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Local Coal mining

This Foldout looks at some aspects of coal mining in the district


General Points

In the 13th & 14th centuries, coal mining was recorded in the North-East of England, the Midlands and South Wales.

Early mines were

In 1274, Richard the Nailer was given permission to mine coal at Hipperholme for use in forging.

Coal had long been used as a fuel for heating, and also for industrial uses such as lime burning and bleaching cloth.

Some was open-cast mining. In 1608, the manorial court required that coal pits along Wakefield Road be filled in because they presented a danger to man and horse.

In 1615, cheap coal became a popular fuel as firewood became scarce and expensive. Much of the woodland had been reduced by assarting.

The advent of stone and brick chimney flues encouraged the used of coal as fuel.

With the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of steam power, there came a huge demand for coal to drive the engines of the mills.

There are several coal measures, mines and quarries in the district – mainly east of the Hebble in a narrow strip of land running from Ainley Top to Queensbury, where the geology is that of the Lower Coal Measures or the Westphalian series.

Locally, coal deposits are often found together with clay and sandstone strata.

In general, the coal seams in the district were thin and did not produce large-scale quantities. The Calder & Hebble Navigation brought cheaper coal from outside the district.

At one time there were 33 local collieries, including

but there is no longer any local coal production.

Names such as Coal Pit Lane and Sough Lane suggest places where coal was mined in the past.

In 1947, a coal seam was discovered during roadworks on the Halifax-Queensbury road, and the coal was given to local residents.

There were deposits of copperas shale in the Ainleys area, and this was used as a substitute for coal, especially during the coal strike of 1912.

Coal measures are associated with shales, clay, sandstones and millstone grit.

The local Coal Measures stretch from Penistone, through Huddersfield and Halifax, to Denholme and Shipley. But these were less productive than the collieries in the thicker seams around Wakefield and Doncaster.

Local coal mining

36 yard band coal

Ainley Main Colliery
Ainley Top

Bank Bottom Colliery, Halifax
Bankwell Colliery, Cornholme
Richard Batte
Beggarington Pit, Hartshead
Bell Pit
Binns Bottom Mine, Southowram
Black lung
Blackburn & Sugden Colliery, Shelf
Boothtown Colliery
Boyes Bank Pit, Northowram
Bradley Woods
Bradshaw Lane Mine
Breast 'ees
Brow Pit, Ambler Thorn

Cinder Hills Colliery, Southowram
Joseph Clarke
Clifton: Coal Mining
Clough Head Mine, Todmorden
Cloughfoot Coal Mine, Todmorden
Coal Dike, Midgley
Coates Pit, Hartshead
Cockhill Farm Colliery, Shelf
Cold Arbour Coal Pit, Boothtown
Cold Harbour Mine, Boothtown
Coolham Drift Mine, Todmorden
Copperas shale
Copy Pit Colliery, Todmorden
Croft Pit, Hartshead

Dam Head Colliery, Northowram
Day hole pit
Dearden Coal Mine, Todmorden
Demain Coal Mine, Todmorden
Dove House, Shibden
Drift mine
Dual economy

Fenny Farm, Hipperholme
Flat Field, Shibden
Ford Hill Colliery, Queensbury
Foul Clough Coal Mine, Todmorden
Four Lane End Colliery, Shibden

Hanging Hey, Shibden
Hard Bed Pit, Siddal
Hard coal
Hartshead Colliery
Hartshead Moor Pit
Highfield Coal Pit, Southowram
Holmes & Holt
Holmes & Stocks
Holt & Hebblethwaite

Inchfield coal mines

Judy Woods: Coal Mining
Jumble Pit, Norwood Green
Kidnapper Coal Mine, Todmorden
Knowl Top, Lightcliffe

Light hole pit
Limed House Soft Bed Colliery, Northowram
Listerwick Colliery, Shibden

Maiden Cross Colliery, Todmorden
Mineral line
Mines Act [1842]
Mountain End Colliery, Northowram
Mytholm, Shibden

Nab End Mine, Boothtown
Richard Naillour
Norwood Green Coal Company Limited
Norwood Green Colliery
Norwood Green Pit

Open-cast mining

Pheasant Pit, Hartshead

Quarry House, Northowram

Rattan Clough Pit, Cornholme
Red Gin Mine, Boothtown
Richard the Nailer
Rookes Colliery, Hipperholme
Royds Hall, Low Moor

Saunders Clough Colliery, Todmorden
Seventeens Pit, Hartshead
Shibden Hall Colliery
Shoot Pit, Boothtown
Simm Carr coal mine, Shibden
Soft Bed Pit, Siddal
Soft coal
Soil Hill
South Grain Coal Mine, Todmorden
Stone quarrying
Swales Moor Pit, Northowram
Swan Bank Coal & Brick Company Limited
Swan Bank Colliery

Temperley & Son Limited
Thornhills Pit, Brighouse
Three Nuns Pit, Hartshead
Todmorden Moor Coal Mine
Todmorden Moor Colliery Company
Trough Edge, Walsden
Trough-a-Bolland wood
Tunnel End Coal Mine, Todmorden
Turner's Pit, Boothtown

Upper Coal Bed, Halifax


Walker pit
Walterclough Pit, Hipperholme
Waterloo, Elland

The Haigh family of Inchfield

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© Malcolm Bull 2017 /
Revised 15:14 on 28th August 2017 / mmc141 / 16