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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1877 - Page 2

Mines in North West Derbyshire

Referring to the map. Coal was mined at Fernilee in 1606. This is the earliest record. It is possible that mining had begun many years before. The area was quite remote and cut off in many ways at that time as there were no proper roads only cart tracks and the coal would have only been transported to areas close by.

The building of a canal then a railway obviously allowed coal to be transported to places further afield.

Sinking At Silver Hill

New Pit

Sinking was completed at the new TeversallSilver Hill pitNo1 downcast shaft was an old 10 ft (3.05m) dia upcast shaft called Dunsill pit, widened to 15 ft (4.57m) and deepened to 454 yards (415m) to the Silkstone seam or Blackshale at 3 feet 3 inches (0.99m) thick and the new 15 feet (4.57m) diameter No2 shaft was sunk through the old Top Hard and Dunsil goafs to the Low Main or Tupton seam and Blackshale.  Cast iron tubbing was introduced in the shafts to hold back the water from the old water level. Section at No2 shaft: Top Hard 5’ 6” (1.67m) at 51½ yards (47m), Dunsil 4’ 0” (1.22m) at 82 yds (75m), Waterloo 2’ 0” (0.61m) at 89 yds (81m), Waterloo 2’ 4½” (2.11m) at 91 yds (83m), 2nd Waterloo 2’ 7” (0.79m) at 111 yds (101m), coal and batt 2’ 7” (0.79m) at 134 yds (122m), Ell 1’ 11” (0.59m) at 233 yds (213m), Deep Hard 2’ 7” (0.79m) at 292 yds (267m), Piper 2’ 8” (0.82m) at 302 yds (276m), Low Main 5’ 2½” (1.58m) at 359 yds (328m), Threequarter 2’ 6” (0.76m) at 364 yds (333m), Yard 3’ 4” (1.01m) and dirt 1’ 0½” (0.31m) at 398 yds (364m) and Blackshale 3’ 2” (0.97m) at 420 yards (384m). Stables were established in the Blackshale seam and an underground furnace built with a dummy drift at the Low Main horizon. 

Fatal Accidents in 1877

Explosion at Annesley

There was an explosion at Annesley colliery in the Top Hard seam following a fire that had been discovered during mid May 1877. Teams of 6 men were deployed to contain the fire during June, the pit having been stood for production for a week. No doubt this would have been a gob fire or heating. George Toplis sensed a strange feeling in his legs and he ran as fast as he could towards the pit bottom to raise the alarm but after about 100 yards felt a rush of wind around him. Other men had noted a change in air pressure. Some men were burned, some had minor injuries and 7 men were overcome by afterdamp, near to the Top Hard shaft bottom and died. The following bodies were found in the return airway beyond 22s Haulage engine and the Stables Road:

  • George Topley (age..?)
  • Waplington (?)
  • Ward (?)
  • Webster (?)
  • Pickard (?)
  • Abbott (?)
  • Bradbury (?)

It was stated that the dead men looked pink and healthy, the reason being that the afterdamp (carbon monoxide or whitedamp) gas is attracted to the oxyhaemoglobin of the blood giving rise to this condition. Two others Fred Moucher and George Rye were overcome by the ‘damp’ but subsequently recovered. In July there were appeals to the public for aid for the widows and orphans of the deceased.  £500 was collected including £200 from the colliery company.

Other Fatal Accidents

  • Heath End (John Lancaster and Co) Thomas Toon killed by a powder explosion, Sep 1877. William Mear, fall of coal.
  • Bestwood, Isaac Jones (age? – boy?) was killed 7 Aug 1877
  • Blackwell, Benjamin Brooks (37), fall of coal 8 May 1877
  • Blackwell, Sam Danner (40), crushed by wagon on the surface 26 Jul 1877
  • Britain, William Wheeldon (16), coal fell down shaft 2 Oct 1877
  • Campbell, John Cornell (26), fall of roof 31 Oct 1877
  • Clay Cross No1, Luke Kilduff (21), fall of roof 4 May 1877
  • Clay Cross No7, John Wright (21), fall of roof 8 Oct 1877
  • Clay Cross No8, Joseph Jepson (52), winding rope broke and cage fell down shaft 27 Oct 1877
  • Clink (W Worswick)
  • Donisthorpe, John Shuttleworth (14), fall of coal 10 Jun 1877
  • Donisthorpe, Joseph Winter (42), run over by tubs 4 Jun 1877
  • Donisthorpe, James Kirk (34), fall of coal 16 Nov 1877
  • Dunston, George Wilkinson (29), died 10 Feb 1877, injured 6 Sep 1876
  • Dunston, John English (17), fall of roof, 30 Apr 1877
  • Handley Wood, George Gibbons (42), caught in machinery 16 Feb 1877
  • Heath End, Thomas Noon (30), explosion of powder 15 Sep 1877
  • Heath End, William Mear (27), fall of coal 3 Oct 1877
  • Hundall, William Poskett (20), fall of coal 5 Dec 1877
  • Kilburn, Richard White (22), fall of roof 20 Feb 1877
  • Pilsley, William Hadfield (13), crushed by a wagon on the surface 20 Jan 1877
  • Manners, John Tomlinson (38), stone fell down shaft and struck him 26 Aug 1876
  • Nailstone, James Rose (32), fall of coal 16 Apr 1877
  • New Brampton, James Gothard (23), fall of coal 3 Apr 1877
  • Pilsley, John Birch (18), run over by tubs 6 Oct 1877
  • Pilsley, Joseph Smith (30), fall of coal 28 Jun 1877
  • Renishaw Park, Joseph Booth (15), crushed by cage 11 Aug 1877
  • Renishaw Park, James Hughes (30), fall of coal 19 Dec 1877
  • Seymour, William Moody (16), run over by tubs 26 Jan 1877
  • Seymour, Edward James (50), fall of coal 8 Nov 1877
  • Tibshelf, William Stocks (20), fall of roof 19 Jan 1877
  • Tibshelf, Levi Ray (21), fall of roof, 12 Feb 1877
  • Whitwick, Joseph Hind (30), fall of coal 9 Oct 1877
  • Willey Lane, Joseph More (..?) and John Wilson (..?) on 18 Oct 1862.

Overwind at Digby – 29 May 1877

The Engine House was between the 2 shafts. 3 men descending in the cage sustained serious injuries when the cage hit the pit bottom with force. Joseph Bircumshaw had a leg and thigh fractured and John Freer had a leg broken in 2 places and George Flint similarly had a leg broken in 2 places plus injures to his spine. Isaac Stirling was the engine driver.

Colliery Closures in 1877

  • Alderwasley (EM Wass), Matlock
  • Alton Old (RW Jackson and Co), Ashover
  • Apperknowle (Gill and Co), Unstone
  • Apperknowl (Havenhand and Allen), Chesterfield, 1876-1877, opened by G Wright and worked to 1869, then reopened 1874 by Gill and Co
  • Aspenshaw (Aspenshaw Coal Co) 18th Aug, coal 2’ 6” (0.76m), 5 pits are shown
  • Babbington (Chas Seely and Co), Basford
  • Birdfield (Ellis and Ward), Eckington, Silkstone
  • Birley Moor (Edward Bramhall), Eckington
  • Birley Moor (Mrs H Bramall), Beighton, Parkgate
  • Birley North (Jeffcock, Dunn and Co)
  • Birley Parkgate (Jeffcock, Dunn and Co)
  • Blackshale (CH Plevins and Co), Newbold
  • Boythorpe Potters No4 coal mine (Chesterfield and Boythorpe Coal Co Ltd) Potters seam, heading finished 18 Apr 1877, abandoned 8 Jun 1877 as there was indication on the surface of old workings in advance, William Clifford ME and Manager, Thomas Evans HMI 8 Aug 1877
  • Brimington Lane (Cornelius Black), Chesterfield
  • Carnfield (Messrs Coke and Co), Alfreton, sunk 1835 to 123 yards (112m), Soft coal or Deep Soft (tops 1’ 6” (0.45m), batt 3” (0.08m), bottoms 2’ 0” (0.61m), total 3’ 9” (1.14m) and Hard coal or Deep Hard (top soft 1’ 0½” (0.32m), batt or scud 1½” (0.03), seconds hard coal 1’ 0” (0.31m) and best hards 1’ 4½” (0.41m), total 3’ 6½” (1.07m) finished Jan, Manager BJ Chadborn. Surveyor: George Sanderson 1833
  • Cathole (Cathole Colliery Co) Belper Lawn
  • Clay Lane (Thomas Elliott) Blackshale 4’ 4” (1.32m) abandoned Oct 1877, Surveyor FJ Walker
  • Clay Lane (Thomas Elliott) Blackshale 4’ 4” (1.32m) Oct 1877, Surveyor George Robinson
  • Clay Lane (Price and Langham), Clay Cross
  • Cowley New (Richard Bingham), Chesterfield, Mickley 2’ 5½” (0.75m), Drawing pit 26 yards (23.75m), Air shaft 14 yards (12.75m), dip of coal 1in10, retreated towards shaft, finished Dec 1876, Surveyor WP Howard of Howard and Gould) Feb 1878
  • Cowley (Richard Bingham), Dronfield, Mickley seam, coal 6” (0.15m), bat 1½ “ (0.04m), coal 1’ 11” (0.58m), total 2’ 5 ½“ (0.75m), finished Dec 1876, Howard and Gould, Feb 1877
  • Cutthorpe (Sam Hoskin and Co), Newbold, Silkstone 2 shafts 87 yards (79m) and 67 yards (61m) app 130 yards (120m) between, abandoned 24 May 1877, received by Thomas Evans HMI 8 Jun 1877
  • Dodson (William Ball), Ilkeston
  • Dowell (T Brocklehurst), Brampton, Tupton Threequarters
  • Furnace (Ilkeston Colliery Co), Ilkeston
  • Gilt Brook (Digby Colliery Co Ltd) Deep Hard closed after 26 years, sunk 1860, SK44NE 448468, 345037, Surveyor George H Bond and Son MEs
  • Gomersall (John Sheard) Blackshale, met old works, Mineral Surveyor Joseph Archer
  • Hady Hill / Lower Hady (Thomas Mason)
  • Highfield (Messrs Lucas) Dronfield
  • Highmoor (Highmoor Colliery Co), Eckington
  • High Lane (Mrs Poynton), sunk 1820 included Oven pit, Far pit and Air pit
  • High Lane (F Gosling), Barlborough, High Hazel
  • High Moor (Senior and Worrall), Killamarsh, High Hazles 3’ 11’’ (1.21m) including 2½’’ (0.06m) dross and 1’’ (0.02m) bat, finished May, abandoned 26 Dec 1877, Chandos Pole owner
  • Ilkeston (Butterley Co), Ell coal and ironstone
  • Lower House (Lower House Colliery Co), transferred to Thomas Bennett Nov 1877, New Mills, 17th Sep Mountain 3’ 0” (0.91m), Old pit 76 yards deep (69m), New pit 102 yards (93m) deep
  • Marehay Fords (Ford and Mart, ex Bradley Mart), Ripley, 2nd Ell 1’ 10” (0.57m), at 57 yards (52m), sunk deeper No3 and No4 at 8 feet (2.4m) diameter, 57 yards (52m), July
  • Morley Park (Thomas Price)
  • Newland (Newland Coal Co), High Moor, 65 yards (59m)
  • New Main (W Whitworth) Chesterfield
  • Newmarket Alma Cannel (Birkenshaw and Son), Clay Cross, Cannel and Silkstone
  • Newthorpe, (Digby Coal Co), Eastwood, stood
  • Northfield (Richard Swann), Shirland, 2 shafts 60 yards (55m) deep and Air pit some distance away, Deep Soft 4’ 1” (1.24m) and Deep Hard 5’ 2” (1.57m) thick, finished August
  • Nutbrook (EM Mundy), Shipley, Deep Hard
  • North Wingfield (North Wingfield Colliery Co Ltd), near Lings Row Turnpike Road, 2nd Waterloo 5’ 4” (1.63m) abandoned 31 Mar 1877, DC 19 yards (17m), UC 21 yards (19m), Surveyor S Watson
  • Oakerthorpe (George Pearson and John Hopkinson)
  • Marley Hill pit Furnace coal, RC Strelley lease, operations suspended April 1877
  • Old Brampton (John Henry Dixon then Thomas Hayes and Co), Brampton, thin coal, Lower bed, No1 and No2 at 19 yards (17.3m) deep sunk by Dixon and kept open by Hayes for ventilation. No3 pit sunk by Hayes 20 yards (18.3m) deep, Surveyor WF Howard
  • Phoenix (Thomas Kirkby), Eckington, (Earl Manvers), Silkstone 5’ 10” (1.79m), horse gin, old works towards Birdfield pit, worked to south 1875, on retreat to Aug 1876, trial pit to east of 1in3 dip, Surveyor WF Howard, Thomas Evans HMI 16th Feb 1878
  • Phoenix High Lane (Ellis and Ward), Eckington, Silkstone
  • Pool Works (E and HL Ensor and Co Ltd) Bourne’s coal 4’ 6” (1.37m) and clay, 14 yards (13m) deep, Manager HL Ensor
  • Potters No4 Coal mine (Chesterfield and Boythorpe Colliery Co Ltd) Apr
  • Potsherds (T Green and Co) Church Gresley, 80 feet (24m) deep to Raferee coal 3’ 0” (0.91m), clay 3’ 0” (0.91m),
    Ell coal 2’ 0” (0.61m) and clay 2’ 9” (0.83m), unprofitable, abandoned Oct 1877 (but see 1894), the original plan was sent to Holmesfield, but mislaid
  • Ripley Spelter (Ripley Spelter Co), Ripley, Hard, Furnace or Tupton 4’ 1” (1.24m) at 20 yards (18m) and 22 yards (20m) deep abandoned Dec 1877, position 43/438100, 361530
  • Salterwood (G and H Dawes), Denby, Ell, Deep Hard and ironstone, met dumb fault, worked bottoms or middles, 2 shafts 75 yards (68.5m) and 81 yards (74m), dip 1in18, finished 4th Apr 1876, abandoned 1877/1878
  • Shirland (Benton and Woodiwiss), Shirland, Furnace seam 4’ 3” (1.30m) 90 yards (82m), JG Kimpton Agent 3 Jul 1877
  • Simpson pit (Farnley Iron Co), Ilkeston, Samuel Robertshaw Manager, sank through Beeston bed and Crow coal to work Blackbed coal and ironstone, abandoned Nov
  • Sinope (W Worswick) June 1877 and equipment auctioned
  • Somersall (S Hoskins), Brampton, Silkstone and Ashgate
  • Stapleford (Stapleford Colliery Co Ltd) stood
  • Stoneyford (Earl ofMexborough), Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Surveyors George H Bond and Son Mining Engineers, Nottingham
  • Stubley (Corners pit) (Edward Lucas and Son) Blackshale 4’ 10” (1.49m) thick worked out, DC shaft 66 yards (60m) and UC shaft 55 yards (50m) deep, old workings from Hunters pit, Surveyor H Earl ME and Agent, Thomas Evans Inspector 26th July
  • Sutton (Exors of Robert Arkwright), Heath, Derbyshire
  • Swannington (Swannington Colliery Co) Main seam 5’ 6” (1.67m), stopped work 27 Jun 1877, old works, Coleorton
  • Limby Hall shafts, workings adjacent and to the North West the coal unworkable due to tenderness of roof and floor, No3 pit 142 yards (130m) deep on another plan of Swannington, a ‘give and take’ line is drawn between Swannington and Snibstone Co workings and Mr Worswicks workings to No3 pit. Workings broke into Snibstone and a thurl point is shown. A court case was between Wyggleston Hospital v Worswick. Whitwick workings were to the south, adjacent to Snibston and Coleorton (Califat) workings to the north, Surveyor George Lewis ME 3 Aug 1877
  • Tapton (Tapton Coke and Iron Co Ltd), Brimington, Silkstone, under Mr J Unwin’s property, shaft 266 feet (81m), connected to Brimington 1871, and Wallsend start 1860/61, synclinal axis, dip 1in5, Manager P Hicks, Surveyor Howard Gould
  • Temple Normanton pit was stood and temporarily abandoned, only having been recently sunk by the Wingerworth Coal Co
  • Wallsend, Blackshale
  • Westfield (JH Gosling and Co) Eckington, Hazle seam 43 yards (39.3m) abandoned 26 Nov 1877, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth
  • West Hallam (West Hallam Coal and Iron Co) Ilkeston, Soft, 4’ 10” (1.47m) coal and dirt, Robert A Marshall 21 Apr 1877, workings finished approaching fault line as given by Mr Woodhouse
  • West Hallam 2 and 3 (West Hallam Coal and Iron Co, Lieut Newdegate) Soft coal 24 Apr 1877, coal 2’ 9” (0.84m), parting 4” (0.10m), coal 4’ 10” (1.47m), at 65 yards (59.5m), Robert A Marshall, previously to Sept 1876 (Messrs Whitehouse), Surveyor JW Fearn
  • Whitecotes (Samuel Lowe), Walton, Deep Hard or Potters seam, 2 shafts 4 yards (3m) and 11 yards (10m), Surveyor WF Howard, HMI Thomas Evans
  • Willey Lane (Barber, Walker and Co), Underwood, finished
  • Wingfield Lane 2nd Waterloo, 7 Sep 1877, old works encountered, DC shaft 34 yards (31m), UC shaft 20 yards (18.25m) and UC shaft 18 yards (16.5m), 7’ 0” (2.14m) dia, Surveyor WF Howard.
  • Califat and Calcutta (Leicestershire) were closed by now. Production ceased at Rawdon but maintained a small team on maintenance.
  • In May 1877, 600 men and boys were thrown out of work when J and G Wells closed down Renishaw Park 2 and 4 pits, only keeping Hornthorpe pit at Eckington open. (63)
  • At Clay Cross No1 pit (Clay Cross Co) the Blackshale 4’ 10” (1.49m) thick (tops 1’ 11” (0.60m), dirt 1” (0.08m), tinkers 11” (0.28m), dirt 3” (0.07m), bottoms 1’ 8” (0.51m) at 102 yards (93m) deep was worked out to the ‘basit’ (outcrop).
  • Gresley colliery, pit 210 yards (192m) SSW of Gresley Church, (CFA Hastings), Agent Thomas Woodhouse, Manager RE Creswell, Little coal 5’ 0” (1.5m) thick overlain by 4’ 0” (1.22m) blue bind dipping slightly to North East was abandoned, Inspector of Mines was Thos Evans).
  • At Pye Hill Chapel colliery the Waterloo pit was abandoned.
    At Church Gresley (CFA Hastings) the 5’ 0” (1.52m) thick Little seam lying at 210 yards (192m) was abandoned on 12 Mar 1877, John Thomas Woodhouse Agent and RE Creswell Manager.
  • Marquis and Rawdon collieries closed down again from 30th July 1877 to 1885 owing to the depression in the mining industry. Thomas Bourn the Manager, 2 men and one boy and some Deputies were kept on.
  • Wingfield Lane (North Derbyshire) 2nd Waterloo abandoned 7 Sep 1877, met old hollows, UC shaft 25 yards (22.75m), UC 20 yards (18.25m), DC shaft 34 yards (31m), surrounded by old works, Surveyor WF Howard, HMI Thomas Evans received the abandonment plan 26 Feb 1879.

Gang Lines

The narrow gauge gang line from Carnfield to Pinxton wharf was discontinued.  There were also gang lines from the old Sleights Nos 2 - 5 pits, No 9 (Ben Moores) and from the Brookhill Hall pits Nos 2 – 8 as well as from Langton and the Huthwaite pits.  Dog Kennel pit lay towards Selston Hall on the other side of the River Erewash but was not connected by line.

There Were Now 28 Pits in the Leicester Coalfield

  • Appleby Magna (Appleby Magna Colliery Co)
  • Bagworth (Bagworth Coal Co)
  • Blackfordby (CF Hastings)
  • Boothorpe (Boothorpe Brick and Coal Co)
  • Coleorton (Checkland and Son)
  • Donisthorpe (Checkland, Son and Williams)
  • Ellistown (JJ Ellis)
  • Gresley (Barry and Co Ltd)
  • Gresley Works (Burry and Co)
  • Griffydam (J Smart and Son)
  • Heath End (John Lancaster and Co)
  • Heather (Heather Colliery Co)
  • Ibstock (Ibstock Colliery Co Ltd)
  • Lindridge (Desford Colliery Co)
  • Moira (CF Hastings)
  • Mount Pleasant (Knowles and Co)
  • Nailstone (Joseph Thornton)
  • Oakthorpe (CF Hastings)
  • Pool Clay Pits (Ed and H Ensor)
  • Plough Flats (Capt Perry)
  • Potsherd (Thomas Green)
  • Rawdon (CF Hastings)
  • Reservoir (CF Hastings)
  • Snibston (GR Stephenson)
  • South Leicestershire (South Leicestershire Colliery Co)
  • Speedwell (Whitwick Colliery Co Ltd)
  • Whitwick (Whitwick Colliery Co Ltd).


In Derbyshire there were 38 furnaces in blast and another 55 built and the total of pig iron made was 306,141 tons.


The output for 1877 was:-

6,975,550 tons from 234 Derbyshire pits
3,895,750 tons from 47 Nottinghamshire pits
1,149,590 tons from 27 Leicestershire pits

Butterley Co output was 654,895 tons for the year from 12 pits with Granby producing a maximum of 33,910 tons.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary

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