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A Comprehensive History Of Mining In The Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire And Leicestershire Coalfields - Page 37


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Paul Siddals
16 May 2017
Califat Pit Dig and the Headstock
Hi David and Bob

The Califat Dig is still slowly progressing and we keep uncovering more features.  We now know for certain that the engine was used for winding.  We have the engine house, boilers, chimney, winding pit and clues about the water supply to the boilers.  We also know where the shaft was.

I would like to look into the feasibility of us building a replica headstock, and wondered if you have any drawings or photos of a small rural headstock similar to the one that would have been there.  Ideally one that Walker and Worswick built but if not something similar.  I assume that they were made of Oak.

I hope that you can help, as it would make quite a tourist attraction and tribute to those who died in the 2 accidents there, if we could do it.



See Also Califat Colliery, Swannington Common Site History and Excavation Report

Califat Colliery (NGR SK 4124 1719), also known as Coleorton No. 2, Alabama or Windmill Pit, is located in north-west Leicestershire in a small spinney south-west of the intersection of the A512 and A447 roads north of Swannington. The spinney is enclosed by fencing which more or less marks the boundary of recent open-casting for coal, subsequent to the shaft mine closure. During 1969, a haystack boiler was noticed on the site and this was cleared and recorded before removal for safe keeping. In 1993, following the ownership of the site passing from the Trustees of the Wyggeston Hospital to the Swannington Heritage Trust, it was decided that the Leicestershire Industrial History Society should return to the site. Further clearance of debris would enable the form and function of the buildings to be ascertained. Although the haystack boiler had not been in use for steam raising when found, it could have been associated with a Newcomen atmospheric engine and therefore the type of engine would be of particular interest. This clearance work, together with documentary research, was brought to a close in 1999.


A view of the site from east to west at an early stage of the clearance. In the foreground Area 5, in front of the transverse plinth Area 3, with the stone blocks Area 1 behind the tree trunks and fence posts.


The northern plinth in Area 2, showing the badly damaged upper and inner faces.
The lower stone block with crow-hole spaces beneath can be seen with Area 1 in the background.


Part of the annular brick support for the haystack boiler, Area 4. The transverse plinth with crow-holes for the holding-down bolts can be seen behind.

Photos and information from Peter Neaverson, Leicester University