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Thanks To Steve Nicholls, Stewart Parr, Andrew Lomax and Alan Davies
Wigan's Town Centre Mines - Page 1

There isn't enough recorded about mining

Steve Nicholls
01 May 2009
Wigan's Town Centre Mines

Can you possibly put a link on about Wigan Mines; there are in fact coal mines under Wigan town centre.

I've attached a word document containing most of the information about Wigan's town centre mines. Feel free to use whatever you wish for your site in whatever format you feel best. All I ask is that credit is given to Steve Nicholls, Stewart Parr, Andrew Lomax and Alan Davies as we are the ones who have contributed the majority of the information to this piece.

I've only just found your site and you are doing a good job. There isn't enough recorded about mining so the more the better in my opinion.

Steve Nicholls

Wigan's Town Centre Mines
Thanks To Steve Nicholls, Stewart Parr, Andrew Lomax and Alan Davies

I found the claims that coal mining and coal measures cannot be found under Wigan rather confusing and startling as the recorded evidence is there to see. This then made me wonder what the area of Wigan should include. Wigan has had many changes of boundaries over the years whether it is through council boundaries, regional boundaries or others.

I finally settled on the Parish of Wigan as a good place to start as this includes the town centre which stands central to the debate.

Map showing the boundaries of Wigan Borough today
From Wigan Council

It is well recorded that there has been evidence of mining in the Wigan Borough for many centuries. The earliest recorded mining dates from the Roman era. Archaeological digs were undertaken in the 1980’s by Wigan Archaeological Society who found evidence of coal use in the town centre behind the Wiend. Also on a 1930’s map of Arley is marked supposed Roman Workings.

Arley and possible early workings from Wigan Arch Society Website

Through the 17th 18th and 19th centuries Wigan helped fuel the industrial revolution with coal and mills being at the fore. Only after the depression following the 1st world war and the miners strikes of the 1920’s did coal mining start to decline in the Wigan area. The real nail in the coffin for mining was with the formation of the NCB who gradually decimated not only Wigan mining traditions but those of the country at large.

So what about the Parish of Wigan?

With Wigan town centre now being fairly built up it is quite hard to believe that mining ever really existed in this area. Claims have been made that no reserves exist but this is a bit of a fallacy.

Coals seams existing under the Parish of Wigan

  • Wigan 6 foot mine
  • Wigan 5 foot mine
  • Wigan 4 foot mine
  • Ince Furnace mine
  • Ince 7 foot mine
  • Ince 4 foot mine
  • Deep Yard Mine
  • Cannel Mine
  • King Mine
  • Arley Mine
  • Plodder

Within a four mile radius of Wigan town Centre there are approximately 1100 recorded mine shafts and with unrecorded mine shafts this number could be hundreds more.

Pits of the Parish of Wigan

1950’s NCB Area Shaft Team map.
The dots represent mine shafts.

A number of recorded shafts and workings exist within the Parish boundaries along with many unrecorded shafts such as the one that recently opened up on Wallgate in November 2008.

Picture from Wigantoday
Recorded workings.

Pit Terminology - Glossary


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