Shropshire History

Clee Hills

Coalfield

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Mining

 

Mine Sites

Clee Hills

Coalfield

Coalbrookdale

Coalfield

Forest of Wyre

Coalfield

Lilleshall

Limestone

N Shropshire

Coalfield

N Shropshire Orefield

Shrewsbury

Coalfield

S Shropshire

Orefield

 

 

Coal mining on the Clee Hills started in medieval times.  Between 1260-3, Walter de Clifford granted a license to Sir John de Halston to "dig coles within the forest of La Clie to sell or give away".  This mining was by means of adits and bellpits, the latter being shallow shafts with short passages at the bottom.  As soon as there were problems with stability or ventilation, the bellpit was abandoned and another sunk next to it, spoil from the new one being tipped down the old one. On Titterstone Clee Hill, mining continued in this way until the 18th Century, with the coal mostly being used for local lime burning.  From the 16th Century onwards, ironstone was mined as well and several furnaces were built in the surrounding area, although charcoal was used as a fuel instead of coal until the late 18th Century.  The area was a source of iron and coal in the 18th Century for the Knight family, who were a major force in the British iron industry at that time.  Iron workings were similar to the coal pits with primitive technology, relying on hand windlasses or horse gins for winding.  Iron smelting continued on the hill until 1851 when the last blast furnace at Knowbury closed.

 

  

 

In the 19th Century, most of the mineral rights were acquired by the ironmaster families of Lewis and Botfield and they began to develop the mines to supply coal to south west Shropshire.  By 1839, the sale area had expanded to include north Herefordshire, Radnorshire and a great deal of Wales.  Technology was introduced underground and proper collieries were developed, with steam power to allow deeper working.  Drainage adits were driven to unwater the workings into the Cornbrook and elsewhere.  By the 1840s, there were about 250 miners producing an average of 25,000 tons of coal per year.  In an attempt to ease transport of coal off the hill, a railway was built to Ludlow in the mid-1860s.  This reached the top of the hill by a rope worked incline.  By this time, however, the coalfield had passed its peak and the mines of Lewis and Botfield passed to a series of small private companies. There was a brief revival during the Second World War for local use but all working had ceased by 1945. Brown Clee Hill was the highest coalfield in England but operations were on a much smaller scale than its neighbouring hill.  By the 19th Century, the deposits were almost exhausted and workings consisted of primitive pits with two or three men. 

 

Abdon Burf Bellpits, Abdon (SO5986)

Coal

Thomas Childs and Edward Duce leased the mines in 1850 and John Blunt operated a combined coal and lime works at Abdon Burf.  By the end of the century, however, the industry had ceased for good.

 

Barn Colliery, Cornbrook (SO600759)

See Cornbrook

                                                                                                                                         

Bluestone Colliery, Cleeton St Mary (SO619783)

Coal

Medieval bellpits and the remains of an 18th Century colliery.

 

SO614783

Filled shaft

SO617782

Filled shaft

SO622782

Bellpits

 

Bottom Trout Colliery, Whatsill (SO6076)

Coal

                                                        

Brown Clee Bellpits, Abdon (SO5986)

Coal, Iron

 

Catherton Colliery, Cleeton St Mary (SO61007735)

Coal

Operated by Summers and Garbett until 1889.

 

SO61007735

20” gauge tramway formed from bridge-rail

 

Catherton Common Bellpits, Cleeton St Mary (SO620780)

Coal

 

Chimney Colliery, Cornbrook (SO6076)

Coal

 

Church Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Clee Burf Bellpits, Clee St Margaret (SO5984)

Coal, Iron

 

Clee Hills Colliery, Cornbrook (SO600759)

Coal

                                                                                                               

Collybrook Green Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Fireclay

 

Cornbrook Colliery, Cornbrook (SO600759)

Coal

Operated by Cornbrook & Knowbury Coal & Stone Company.  They had abandoned it by the end of the 19th Century, however, as the coal began to run out.  The Clee Hill Mining & Development Co Ltd were operating Barn Pit (the re-named Cornbrook Colliery), using Trout Pit for ventilation, until it closed in 1927.  

 

Cornbrook Sough, Cornbrook (SO603756)

Drainage Level

Entrance has collapsed.

 

Craven Colliery, Foxwood (SO621778)

Coal

 

Cumberley Colliery, Knowbury (SO5874)

Fireclay

 

Cutley Colliery, Doddington (SO61307629)

Coal

 

Dumplings Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Fair View Colliery, Abdon (SO5987)

Coal, Iron

 

Farden Colliery, Farden (SO5775)

Fireclay

 

Fault Colliery, Whatsill (SO6076)

Coal

                                                        

Gibbet Colliery, Cornbrook (SO607760)

Coal

 

Gorstley Rough Mine, Cleehill (SO591746)

Limestone

 

Green’s Colliery, Knowbury (SO5775)

Coal (aka Treen)

 

Green Lea Colliery, Burwarton (SO6085)

Coal, Iron

 

Gutterworks Colliery, Cleehill (SO5975)

Coal

 

Hill Houses Colliery, Lubberland (SJ6378)

Coal

 

Horseditch Colliery, Titterstone (SO5977)

Coal

 

Jewstone Colliery, Doddington (SO609764)

Coal

 

Kilkenny Colliery, Whatsill (SO6176)

Coal

 

Knovers Mine, Knowlegate (SO59637372)

Limestone

 

SO59697398

Limekilns (C20)

SO59707356

Incline (C20)

SO595741

Shaft (collapsed)

SO59637372

Adit (open)

 

Knowbury Colliery, Knowbury (SO572751)

Coal  (aka Old Penny, Windsor)

 

Level Colliery, Whatsill (SO6076)

Coal

 

Lower Gutter Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Lubberland Bellpits, Cleeton St Mary (SO6278)

Coal

 

Moor Edge Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

New Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal  (aka New Level)

 

New Level, Knowbury (SO5875)

See New Colliery

 

Novers Mine, Knowlegate (SO59637372)

See Knovers

 

Old Penny Colliery, Knowbury (SO572751)

See Knowbury

 

Penny Pit, Knowbury (SO58957465)

Coal

Sunk in 1895 by the Knowbury Colliery Company and provided coal for a short while to a nearby brickyard owned by Edwin Askey. It was abandoned due to faulting. There is a brick domed cap to a shaft that is 8ft in diameter and 180ftdeep to a blockage.

 

Pole Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

See Pool Colliery

 

Pool Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal  (aka Pole)

 

Rein Colliery, Cornbrook (SO604761)

See Rhin Colliery

 

Rhin Colliery, Cornbrook (SO604761)

Coal  (aka Rein)

 

Sand Pit Colliery, Whatsill (SO6076)

Coal

 

Shirley Colliery, Titterstone (SO5977)

Coal

 

Tinkler’s Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Top Trout Colliery, Whatsill (SO6076)

Coal

 

Top Whatsill Colliery, Whatsill (SO6176)

Coal

 

Treen Colliery, Knowbury (SO5775)

See Green’s

 

Trout Colliery, Cornbrook (SO601764)

Coal

The Clee Hill Mining & Development Co Ltd were operating Barn Pit (the re-named Cornbrook Colliery), using Trout Pit for ventilation, until it closed in 1927.  

 

Upper Gutter Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Water Colliery, Whatsill (SO6076)

Coal

 

Watsall Colliery, Doddington (SO61157689)

See Whatsill

                                                                                                                                         

Whatsill Colliery, Doddington (SO61157689)

Coal  (aka Whatsall)

Operated by Cornbrook & Knowbury Coal & Stone Company.  They had abandoned it by the end of the 19th Century, however, as the coal began to run out.  Then re-worked until about 1917. The shaft collapsed in 1987 leaving a crater 20ft across.

 

Whitton Level, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Windsor Colliery, Knowbury (SO572751)

see Knowbury

                                                                                                              

Winthills Colliery, Knowbury (SO5875)

Coal

 

Wooler’s Wood Colliery, Burwarton (SO6086)

Coal, Iron

 

Further Information

Clee Hills Coalfield