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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Collieries Sunk 1826

  • Bagworth (Viscount Maynard), (Leicestershire), two 8 feet (2.43m) sunk to Upper Main seam by George Williamson an experienced mining engineer from Church Gresley (however it would be noted later that these shafts were bent and crooked)
  • Cold Harbour pit (owner…?) sunk around this time in North West Derbyshire
  • Pool drift 1,200 yards (1,097m)  West of Bath pit opened – pilot 900 yards (823m) from Maquis shaft (Charles Fletcher Bullivant) and leased the pit to Geo Parramore
  • Rutland Engine pit (Potter) Ilkeston, was sunk to the Top Hard at 151 yards (138m) deep
  • Sleetmoor pit (…?) 110 yards (100m) deep, Alfreton Common / Swanwick
  • Staveley Lower Ground colliery (St John’s College, Glebe) Top Hard, Duke of Devonshire land, Mineral Surveyor and Engineer James Ashton Twigg, Jan 1826
  • Carnfield sunk (Coke).

The spending power of £1 in 1826 would be equivalent to about £49 in 2010.

West Hallam Blue Fly Shaft

At West Hallam, Francis Newdegate installed a pumping engine at Blue Fly or Simonfield shaft 116 yards (106m) deep to replace a previous one, and would work to 10th Feb 1870.

Edge Rails

On 2nd May 1826 the Canal Committee decided to construct a railway with edge rails as suggested by Twigg instead of L shaped rails suggested by Crossley and Jessop. A double track was laid on an embankment 30 feet (9.1m) wide. As with other tramways and railways at the time stone blocks for sleepers were used.

Gas Works

Girvan Gas Works
Girvan Gas Works

Gas works were first built to make town gas or coal gas by burning the coal in retorts and harnessing the gas to supply it to customers. Gasometers would be built to store the gas.


A Union of Pitmen was formed in 1826 in the North East of the country around Newcastle on Tyne but it is unknown whether any men in this region joined it.  This union was formed over the Masters’ refusal to give the customary yearly hiring bounty.


It was noted that James Parker (23), Samuel Parker (26) and William Shooter (40) all colliers, were born in Tibshelf.

Closures 1826

The Top Hard seam worked from a Skegby pit, Whiteborough (Skegby Colliery Co) in the upper Meden Valley sunk in 1795, was terminated at faulty coal in 1826 near to Chesterfield Road and Newton Wood near Huthwaite; at Heanor Hall (Mr Turton) 1 rood of Top Hard gotten.

Fatal Accidents 1826

  • Brunswick colliery, Greasley, a collier Joseph Parker (18) whilst working on the brig tree at the top of the shaft, slipped and fell down the shaft to his death, a distance of 125 yards (114m) 1/8/1826
  • Portland Colliery, Kirkby (Duke of Portland) (Wright and Jessop, Butterley Co), William Golden (40) killed in an explosion of foul air (firedamp). He was leaving his place of work with several others when the explosion occurred and he was dreadfully burnt, particularly about his back. He left a widow and 10 children. The others escaped any serious injury
  • Portland pit, Kirkby Park (Wright and Jessop) Butterley Co, East Whitehead, collier, killed by an explosion of wildfire 28 Dec 1826
  • Robinet colliery, near Strelly (Messrs Barber and Walker), Thomas Cartwright, a collier was descending the shaft and killed owing to the hooks for letting men down the pit not being properly reversed, 12 Nov 1826. The Coroner remarked that it was so lamentable that there were so many occurrences attributable to ignorance and neglect of the attendants
  • Selston(e) (William Fenton), Joseph Varley (19) killed when a quantity of stone fell from the roof. He was carried to the home of his father in the Parish of Greasley where he died several days later, 16 Nov 1826
  • Pinxton (John Coke), the Mansfield Railway, John Hill usually engaged in ganging was run over by the back wheels of an empty wagon drawn by a black mare some 2 miles from the pit. He was so badly injured that he died from his injuries some 5 hours later 18 Nov 1826. He left a widow and 5 small children, all were dependant on him.



Prime Ministers: -

  • George Canning (Tory)
  • Viscount Goderich (Tory)
  • Duke of Wellington (Tory)


Collieries Sunk or Opened 1827-1828

  • Bagworth (Leicestershire) developing
  • pit (Thomas North) Awsworth, was the first in 1827-1828 to sink in the concealed coalfield in Nottinghamshire and at the time was considered a risky venture as some colliery owners thought that there was no coal below the newer rocks, particularly the yellow sandstone, although it is documented that there were pits at Kimberley since c1735, but of course these sinkings were in the exposed coalfield).
  • Newlands (Butterley Co) near Swanwick
  • Wind pit at 16 yards (15m) deep
  • Middle pit 27 yards (25m) were sunk in 1827.
  • Further sinkings took place in the Meden Valley around this time in the Skegby Parish.

Closures 1827

  • High Lane pit (owner…?) High Lane
  • Heanor Whysall Street (Mr Turton), Heanor, sunk 1820
  • Stanton Old colliery (Nadin) forced to close due to objection by surface owner
  • several small pits at Bretby, Brizlincote and Hartshorne.

Fatal Accidents 1827

  • Pit near Lenton (Hon Henry Lord Middleton), Joseph Burgess killed by the damp whilst endeavouring to clean out rubbish to allow water and air to have a free passage. The foul air had prevailed at the colliery the two preceding days, 10 May1827.

Twigg's Mineral Tract

James Ashton Twigg, Mineral Surveyor and Mining Engineer of Chesterfield, published a Mineral Tract in 1827 belonging to CV Hunter and WH Hunter Esquires, lying under lands situate in Ripley, Hartshay and Padley within the Township of Ripley in the Parish of Pentrich in the County of Derby.  The survey, commenced in 1817 and completed 1827 showing the basit or break out at the surface of all the workable beds of coal – with courses of all the ancient and modern levels and the courses of all the known faults from ‘Investigations’ and ‘Trials’ by boring or sinking upon the said mining ground from 1795 to present.  The Porter Barn fault passes through Ripley.


The railway built by the Ashby Canal committee opened on 21st July 1827. John Thomas Woodhouse Agent to the Marquis of Hastings said that it was 2½ miles long as opposed to the stated distance of 3 miles.

Ventilation Of Headings

The ventilation of headings at some of the advanced collieries now began to be effected by air being forced along wooden ducts by leather hand bellows.


Persevere Pump

At Pinxton No 1 pit a second hand Watt pumping engine was purchased in 1828 – called the ‘Persevere pump’ - (it would last until the pit closed in 1946!)  A hand capstan, hemp rope and small diameter pulley wheel was used at the shaft to lower and raise men and tools to service the pump.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1828

  • (Old) Blackwell (J Mellers), opened, 23 yards (21m) to Top Hard and 48 yards (44m) to Dunsil.  This pit was worked till 1831, then stood, restarted in 1834 and worked to 1851
  • Hoolding? pit 12 yards (11m) deep in 1828
  • Ibstock (Thurlby) 200 feet (61m) to a seam 3’ 6” (1.07m) thick
  • Kilburn (John Ray of Heanor Hall) sinking
  • Kimberley (North?)
  • Peggs Green (Price)
  • Swanwick Delves (owner Morewood?)
  • Langley Old sinking (Butterley Co).

Collieries Closed In 1828

Heather, due to bad faulting and water. The colliery was closed without notice and the pumping engine removed.

Fatal Accidents in 1828 Included

  • Portland (Butterley Co) John Bonser killed by a fall of roof 12 Feb 1828
  • Heage colliery, Thomas Alton (14), who fell down the shaft Dec 1828
  • Babbington (North), James Ward was killed instantly when a huge roof fall of several tons buried him. Several workmen had sounded (tested) the roof only half an hour previously and it appeared quite smooth and safe, inquest on 25 Dec 1828 - ‘Killed by a visitation of God’.


A railway was constructed from Granville Colliery to Oldfield Colliery (Shoddy) in 1821 at a cost of £4,261 10s 9d (£4,261.54½p). This figure included £91 7s 3d (£91.36p) for the purchase of the land. The line was a complete success and the mortgage of £4,000 was paid back by April 1828. £4,186 profit made from 1821-1825 and £6,027 profit from 1826-1830.

Whitwick Colliery Co

Whitwick Colliery Co formed by Stenson, James Whetstone and Sam Smith Harris.


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