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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1877 - Page 1

Founder Of The Sheepbridge Co Died

William Fowler chairman and founder of the Sheepbridge Co died in January and was succeeded by Henry Davis Pochin originating from North Wales, but at the time an entrepreneur living in Manchester.

Wagon Hire

The Bestwood Coal and Iron Co Ltd hired railway wagons for a specific number of years from around a dozen firms for Bestwood colliery.  From 1st January 1877 they hired 125 wagons for 7 years from West Lancashire Wagon Co    

56 wagons for 7 years from Lincoln Wagon and Engine Co Ltd
70 from Scottish Wagon Co Ltd for 7 years from 29th June 1877
70 from Thomas Coate of St Ives Huntingdon, from 12th October 1877
Two orders of 70 wagons from Lincoln Wagon and Engine Co Ltd from 13th October 1877
50 from Thomas Coate St Ives from 1st December 1877
20 from Charles Prentice Tebbutt, Bluntisham from 5th February 1878
105 from Lincoln Wagon and Engine Co Ltd again for 7 years as above from 27th September 1878
100 wagons from Bristol and South West Railway Co Ltd for 6¾ years from 14th August 1879
100 from Thomas Coate of St Ives for 6¾ years from 12th January 1880
100 for 1 year from North Central Wagon Co, Rotherham from 12th March 1883
69 for 1 year from Birmingham Railway and Wagon Co Ltd from 19th October 1892 and a further 69 from them for 3 years from 23rd September 1899. Some of the mining companies actually purchased wagons.

Contract Rule Introduced

In 1877 the Blackwell Colliery Co introduced Contract Rules, whereby the Manager or Agent could impose a fine he thought reasonable, not exceeding 10 shillings (50p), on any stallman or labourer for any breach of rules.

Pit Flooded

At Old Willey Lane colliery Underwood, (Nottinghamshire), (Barber, Walker and Co).  With the pit flooded the water stood at 100 feet (30m) deep in the shaft on 6th April 1877 and rising.

Coal Mines Regulation Act

There was a further Coal Mines Regulation Act in 1877.  This Act gave the miners freedom to appoint checkweighers.  It also stated that authorised persons were to supervise working places.  It also mentioned safety lamps and explosives.  Other provisions were for safety and welfare of men. 

No boy under 12 was to be employed underground in future. 

HM Inspectorate

Frank N Wardell was a Mines Inspector.  From the 1877 report of Thomas Evans HMI Midlands District: there were 56 ventilation machines: 28 Guibal fans, 17 Waddle fans, 2 Rammell fans, 2 Schiele fans and 7 others.  Arthur H Stokes was appointed Assistant to Chief Inspector Thomas Evans.

Men Dismissed By Butterley Co

In March 1877 the Butterley Co dismissed many men at Ripley (Derbyshire), however they established a soup kitchen to help the families of the men.  The Company also sold Dolly Tunnel at New Mills, in the North West of the county of Derbyshire, purchased previously from Thomas Bennett.


A group of men and boys at Shireoaks are shown in the photo.

Short Time Working

Many pits were now working only 3 or 4 days a week, although many more pits continued to be sunk.
Shireoaks colliery was on full-time and at the new pit at Steetly the Top Hard at 585 yards (535m) deep was developing rapidly although the seam in the pit bottom was thin it increased to 4’ 8” (1.42m).    

North West Derbyshire

Another Fernilee pit was worked from 1872-1884. Shallcross New colliery was worked from 1873-1887. Now there was transport for the coal by two methods, canal and railway. The seams were thin and difficult to work.

Sutton Pit, Heath

William Arkwright purchased Sutton pit, Heath, (Derbyshire), from the Trustees of the Sutton Estate.

New Markets Opened Up

New markets were opened up at Silver Hill, Teversall and Pleasley for the Stanton Iron Co who’s Directors had been waiting for the coming of the Midland Railway before developing fully.

Manager Summoned

On 7 Jul 1877 the Manager of Cutthorpe colliery Sam Hoskins was summoned for employing persons in the colliery without 2 shafts communicating with each other. There was no adequate ventilation to dilute and render harmless any noxious gas in the pit. He was fined £5 on the first count and £1 on the second. The pit had been closed in 1876.

Union Sold Shirland

The South Yorkshire Miners Association sold Shirland colliery (Shirland Colliery Co) for £11,000 to Benton and Woodiwiss who were railway contractors. The pit had been flooded in the stormy winter of January 1877

Collieries That Changed Hands in 1877

  • Carr Close changed hands from Bostock and Co to Joseph Pearson
  • Calow changed hands from Aaron Robinson to the Calow Colliery Co Ltd
  • Cottam from Appleby and Co to Cottam Old and New Renishaw Coal and Iron Co
  • Cumberland from A Kirby to Kirby and Cross
  • Denby Hall from Butterley Iron and Coal Co to Thomas Bennett
  • Fallswood from A and WT Badger to A Badger and Son
  • Foxley Oaks, from Silkstone Colliery Co Ltd to Whittington Silkstone Colliery Co Ltd
  • Furnace from A Kirby to Kirby and Cross
  • Hucknall, Hucknall Huthwaite, from Mellers to Hucknall Huthwaite Co
  • Ilkeston No1 from Ilkeston Colliery Co to Butterley Iron and Coal Co
  • Kirkhallam from Thomas Whitehouse and Son to West Hallam Coal and Iron Co
  • Marehay from Marehay Colliery Co to Fords and Mart
  • Manor Dronfield, from Manor Silkstone Co to Messrs Lucas
  • Clay Cross pits and Morton 5 from Executors of Sir William Jackson to Clay Cross Co
  • Newcastle (Derbyshire) from Alfred M Mundy to Edward M Mundy
  • New Main Chesterfield, from W Whitworth to FS Whitworth
  • Northfield Shirland, from Northfield Colliery Co to Pyatt and Swann
  • Old Brampton from Nichols and Wheatcroft to Thomas Nichols
  • Peacock from Shorthouse and Gregory to Joseph Shorthouse
  • Ryefield 1 from C and WH Dawes and Co to George Dawes
  • Salterwood from C and WH Dawes and Co to George Dawes
  • Salterwood New from C and WH Dawes and Co to Salterwood Colliery Co
  • Skegby from Skegby Colliery Lime and Brick Co Ltd to Skegby Coal and Lime Co Ltd
  • Stanley from Stanley Colliery Co to G and T Small
  • Stanhope from J and N Nadin to Maples and Co
  • Sutton (Scarsdale) (North Derbyshire), from executors of Sutton Estate to William Arkwright
  • Totley Moor from Hargate and Chambers to George Hardwick and Co
  • Unstone from Hutchinson and Saxon to Samuel Saxton
  • West Hallam 1 and 2 from Whitehouse and Son to West Hallam Coal and Iron Co
  • Woodfield from Church and Maples to Maples and Co
  • Woodhouse Lane Eckington, from Woodhouse Lane Colliery Co to Samuel Saxton
  • Woodside from AM Mundy to EM Mundy.
  • Molyneux colliery at Fackley from Eastwood and Swingler, Nathan Mellers of Huthwaite had taken over the lease and attempted to re-open old workings, however the pit was now in decline. It was noted that Dunshill colliery and
  • Silver Hill colliery had a line of barrier. Coal was gotten near Dunshill and there were Dunsil hollows above Wild Hill towards the farm. 


Sinking started at Granville (South Derbyshire), the Manager was George Bragge.  There were 3 pits at this colliery. No1 was a surface adit about 500 yards (app 460m) where coal vehicles were hauled up by a 30hp engine. No2 pit was 84 yards (77m) to the Eureka coal seam and No3 pit (Middle Place) was 107 yards (98m) deep to the Kilburn seam. This shaft had 2 cages.  The Kilburn seam was also worked.

At 11 yards (10m) deep the Overcoal, top leaf of the Main seam at 7’ 6” (2.29m) was found to have been worked in the past.

During sinking to the Eureka the Nether coal at 8’ 6” (2.59m) was passed through.


Stanhope colliery was worked by means of a 1in3 surface drift from the outcrop. A connection was made to Bretby No3 colliery. This colliery had a short life and was abandoned in 1880s due to water and a recession in the coal trade.

Pit Flooded

Sometime in July 1876 there was an accident in the Unstone district with the flooding of the Woodhouse pit (Messrs Booker and Co) and into the Oxclose mine (Messrs Andrews and Co) where work was suspended for several weeks throwing 100 men out of work.

Visit By The Future King And Queen

During the summer of 1877 most of the pits around Nottingham came to a standstill for the day, when the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) came to open the Castle Museum.  Huge crowds lining the route cheered them.

Nottingham Coal In Demand

Nottinghamshire coal was in demand in the Baltic States. Steam, best house coal 10s 0d (50p) to 12s 0d (60p) a ton, seconds 8s 0d (40p) to 9s 0d (45p), screened cobbles 6s 0d (30p) to 7s 6d (37½p), hard (best house) 7s 9d (38¾p) to 13s 0d (65p) and slacks 4s 6d (22½p) to 5s 3d (26¼p) a ton.

At Digby (Digby Colliery Co) there were various problems in July. Faulty ground and water was affecting the 3’ 0” (0.91m) thick Deep Soft seam.

Derbyshire Coal To The Netherlands

Coal from Langley Mill area (Derbyshire)  was being exported to the Netherlands.

Kilburne colliery was producing exceptionally good quality coal.

Screens At Ellistown

Screens were erected at Ellistown (JJ Ellis) and a hoist to raise the coal and using screen bars on an inclination coal was loaded into open ended tubs.

Nottinghamshire Stood For Wakes Week

From 3rd August 1877, Nottinghamshire pits were stood for a few days for Wakes week. At a few pits there was a further reduction in getting rates of 3d (1¼p) a ton.  The men were now on 18s 0d (90p) to 20s 0d (£1) per week.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1877

Sinking of Alma 1 and 2 (Thomas Holdsworth) was completed in February 1877, having commenced in 1874.  It was the largest mine at North Wingfield.  The shafts were sunk down to the Blackshale seam at 418 yards (382m).  The Top Hard goaf was passed through at 25 yards (23m) deep. Pitch pine headgears were erected at the shafts, as was usual at the time. The Manager was George William Turner.

  • Barlow, Sheepbridge (Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co)
  • Belper (Belper Lawn Colliery Co)
  • Bole Hill (Ball Hill?), Alfreton (Marshall and Tingle)
  • Brampton (Knowles, Wright and Knowles), Blackshale
  • Bridge Inn, Chesterfield (JB Crooks)
  • Brockwell Road (Henry Naylor)
  • Broom House (Whittington and Sheepbridge Coal Co)
  • Bull Close (Messrs Hewitt and Son) thin coal, Estate of Mr Walker, Mineral Surveyor Joseph Archer
  • Coppice, Shipley (AM Mundy)
  • Coton and Lenton (Coton Park and Lenton Colliery Co)
  • Cottam Old and New (Appleby and Co)
  • Denby Pottery, Denby (Bourne and Son)
  • Ell Vein Shalgh, Clay Cross (North Wingfield Colliery Co)
  • Eureka, Swadlincote (J and N Nadin) (South Derbyshire)
  • Grasscroft Wood (Knowles and Co)
  • Gun Lane, Belper (Isaac Shore)
  • Hallows Farm (Dronfield Silkstone Coal Co)
  • Highfield (G Senior)
  • Hill Top (Dronfield Brick Co)
  • Holme Close (HJ Edwards)
  • Killamarsh, (John Shirtcliffe), Eckington
  • Kitchen Wood (W Bedford and Co)
  • Langwith (Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co) sinking
  • Laund (Belper Laund Colliery Co), Belper
  • Main Swadlincote (J and N Nadin) (South Derbyshire)
  • Millfield, Ilkeston (Matthew Hobson)
  • Morley Hill (Geo Pearson and Co)
  • Nether Heage (Isaac Shore and Co)
  • New Main, Ripley (Butterley Iron and Coal Co)
  • New Hucknall (New Hucknall Colliery Co)
  • New Silkstone (Jas Oakes and Co)
  • North Derbyshire Brick Work (North Derbyshire Brick and Tile Co)
  • Northfield, Shirland (R Swann) 60 yards (55m)
  • Oakwell, Ilkeston (Ilkeston Colliery Co)
  • Old Brampton (J Hayes)
  • Ripley Road, Heage (Robert Hunt)
  • Ryefield Denby (Bourne and Son)
  • Salterwood New (Salterwood Colliery Co)
  • Shady, Alfreton (Charles Seely and Co)
  • Shirland (Pyatt and Swann)
  • Silkstone (J and G Wells) Chesterfield
  • Snowden Lane (Swift and Allen)
  • South Leicestershire (syndicate) began production, Manager LC Cox
  • Stanhope (Maples and Co)
  • Stanhope (J and N Nadin)
  • Steetly (Wood) (Shireoaks Colliery Co)
  • Stoneyford (Earl of Mexborough) Deep Soft and Deep Hard, plan prepared by Geo H Bond and Son MEs, Nottingham
  • Swadlincote (James Woodward)
  • Temple Normanton (Temple Normanton Colliery Co)
  • Thornsett Hey (Thomas Bennett) New Mills
  • Totley Moor, Dronfield (George Chadwick and Co)
  • Two Sheds or Coolham, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Simmondley seam
  • Unstone, Unstone (Unstone Coal and Coke Co Ltd)
  • Unstone, Unstone (Samuel Saxton)
  • Waterloo (North Wingfield Colliery Co)
  • Whaley Bridge (Trustees of Thomas Guy Gisborne) 18” (0.46m) Red ash seam fin 13 Feb 1877, J London Strain, one old tunnel where a later tunnel at 67 yards (61.25m) intersects. Winding pit, Pumping pit, balance pit and 127 yards (116m) down to 4’ 6” (1.37m) Big seam or Yard, resting on top of Gritstone Rock
  • Wheeldon Mill (SM Lancaster)
  • White pit (Whitwick Colliery Co) Manager LC Cox
  • Winnings colliery (Blackwell Colliery Co Ltd) sinking
  • Woodfield (J and N Nadin).

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Pit Terminology - Glossary


Page 2