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miamivice

Moorhole Colliery Owlthorpe

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Looking for evidence of what's left of this colliery.

I can see 2 shafts, one behind the newish looking houses which has the coal authority fencing round it, and another in the thicket which is much bigger and has some recent looking fencing round it. Does anyone know when these shafts were capped and if there are any other adits or shafts in the immediate area?

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Looking for evidence of what's left of this colliery.

I can see 2 shafts, one behind the newish looking houses which has the coal authority fencing round it, and another in the thicket which is much bigger and has some recent looking fencing round it. Does anyone know when these shafts were capped and if there are any other adits or shafts in the immediate area?

I can not help you with this because I live a long way from Sheffield now, but would appreciate a map showing the location if possible. Are these shafts vertical or horizontal? I ask because I knew this area before it was built up and as a kid played with what I think were pit ponies near a drift mine.

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Thanks for the link vox,

I will have to study that post more thoroughly. My memory may not be too accurate on this but the mine I was thinking of seems to be the Dent Main but the pit ponies were usually in a field across the road adjacent to the Moor Holes Colliery. I don't think at the time I knew either name but the name "Diamond Row Pit" or "Diamond Pit" as mentioned in this post ring a bell http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic/14512-dent-main-colliery-birley-moor-road/

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As the closest to my home, I do use the Moorhole Garden Centre quite regularly and whilst I have always taken the opportunity whilst visiting, to look for some evidence of the site's former mining history, I for one, have never found anything at all, within the precincts of the garden centre itself, that might possibly have been present when the coal mine was in operation.

There is of course, some evidence of the site's coal mining past, in the area immediately surrounding the garden centre, such as the capped shafts, as mentioned above, but as far as I can see, there is nothing that remains within the boundaries of the garden centre itself. If there is, then it must be well concealed.

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I've asked the people at the garden centre and they don't seem to know where the drift was either!

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I've asked the people at the garden centre and they don't seem to know where the drift was either!

Although not an exact science....

  • Take the latest OS map of when Dent Main Drift still has some detail of the buildings, track and drift entrance (c. 1956)
  • Make semi-transparent and overlay on the current Google Maps Satellite view
  • Line up on reference points of Birley Moor Road, Sheffield Road, Old Dent Lane and Diamond Row Cottages
  • The drift mine entrance seems to be in the bushes, between the top of the garden, behind the bungalow of the Garden Centre and the 2nd fairway of the Golf Course

D'you think that's a fair assumption?

All I would say is that if you tug a drive left on the second and go into the bushes after your ball, make sure you've got a plank strapped to your back! lol

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I'll have a look when weather clears up. What sort of evidence on the surface should I be looking for?

There is also something marked 'old shaft' to the left. I'm assuming this had been filled in.

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I doubt whether there will be anything left of the old entrance. It wouldn't have been much bigger than about 4' high x 3' wide and cut into the hillside at 1:3.3, according to Ken Wain's account of the mine...

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic/14512-dent-main-colliery-birley-moor-road/?hl=%2Bdent+%2Bmain

If you do get up there to have a poke around, let us know what you find, would you?

As for the 'old shaft' to the left, there's no evidence of that today, as it's just forward and right of the 3rd tee and I can't see anything at all, no cap, no indentation, nothing to indicate there was ever anything there.

Happy Hunting.......... If this snow ever clears!

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I'll have a look next weekend. I'm trying to plot all the mine shafts in the area.

Are there anymore in that area do you know?

I've found one at the back of the houses opposite the garden centre but there's a big fence around it so can't see if its boarded over or filled up with concrete?

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I believe the other shaft for Moor Hole Colliery is in the woods (yellow star), along the path from the first capped shaft you found (red star)?

I also remember reading somewhere that there was a pit on High Lane, opposite the Phoenix Inn and Farm buildings, which used to supply coal to the Phoenix Forge. There is some evidence of some structures at that point on the road, as I've had a passing glance whilst driving past. Photo is marked (red star) between the farmed fields at the point it was most likely to have been.

So, marking the points of all the pits, collieries, mines, whatever they were called just in that small area, that's five... and I'm sure others will know of more, even before widening the reference area? There are several down into Mosborough, more the other way towards Manor Top, more still up into Birley and Woodhouse, Beighton and beyond.

If it's just that particular area you're wanting to plot the shafts for, that's as many as I know of, off the cuff that is...

Moor Hole Colliery.tiff

High Lane Colliery.tiff

Moor Hole_High Lane Collieries.tiff

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Im hoping to give each site a post with some pictures as they are now?

The Moorhole Colliery site looks to have recently been fenced where the main shaft was in the woods. It has a large concrete cap. When would Moorhole have been capped? I had heard through research on the Internet that the shaft immedietly behind the houses had been reinforced due to that someone had dug down the side of the existing cap to try and enter the shaft?

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This sounds like an excellent project to undertaken and I wish you success with it.

There are two collieries in the Mosbrough area that have received quite a lot of discussion, namely, the Moorside Colliery, which does not seem to have had any shafts, being a drift, and the Swallow Colliery, which certainly did.

The attached link might be helpful, if you want to add these to your list.

Having visited the site of the Swallow pit myself, it seems to me that the location of the shafts can still be discerned on the ground, by virtue of their slight depressions.

However, I would advise against testing them by standing in those depressions, as I have absolutely no idea as to how well they were filled in, or capped. Whilst no expert in such matters, my instincts tell me that the Victorian interpretation of making things safe and secure, might be somewhat at odds with our own.

Best of luck with your researches though.

>?

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Regrettably, I'm no expert on local mining history, but I'm sure there are many contributors to SH that are? I cannot find a date when the Moorhole shafts were capped, but it appears the colliery was derelict from the 1930's onwards, if the images on PS are dated accurately:

http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?&searchterms=moorhole&action=search&keywords=all%3BCONTAINS%3B%25moorhole%25%3B#rowNumber2

There's also a number of references to the collieries in the immediate area, with their open and closing dates. There are multiple references for the closure date for Moorhole, but as it also mentions the name of the seam (Parkgate, Silkstone), it maybe they closed that part of the colliery that worked that particular seam? I'm not 100% sure that it the case, but it seems plausible?

  • 1842 - Opened and interesting reference to coke ovens "across the road". The 1875 map shows a structure across the road from the colliery, which pre-date Diamond Row cottages?
  • 1881 - Closed (Silkstone). Also reference to High Lane Colliery being closed?
  • 1896 - Closed (Parkgate). 119 years tomorrow!
  • 1907 - Closed completely. Unless they were working the Flockton seam from Moorhole (unlikley?), this looks like the death knell for Moorhole!

I'm sure there's information out there, given time to research and there's much more on SH, as the reply above has shown. I was under the impression that Dent Main was the drift mine though and Moorhole was the shaft mine, but there you go!...

Happy Hunting!

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Thanks so much for your information. What I'm looking to do is capture as much data about the mines along with pictures of what lies there today to make sure they are not forgotten. I'm familiar with the Swallows colliery having had an allotment nearby. Unsure where the depressions are you mention? The only thing I could see relate to a large square stone and a manhole access cover to the west of the site can you advise?

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It has been my intention to revisit the site on a couple of occasions, in order to take some images myself, as the light was too poor to take any meaningful photographs the last time I was there, but unfortunately, I have never got around to it.

The large stone is certainly easily noted, and is possibly a remnant from the colliery, but it could just as easily have been left there at any time.

It is certainly worth taking a OS map up there if you do revisit, as it does give you some degree of orientation.

The depressions are slight, but they would seem to approximate the position of the shafts as shown on the maps, but as I have said before, that could be wishful thinking on my part.

How to describe what I am talking about?

I suppose, if you stand on the footpath that was formerly, Swallow Lane, and stand, facing the wooded area, and the front scarp of the spoil tip, then just in front of that tip, there is an area covered with bracken and brambles and such, and in that area, there is a depression, with a small tree growing in it. You will be just before the "summit" of the climb and in the open, not in the wood itself.

If you then draw an imaginary line from the west corner of the last house on Sycamore Street, (which sits across the end of Sycamore Street), parallel with the west boundary of Swallow Lane, you sort of intersect the two shafts drawn on the OS map, which was how I determined their location.

I suspect, that that is not very helpful, but it is the only way that I can think of describing the scene.

If you do revisit, then I would appreciate your interpretation as to what I was looking at.

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Yes, I've spoken to the farmer who owns the fields behind, he told me the coal authority had re filled a shaft in about 10 years ago that he had reopened with the plough! The spoil heap is now a small thicket, I should imagine the shafts are regularly inspected however?

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Emailed the Coal Authority to see if they have any information on this, capping dates etc... Hopefully in next couple of months I'm hoping to get a PDF done with all the locations, a bit of history and photos of the areas as they are today. Given they are fairly close I could even plot a round walk?!

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Been to the site this weekend, the depressions mentioned look like they had been filled with rubble, the large stones could well be the base of the headstock?

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Although Birley East (now Shirebrook Nature reserve) had a vertical shaft with winding gear, there used to be the entrance to a drift there as well, It was right at the end of the pit head buildings on Stone Lane. I don't know if there will be any evidence of that left. I wonder if the drift was opened when the site was used to train the Bevin Boys during the war.

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1950's map shows no evidence of a drift entrance, so maybe not then but, whatever it was, was there somewhere, with rails leading into it. I was only very young then, and could have misunderstood what I was looking at.

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The shaft at Birley East is now just a Trig point marking the site of the shaft. The rail sheds, now derelict were used by a plastics factory called Rainbow Tools. I'm not sure what exactly they made but they closed some time ago.

I understand there's a further adit as you face the woods that's filled in. I was told somewhere in the woods there's a Morris Minor with a tree growing through it!

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I wonder if what looked like a drift mine was one of the tunnels used as shelters? There are some pictures on the site here:

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php/75281-Air-raid-shelter-Stone-Lane-Sheffield-S13-March-2009

There probably was a drift mine somewhere, but the site has been excavated so much it's hard to picture how the site looked in it's 'working' life.

Interesting to note that the factory that still stands (just!) was Rainbow Plastics. I always knew it as 'The Carbide Works' and attached is an entry from 1970 Sheffield and Rotherham Kelly's as such. It obviously changed hands and products before closing down, but I'm not sure when it did and when it finally shut up shop for good. It's certainly been bashed, burned and scalded since, as the photo's show....

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