colliery Co)
  • Marlpool 2 (Heanor and Marlpool Colliery Co) sinking
  • Mellor New Mills (J Jowitt)
  • Mickley Dronfield  (HW Morris)
  • Mill Brow (North Derbyshire Brickworks), Hayfield
  • Morley Park (Thos Price), Belper
  • Morley Park (Marehay Colliery Co)
  • Morton (Clay Cross Co No 6) (Clay Cross Co)
  • Newcastle (Alfred M Mundy), Shipley
  • New Hall Park (Countess of Chesterfield) Burton
  • Newland (Newland Coal Co) Eckington
  • New London (Digby Colliery Co) sinking
  • New Main (FS Whitworth) Alfreton
  • New Pit (John Rhodes) Eckington
  • New Selston (Bull and Butcher) (Barber, Walker and Co), sunk 342 yards (311m)
  • New Sinking (J and G Wells) Killamarsh
  • New Skegby (Skegby Brick and Lime Co)
  • Newstead (Newstead Co Ltd) sinking
  • North Wingfield No7 (Executors of Sir William Jackson, Clay Cross Iron and Coal Co)
  • Nutbrook (AM Mundy)
  • Ormond (John Beardsley), Loscoe
  • Phoenix (Thomas Kirby), Eckington
  • Piper (Awsworth Iron and Coal Co) Eastwood
  • Plumbley New (John Rhodes) Eckington
  • Prince Albert (J and G Wells) Eckington
  • Pye Hill (Jas Oakes and Co), sunk to 235 yards (213m)
  • Reservoir (Gregory and Sharratt) Chesterfield
  • Riber (William Nicholls) Brampton, Piper seam, coal 7½” (0.19m), dirt 1½” (0.04m), coal 5” (0.13m), dirt 1” (0.02m), coal 4” (0.10m), dirt ½” (0.01m), dirt 3½” (0.09m), coal 8” (0.20m), William Deakin Wadsworth Surveyor, output from commencement to 1st July 1874 was 1 acre 2 roods 2 poles
  • Rough Piece (Geo White) Dronfield
  • Selston (Jas Oakes and Co)
  • Silver Hill (Stanton Iron and Coal Co) preparing to sink deeper
  • Sinking (Alton Coal and Coke Co) Ashover
  • Sinking (Messrs Barnes) Chesterfield
  • Spawcroft (Edward Chambers) Tibshelf, sinking (also known as Forecroft)
  • Springfield (Hill Top Colliery Co Ltd) first listed
  • Stanley (Stanley Colliery Co), Stanley
  • Stanton (J and R Nadin and Co) Burton
  • Steetley Wood (Shireoaks Colliery Co), Worksop
  • Storforth Chesterfield  (Industrial Coal Co)
  • Stubley Dronfield (Messrs Lucas)
  • Sutton (Trustees of Sutton Estate) Sutton Scarsdale, Derbyshire
  • Swanwick Deep (CRP Morewood)
  • Tunnel (Richard Evans) Ilkeston
  • Tupton (Chesterfield and Boythorpe Colliery Co)
  • Unstone (Unstone Coal and Coke Co)
  • Waterloo Clay Cross (North Wingfield Colliery Co)
  • Whaley Bridge (Buxton Lime Co)
  • Wollaton (New and Oldknow), sunk, Nottingham
  • Woodhouse (Booker and Co) Silkstone
  • Woodhouse Lane (Hardwick and Brailsford), Eckington
  • Woodside (AM Mundy), Shipley. 
  • New Skegby (Skegby Coal and Lime Co) owned by John Dodsley, finished sinking two 9 feet (2.72m) diameter shafts to the Top Hard seam at 200 yards (183m) deep.  The pit was purchased from the old company and renamed
  • Brierley Hill (William Holbrock, Manager). Large numbers of miners from a district of Brierley in Staffordshire flocked to the new mine. 
  • Bestwood (Bestwood Coal and Iron Co) continued sinking.
  • Rawdon shaft deepened.
  • Fernilee mine at Whaley Bridge (North West Derbyshire) was re-opened 1872-1874 (William Proctor).  Originally a pit had been opened around 1600.   
  • Shallcross New pit was also sunk in the same area. 
    (112 Pits)

The first sod was turned at Ireland shaft on 10th June 1874 (Staveley Coal and Iron Co).

Rawdon colliery (CF Hastings) was restarted again having been closed since 1844 and took over the production from Marquis colliery.

At Bretby No1 water was seeping into the pit and a new pit Bretby No2 was sunk at Stanton and locally called Stanton Lane.

Alma Colliery

The Alma colliery was sunk 418 yards (382m) to the Silkstone seam (Thos Holdsworth).  The Top Hard goaf was reached at 25 yards (23m) deep and had been worked about 120 years before. 

The workings were drained by a water level about 1 mile long. The Ell seam was reached at 165 yards (150m). 3 shafts were sunk, No1 winding and UC steam, 11½ ft (3.5m) dia, No2 middle and winding and DC at 15 ft (4.6m) dia and 38 yards (35m) away and No3 winding and fan shaft 11ft (3.35m) 28 yds (25m) to West of No2, all 9” (0.23m) brickwork.  Dunsil 2ft (0.61m) at 41yards (37.5m), Upper Waterloo 4ft 3in (1.3m) at 57 yards (52m), Lower Waterloo 3ft 5in (1.04m)at 88 yards (80.5m), Coal 2 ft 4in (0.71m) at 150 yards (137m), Ell 2ft 9½in (0.85m) at 165 yards (150m), Deep Soft 5ft 6in (1.68m) at 227½ yards (208m), Deep Hard 6ft (1.83m) at 283½ yards (259m), Upper Piper 3 ft 1½in (0.95m) at  302 yards (276m), Lower Piper 2ft 7in (0.79m)at 316 yards (289m), Tupton 5ft 7½in (1.71m), Tupton Threequarters 2ft 6in (0.76m) at 367½ yards (336m), Cannel 2ft 5in (0.74m) at 400yards (365m), Silkstone 4ft 11in (1.5m) at 418 yards (382m) and sump at 427 yards (390m).  Obviously this was a very rich sinking.

Headgears were pitchpine and winders made by Oliver and Co, Chesterfield.  3 Boilers, 30ft x 5 ft (9.1 x 1.5m) hand fired.  Water pumped at 76gpm.  No3 shaft had an air tight flat cover lifted by the cage and dropped again on way down.  Ventilation by Waddle fan 24 ft (7.3m) dia and horizontal engine with 16” (0.40m) cylinder x 3 ft (0.91m) stroke, by Markham and Co, speed 80 revs/min to give 80,000 cu ft at 1½” (0.038m) Water gauge.  Safety lamps by Teale and Co of Swinton, but open lights permitted in DC pit bottom.  Method of work by longwall, no pillars left, face 880 yards (805m) long and 3 main jig roads from 110 yards (100m) to 350 yards (320m) long.  Output from 3 seams, was 500 tons in 8½ hours.  By 1894, Proprietor was Geo W Turner and Manager, William B Hague.

Collapse Of Coal Boom

The collapse of the coal boom 1871-1874 followed shortly, no doubt worrying the owners of these latest sinkings.  Butterley Co ended their lease at Denby Hall.

Changes Of Ownership

 Appleby and Co sold Renishaw to the Chesterfield Co and Sheepbridge Iron Co sold out their mine at Norwood to the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co Ltd.

John and Geo Wells became a Limited Company with Joseph Calver as Managing Director.

Newstead sunk by Newstead Colliery Co became Staveley Coal and Iron Co, and Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co Ltd managed.

Waterloo Chesterfield from Barnes Bros to Thompson Bros. 

Park House (Sir Wiliam Jackson Bart and Co), now known as Park House No4.

Meadow pit was sunk south of Coalfield Farm by Joseph Baker who had a lease for 25 years. He sank 2 more pits in the next 2 years. Brickyard pit and a Pumping No3 shaft DC and No4 UC shaft.


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