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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1845

  • Cartwrights (Shoddy pit) Swadlincote, (South Derbyshire)
  • Forty Horse (Butterley Co)
  • Hermitage (Butterley Co) Codnor Park, sinking
  • Hopewell colliery (Richard Barrow) near Staveley started production, 170 yards (155m) to Deep Hard
  • Hollingwood (Richard Barrow)
  • Langton (Coke and Co) sinking continued
  • Skegby A larger colliery was sunk by John Dodsley, Lord of the Manor in 1845/47, to 128 yards (117m) deep and was towards the head of the Meden Valley, below Herod’s Hill, near to Cromptons old pit.  A connection would be made later to that pit for ventilation purposes. The Top Hard and Dunsil seams were both worked from the shaft.  The Skegby Colliery Co took over. A branch line into the pithead was made from the Tibshelf and Teversall Railway (Midland). 

A plan of Tibshelf in 1845 showing all the field names, also showed collieries in Oak Tree Close, Barn Close and Pasture Close.  The horse drawn tramway mentioned in 1811 was still in operation from these pits to the coal wharf on Tibshelf Ramper.

Midland Counties Railway

The Midland Railway Co had purchased the Leicester to Swannington railway previously and now purchased the Ashby Canal and its associated railways for £110,000.


President of Board of Trade, James Brown Ramsay Dalhousie (Whig) 1845.

Butterley Company Wages

At the Butterley Cos pits, the rate per day for a 12 hour shift had now dropped to 2s 6d (12½p).   Around this time, the change from hemp ropes to steel wire ropes for coal winding began.


B Smith and his son Joseph opened the Adelphi ironworks at Duckmanton.  They later took the lease of the Stanton ironworks.

Collieries Closed 1845

  • Butterley No6 (Butterley Co) Deep Soft
  • Swallows pit near Mosbrough Hall
  • Blackwell (Mr John Mellers) His Grace the Duke of Devonshire and others
  • Bye pit and Engine pit to Main Hard coal bed, (start 1825), deep and counter levels, benk faces finished 1833 and 1840, finished by Xmas also Dunsil seam finished 1845, new railway from Alfreton turnpike to colliery, ancient level (sough) to North Wesst, Surveyor John Ashton.

A full description of the colliery and surface for Clarkes, Calow, (Robert Arkwright), New Engine shaft, faulty coal, Surveyor J Richardson, 6th May 1845: Tenants and Description:

  1. Barge Josh: – House, Cowshed & Gardens 1 rood, 17 poles
  2. Croft 2 acres 2 roods 23 poles
  3. House, Cowshed, Yard, Garden 24 perches
  4. Sallow pit Close 2ac 1r 4p
  5. Over Pasture Field 2ac 2r 2p = 4ac 3r 30p. Clarke Allison
  6. Blacksmith’s shop and Pingle 1ac 2r 13p = 4ac 2r 13p.  Bacon Sam’l
  7. House and Garden 15 poles
  8. Nether Pasture Field 2ac 3r 21p
  9. Weighing machine and Lane 16p = 3ac 0r 12p. Paulsmith Chris’r
  10. Old Pasture 3ac 0r 16p
  11. Old Pasture 2ac 2r 33p
  12. Rough Piece 1ac 2r 29p
  13. Near Piece 2ac 3r 35p
  14. Far Piece 2ac 3r 25p
  15. Shaw Close 5ac 0r 12p = 18ac 1r 30p. Total area worked 31ac 0r 5 p. Plan is on a scale of 3 chains to 1 inch. Note: Sallow pit in No 4 field, New Engine shaft to eastern edge of No 8 field, 2 shafts in No 7 field and 1 shaft in No10 field

Fatal Accidents 1845

  • Basford (Thomas North), Thomas Johnson, collier, was standing in the truck in the pit when the engine man began to wind up without first giving him notice. He was struck between the truck and the side of the shaft by a corve which fractured his spine. He was drawn up the shaft some 20 feet (6m) in that condition before his cries were heard. He was taken to the General hospital but died later, 16 Aug 1845.
  • Bath pit Moira in South Derbyshire. An Underviewer and 2 others killed and 15 injured.
    Henry Finch (23), Jesse Dennis (10) and Thomas Dennis (13) died after receiving extensive burns in an explosion of firedamp on 9 Aug 1845.
  • Cinderhill (Thomas North), shortly after the workmen’s dinner break William Parker (36) was killed when a boiler exploded on the surface 21 Jan 1845. It would appear that it was through lack of water in the boiler. The top of the boiler was blown high into the air and landed in the next field. The engine house was flattened and George Saunders (13) who was in the engine house was thrown backwards by the blast and was severely injured about the head knocking him unconscious. A coal higgler Charles Eaton (61) of Old Radford was standing about 10 yards (9m) from the engine house and was blown over backwards landing about 2 feet (0.5m) from the pit mouth and received a broken leg. The overseer William Parker standing nearby was hit on the chest by a brick with such force that he was killed on the spot. Several other men about were also injured. Saunders and Eaton were conveyed to the infirmary and recovered from their injuries several weeks later.
  • Cinder Hill (Cinderhill, Thomas North), Robert Stephenson (26) crushed by the cage 14 Aug 1845.
  • Eastwood, unnamed (?), fell down the shaft 8 Jun 1845.
  • High Holborn pit, Turkey Field, Strelley, (North, Wakefield and Morley), Samuel Stephenson (12) instead of having a holiday on that Saturday chose to stay in the pit and help another boy James Bannister (12) to turn the cheeks on the gangway to allow waggons to pass on another line. As he stood on the side of the gangway some loaded waggons were started up that should have brought up some empty waggons. (This was called a main and tail haulage system). However the hook to the empty waggons had come undone and the full waggons ran down at great speed, two of the waggons spilling coal passed Stephenson but the third waggon was upset and the coal and the waggon fell on top of him. He screamed and he was soon got out by the pitmen who found that he had two broken arms and severe internal injuries. He died within a few minutes, 8 Mar 1845.
  • Loscoe, Charles Allen aged 10 was killed on 4th June 1845 when he fell from the chains whilst riding up the shaft although he had been cautioned not to do so.
  • Portland (Jessop and Co – Butterley Co), Henry Massey was in the pit riding on the front of an empty box drawn by an ass. The box in places reached within 3 fingers between the cap and prop that was set to support the roof and the deceased had been warned to keep his head down. However after riding about 550 yards (app 500m) he had lifted his head up too high and being caught by the cap he was squeezed between the cap and the box as if in a pair of vices. The ass he was driving stopped and he fell very badly injured and within half an hour was dead, 10 Jun 1845.
  • Old Loscoe, Charles Allen (10), fell down the shaft 29 May 1845.
An Underviewer and 2 others killed and 15 injured at Bath pit, Moira in South Derbyshire. Henry Finch (23), Jesse Dennis (10) and Thomas Dennis (13) died after receiving extensive burns in an explosion of firedamp on 9/8/1845. It was a Saturday morning and they were using candles for illumination instead of Davy lamps in a gassy area. John Thomas Woodhouse was the Viewer and Wm Farmer the Ground Bailiff.

The top 6’ 0” (1.83m) of the Main coal seam was worked. The seam consisted of spires of dull hard coal that broke into large lumps. Wagons on iron rails were drawn by pairs of horses to the shaft bottom. At the Bath, Marquis, Rawdon and Gresley pits plus Newfield (where coal was hauled by a stationary engine rather than horses) Moira Colliery Co owned 15 narrow boats and 6 barges, one sailing boat and one limestone boat for use on the Canal. They also owned three coal wharves, 88 coal and slack wagons, 8 limekilns, a foundry at Bath Yard, a brick kiln at Newfield colliery, salt water baths at Moira and Ashby. The Ground Bailiff was William Farmer.

Output 6 months ending June 1845:-

  • Bagworth 6,211 tons, app 240 tons per week
  • Ibstock 8,629 tons, app 332 tons per week
  • Snibston 40,017 tons, app 1,535 tons per week
  • Whitwick 40,874 tons, app 1,572 tons per week.


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