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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913




Joshua Thornley of Hardstoft owned the first pit at Holmewood in 1860


John Chambers took on J Ward as a partner in 1860 to provide extra capital to sink and develops further pits. They bought out the previous co-partners and remained sole owners of Lings, Owlcotes and Pewit collieries and closed Owlcotes.

Whaley Bridge

At Whaley Bridge there was Chinley Gin pit 40 yards (36m) deep, plus 2 air shafts and included Tunnel Mouth Furness.

Changed Hands

  • Gilt Brook changed hands from F Shipley Junior to Cockburn and Jordan.
  • Heanor changed hands from C Creswell to Bircumshaw and Co.
  • Moreley Park (Hard and Soft pits) changed hands from Messrs Mold to R Hurt.

The Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1860

The Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1860 raised the age of boys allowed underground from 10 to 12, however boys aged 10 to 12 could still work underground providing they could read and write. The Act also made the inspections of mines permanent.  The introduction of Checkweighmen on behalf of the miners, who generally thought, and were rightly to do so, that they were being robbed of maybe a few pounds of coal at one pit, or grossly robbed by the introduction of larger trams at another, but being paid for the smaller vessel.  The Government thought that the miners had a right to have a ‘justice man’, one who would make sure that the men were treated fairly and that man would be chosen from amongst themselves, not to interfere with the working but see and take account of the men’s’ work. In effect though, by recognising the significance of introducing a workman into the colliery yard, who was responsible to and employed by the men, they were providing them with leaders, men who would not be easily intimidated, and in effect strengthening the ‘new’ unions. The inspection of ironstone mines was begun in 1860 and Inspectors had the same powers as for coal mines as outlined in the 1850 Act.

Swadlincote Trespass

At Deep Foundation (Swadlincote Old ?) colliery (South Derbyshire) on 24th August 1860, Messrs Nadin were in dispute regarding a trespass by neighbour Boulivant that he had got coal 30 yards (27m) beyond his boundary from his pit.

Value Of Coal Per Foot-Acre

Surveyor, John Thomas Boot stated that ‘the mines at Pinxton were valued by Messrs Woodhouse and Jefferson at £160 per foot-acre (0.4 ha)’. (note 2.471 acres are equal to 1 hectare). (The number of tons of coal contained per foot-acre). For example a seam 3 feet thick or (0.91 m) would equate to 3 times 160 = 480 per acre.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1860

  • Avenue (Wingerworth Coal Co)
  • Blackwell (Fletcher and Co)
  • Brampton New (Nichols and Fletcher)
  • Burton (R Broome and Co)
  • Cadley Hill (Hall and Boardman) (South Derbyshire)
  • Cheseworth (or Chisworth) (North West Derbyshire) (J Jowitt)
  • Clay Cross (Elliott and Taylor)
  • Clay Cross (William Hayes)
  • Clay Cross (E Phillips)
  • Combermere (Webster and Co)
  • Cottam (Messrs Appleby and Co) Top Hard opened, Estate of Venerable Archdeacon Hill
  • Dunston (Messrs Senior and Harrison)
  • Dunston (Messrs Lancaster)
  • Gilt Brook (worked on Royalty by Bennerley Co) (Lady Palmerston) Lower Hard, Surveyors George H Bond and Son MEs.
  • Granby (Butterley Co)
  • Hasland (O Pierce)
  • Heanor (Bircumshaw and Co)
  • Highfield and Speedwell  (William Worswick) South Wingfield, Surveyors Woodhouse and Jeffcock, a peg date 1824 level was used. A supposed old Level to the north lead towards Speedwell.
  • High Park (Barber, Walker and Co) finally finished after 5 years sinking.
  • Nesfield (Dunston and Barlow Iron Co)
  • New Tapton (Messrs Booth and Co)
  • Old Cotes (Messrs Galloway)
  • Renishaw Park (J and G Wells)
  • Ridgway (FH Hutton)
  • Sheepbridge (Swann and Morton) Deep Hard or Potters coal, Surveyor Richard G Coke.
  • Shirland (F Spencer)
  • Whittington (IC Plevins)
  • Woodhouse (Booker and Co). 
    (28 Pits)  


The 2 shafts at Kimberley
(T North and Co) (Nottinghamshire) were sunk in 1860No1 shaft was the upcast and winding shaft at 110 yards (100m) deep with a 6 yards (5.5m) sump and was 9 feet (2.74m) in dia. The shaft was bratticed throughout. There was a single tram cage.  The downcast shaft and pumping pit was 7 feet dia (2.1m) and 110 yards (100m) deep to the Top Hard and had a 10 yards (9m) sump.  The pumping engine was single vertical direct acting high pressure with 45” (1.1m) dia cylinder with a 7 feet (2.1m) stroke and the dia of the sets 15” (0.38m) with a stroke of 7 feet (2.1m).  The top set was 250 feet (76m) forcing and the low set was 120 feet (36m) lifting, the total column height being 360 feet (110m). 

The average stroke of the engine was 3 per minute with a maximum of 5. The winding engine was a single horizontal high pressure one with 22” (0.56m) cylinder dia and stroke of 4 feet (1.2m) giving 65hp.  Four plain egg-shaped boilers of 5 feet (1.5m) dia by 28 feet (8m) supplied the steam.

In 1860 2 shafts were sunk at Stanton colliery (South Derbyshire) as additional DC shafts to the one sunk in 1852. These shafts made it easier to access the workings on the east side of Newhall and shortened the distance of travel for men who lived in the vicinity of Matts Yard. One shaft with a beam engine was used for pumping water.

Collieries Closed in 1860

  • Alma (Holdsworth) Blackshale at 63 yards (57.5m)
  • Boythorpe Lane (W Ludham)
  • Combermere (Jonathan Battey)
  • Cottam (Cottom sunk 1830-1831) (Appleby and Co) Top Hard.
  • Edley Taylors pit, Sep.
  • Frith Wood (W Booker and Co)
  • Heanor (C Cresswell) Coombe, Top Hard.
  • Holbrook No5 (Swallows)
  • Hucknall Huthwaite (J Clegg) 30 yards (27m) deep to Hard coal.
  • Hucknall (Huthwaite) (Mellers) Dunsil got to 25th January 1860, 47 yards (43m) deep, Surveyor, John Boot, sunk 1809 and referred to as Dirty Hucknell.
  • Killamarsh (Ward’s)
  • Langley (Old) Butterley Co) closed after 31 years.
  • Mickley (Messrs Pearson)
  • Moorside, Parkgate abandoned 1860.
  • Mosboro’ Moor (Swallow), Silkstone, sunk c1840, worked forward with small faces and robbed the pillars back to shaft, 1860.
  • Newbold No1 (E Taylor) Dog Tooth mine to Lady Day 1860, continued with Potters coal seam.
  • Old Cotes (G and C Goodwin)
  • Old Plymouth Nos 4 and 5 shafts  (Pinxton Collieries Ltd)
  • Pigeons pit (Wilkinson?) Waterloo seam, sunk 1825.
  • Stubley (W Booker and Co)
  • Stoneyford New (Swan and Wharton)
  • Tapton (John Clayton)
  • Thornallys (Mr Thornally?)
  • Trowell (Lord Middleton)
  • Turkey Field (Barber Walker) closed after 12 years.
  • Whittington (Syddall and Cartledge)
  • Wingerworth (Wingerworth Iron Co) Blackshale, 4 shafts and one old Level and 4 old shafts, old hollows got, Mar 1832.
  • Woodwell (..?) ?.
    (25 Pits)

Various Pits

Heanor Church (Swan and Wharton?) Top Hard, Coombe - date?

Strelley Hard coal pit started 1839/1842 was now standing from 4th January 1860. John Boot of Hucknall Huthwaite was still Surveyor. The Turkey Field pits were near Turkey House.

Blackwell and Tibshelf Top Hard abandoned.  Surveyor was William D Dodsworth.  A Mineral plan of Tibshelf and Blackwell was made by Surveyor William Wadsworth of Chesterfield.  It showed all the surface lands held by the lords of the manor etc and the well to do, and all the seams of coal worked.

Change Of Owners

Henry Nelson, Coal Owner, owned Brickyard pit at Heanor at this time, near to Northern Road in the town.  Messrs Coursham and Co sold Marehay, Whiteley and Water Gates near Ripley to the Butterley Co.  William Worswick sold Highfield and Oakerthorpe to the Oakerthorpe Iron Co.  Messrs Mold sold Morley Park Hard and Soft to R Hunt.

J Brooke and Co sold Awsworth to Cockburn and Jordan. F Shipley (Junior) sold Giltbrook to Cockburn and Jordan also.  Woodfield now referred to as Woodfield or Newhall (South Derbyshire).   The Chesterfield and Midland Silkstone Coal Co purchased Nesfield pit from Dunston and Barlow Iron Co.


Furnaces erected at Denby by the Denby Iron and Coal Co. These would be in operation until 1929, when the firm went into liquidation.

Truck System

The Truck system was finally stamped out in Nottinghamshire in 1860, although it had been illegal since 1842


Butterley miners’ wages were now down to 3s 6d (17½p) for a 12-hour shift again, causing great hardship.

High Peak Rail Co

In 1860, Burton colliery (High Peak Rail Co) was mentioned.

Burton colliery (High Peak Rail Co) referred to as Buxton colliery in 1862.

Fatal Accidents 1860

For the first time miners and their families were granted the privilege of being buried in consecrated ground in Churchyards.

In 1860 North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, 3 men were killed in explosions, 21 by falls of ground, 13 in shafts and 13 were crushed by tubs or trams. (50 total). Several others killed in South Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

  • Avenue, W Greensmith (32), fall of roof 19 Dec 1860.
  • Bagworth, H Findley (24), fall of roof 5 Dec 1860.
  • Birchwood, J Wall (22), fall of roof 19 Jun 1860.
  • Britain, G Foster (24), coal fell down shaft and struck him 26 Jan 1860.
  • Butterley, W Barker (14), run over by tubs 2 Jul 1860.
  • Chisworth, J Taylor (15), run over by tubs 2 Oct 1860.
  • Clay Cross, R Carr (28), shotfiring accident 18 May 1860.
  • Clay Cross, S Buckland (29), fall of ground in a roadway 15 Jun 1860.
  • Coates Park, J Wood (35), fall of roof 7 Feb 1860.
  • Heath, G Rogers (50), fall of coal 31 Aug 1860.
  • Highfield, William Powiss (12) 2 Jan 1860.
  • Hollingwood, S Condie (32), fall of roof 31 Mar 1860.
  • Hollingwood, P Kenney (35), run over by tubs 7 Apr 1860.
  • Hollingwood, G Cuffing (26), fall of coal 17 Apr 1860.
  • Hollingwood , J Owen (65), J Smith (37) and J Ball (28), all 3 were killed by an explosion of gunpowder 5 Dec 1860.
  • Hopewell colliery on 12 Jul 1860 when the rope broke and the cage went down the shaft.
  • Kilburn, 2 youths and 2 boys fell to their death from the cage, J Annable (20), J Dakin (18), W Shaw (15) and J Beresford (14) on 3 Sep 1860.
  • Kimberley, William Foster (22) 6 Sep 1860.
  • Loscoe, Henry Buckley (18) 2 May 1860.
  • Newbold, one man and 3 boys, S Needham (36), W Collis (16), R Howarth (16) and J Needham (11), chain broke and cage went down shaft 21 Sep 1860.
  • New Main, J Latham (30), fall of coal 3 Aug 1860.
  • Oakerthorpe - Luke Slack (..?) 8 Feb 1860, William Wright (..?) 22 Sep 1860, both probably young boys and Thomas Goodwin (28) 5 Dec 1860.
  • Pentrich, C Bednall (14), fall of ground in a roadway 26 Feb 1860.
  • Sheepbridge, J Ward (30), hit by a connecting rod on an engine 26 Sep 1860.
  • Shipley, Alfred Lacey 2 Jan 1860.
  • Springwell, M Hoyland (23), fell down shaft off a cradle 25 Oct 1860.
  • Staveley, A Tracey (28), fall of coal 13 Jan 1860.
  • Staveley, J Armstrong (32), fell down shaft 22 Feb 1860.
  • Swannington, J Haywood (28), fall of roof 19 Sep 1860.
  • Swanwick, J Elliott (28), struck by capstan arm 21 Jul 1860.
  • Swanwick, P Sanders (24), fall of coal 16 Oct 1860.
  • West Staveley, G Oakham (24), fall of coal 23 Nov 1860.


There were 21 pits in Nottinghamshire now, and they produced 640,000 tons in 1860.  By comparison the 153 pits North Derbyshire produced 4,300,000 tons.There were 174 collieries in the 2 counties, which produced 4,940,000 tons out of the total of 84,042,698 tons of coal for the country from a total of 2,989 pits. 

South Derbyshire and Leicestershire output from 23 pits was approx 850,000 tons from Moira Co 174,000 tons, Snibston Co 147,000 tons, Whitwick Colliery Co 108,000 tons, Worswick 80,000 tons, Worswick and Walker 60,000 tons, Hall and Boardman 53,000 tons, Granville 23,000 tons.

The spending power of £1 in 1860 reached £43 as compared to its value in 2010.
In 1750 the rate was £85 dropping to a low of £32 in 1800.

Overall it was a poor year for the coal industry, but would rally in the next 12 months.