Ancient Monuments

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Jane Pit, a 19th century coal mine adjacent to the Sports Ground, Mossbay

A Scheduled Monument in Workington, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6351 / 54°38'6"N

Longitude: -3.5582 / 3°33'29"W

OS Eastings: 299517.442569

OS Northings: 527776.38204

OS Grid: NX995277

Mapcode National: GBR 3GLV.G7

Mapcode Global: WH5YP.9RVK

Entry Name: Jane Pit, a 19th century coal mine adjacent to the Sports Ground, Mossbay

Scheduled Date: 20 June 1973

Last Amended: 24 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017559

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27802

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Workington

Built-Up Area: Workington

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Westfield St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Jane Pit, a 19th
century undersea coal mine located on a recreation ground close to the
junction of Annie Pit Lane and Mossbay Road in Workington. It includes the
roofless remains of a winding engine house and two chimneys, the footings of
other buildings which include a pumping engine house and a boiler house, an
earthwork gin circle, the mine shaft which is now sealed, and the buried
remains of ancillary buildings which are known from 19th and 20th century maps
to have been located to the west of the winding engine house. The engine house
and two chimneys are Listed Grade II.
The precise date when mining operations began at Jane Pit is unknown, however,
the horse gin which provided an early means of raising coal up the shaft still
survives as a prominent circular earthwork immediately to the south of the
winding engine house. It originally had a stone-lined interior and was the
location for a gin arm or pole powered by two horses which rotated a winding
drum to raise coal up the shaft. This method of winding was replaced in 1843
when the owner, Henry Curwen, a large landowner involved in Cumbrian mining,
built the now roofless engine house to accommodate a steam-powered beam
winding engine. This engine house is constructed of pink sandstone and is an
elaborate three-storey, two-bay oval tower built on a rectangular plinth, and
finished with a crenellated parapet. There are entrances on the south and east
sides and numerous windows on the upper two storeys. Attached to the west side
of the engine house is a sandstone chimney with a brick-arched stoke hall at
its base and a crenellated parapet to match that of the engine house. A second
chimney of similar design but standing on a square plinth is located a short
distance to the north west. Between the chimneys are footings of ancillary
buildings, while to the north and south west of the western chimney are
footings of buildings interpreted as a boiler house and a second engine house
which accommodated an engine for pumping water from the mine. The mine shaft,
now sealed, is located a short distance NNE of the winding engine house, while
to the west of this engine house buried remains of ancillary buildings known
from 19th and 20th century maps will survive.
Jane Pit operated until the mid-1870s. The mine closed in 1875 when pumping
was discontinued after the sea broke into the mine entombing 100 miners.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Coal has been mined in England since Roman times, and between 8,000 and 10,000
coal industry sites of all dates up to the collieries of post-war
nationalisation are estimated to survive in England. Three hundred and four
coal industry sites, representing approximately 3% of the estimated national
archaeological resource for the industry have been identified as being of
national importance. This selection, compiled and assessed through a
comprehensive survey of the coal industry, is designed to represent the
industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity.
The term `nucleated' is used to describe coal mines that developed as a result
of increased capital investment in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are a
prominent type of field monument produced by coal mining and typically
consist of a range of features grouped around the shafts of a mine. The
simplest examples contain merely a shaft or adit with associated spoil heap.
Later examples are characterised by developed pit head arrangements that may
include remains of engine houses for pumping and/or winding from shafts,
boiler houses, fan houses for ventilating mine workings, offices, workshops,
pithead baths, and transport systems such as railways and canals. A number of
later nucleated mines also retain the remains of screens where the coal was
sized and graded. Coke ovens are frequently found on or near colliery sites.
Coal occurs in significant deposits throughout large parts of England and this
has given rise to a variety of coalfields extending from the north of England
to the Kent coast. Each region has its own history of exploitation, and
characteristic sites range from the small, compact collieries of north
Somerset to the large, intensive units of the north east. A sample of the
better preserved sites, illustrating the regional, chronological and
technological range of nucleated coal mines, together with rare individual
component features are considered to merit protection.

Jane Pit, a 19th century coal mine adjacent to the Sports Ground, Mossbay
contains the best surviving example of the ornate castellated style of
colliery architecture which was a feature of the large landowner involvement
in the Cumbrian coal industry during the 19th century. Additionally the
monument still retains a gin circle and a later steam engine house and is thus
a rare example of a coal mine which visibly demonstrates the evolution of
horse-powered winding to steam power. Despite removal of the steam engine, the
winding engine house still retains important technological information.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Marshall, J D, Davies-Shiell, M, The Industrial Archaeology of the Lake Counties, (1969), 268
Calvin, R, 'The Mine Explorer' in 1914 Cumberland Mines Rescue Service 1986, , Vol. IV, (1994), 4
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,

Source: Historic England

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