Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lady Pit. A Local Coal Mine

Lady Pit, one of our local collieries closed in 1903. It was operated by the Beard and Bugsworth Colliery Company  and was one of several mines owned by  L & E Hall. This mine, also known as Beard Colliery was opened in 1816 – 1818 and was the largest in the vicinity of Furness Vale.  There were numerous shafts: Air Pit; Chain Pit; Furnace Pit, Lady Pit; Blind Pit, Deans Piece Pit and Bullbower Pit.

A feature of the mine was the Jowhole Tunnel which was dug in 1853. This ran in a straight, almost westerly direction to a yard off of Marsh Lane near Gow Hole Farm. Here was a wharf where coal could be loaded by tipplers on to road vehicles. A horse drawn tramway ran through the tunnel and this opened into a number of sidings at Gow Hole. The site is now Nick Rowleys Yard.

The opening of the railway between Sheffield and Manchester allowed high quality, inexpensive coal to be transported across the Pennines and our local mines could not stand up to the competition.

Lady Pit was sited at the point where Dolly Lane meets Lady Pit Road. The buildings have been demolished and the land restored to farming.  The colliery was served by a short railway line which extended from Gowhole sidings, crossing the field on a low embankment which may still be seen in the photograph below.

The above is an extract from a photograph in the Society archives. Zooming in, we see the railway in the foreground and beyond that, the buildings of the colliery. Beyond is Beardwood Farm.  The chimney remained until 1947 when it was destroyed by a lightning strike. the masonry was scattered over a radius of 100 yards. 

The pit head at the mine

Some ruins were still to be seen in 1960. Marsh Lane is seen in the foreground and Lady Pit Road heads towards the railway bridge. The pylons of the electricity station are beyond the railway.

Still in situ is this large circular structure seen here in 1965. This encloses a shaft which was originally known as Furnace Pit and was later used as an air shaft.

Underground roadways link to the Barn or Dolly Pit which closed in 1889. The engine house for this mine still stands and has been converted into a house. Both Lady Pit and Dolly Pit supplied coal for the lime kilns at Bugsworth. Another small mine Old Dolly Pit was situated by Clough Head Farm. This had been worked from some time prior to 1800 and in 1799 the Clough Head Tramway was constructed to carry coal down to the kilns, a branch to Dolly Pit was added about 1850. 

 The former Dolly Pit engine house.

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