Ancient Monuments

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Coal mining remains at Broad Oak Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Strelley, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 52.9705 / 52°58'13"N

Longitude: -1.2382 / 1°14'17"W

OS Eastings: 451256.505162

OS Northings: 341732.2067

OS Grid: SK512417

Mapcode National: GBR L1H.V9

Mapcode Global: WHDGQ.YLKL

Entry Name: Coal mining remains at Broad Oak Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017654

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30959

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Strelley

Built-Up Area: Nottingham

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Bilborough and Strelley

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The Strelley shaftmounds lie on almost level ground to the south, west and
east of Broad Oak Farm, on the north western outskirts of Bilborough. The
monument includes all the earthworks and buried remains of the shaftmounds and
related coal mining features.
Strelley colliery was named after the family which established it in the
half of the 16th century. The Strelleys were rivals of the Willoughbys, who
had earlier established collieries in the nearby Wollaton area. Litigations
between the two families have left a rich source of documentary evidence for
the technology and development of mines in the area and by the late 16th
century the Strelley and Wollaton pits were the largest and most productive
outside Tyneside. They continued to be successful in the 17th century, helped
by investment in technology by the prospector Huntingdon Beaumont. One of
Beaumont's innovations was the installation in 1603 of a wagonway to
transport coal from Strelley pits to a storage area. This was amongst the
first railed wagonways in Britain. Beaumont took the idea to the north east,
where wagonways later became commonplace. Strelley therefore has a
significant place in the history of mining technology. It remained productive
at least into the later 17th century.
Visible remains include a series of low shaftmounds of up to 5m wide which
represent the remains of coal workings. A vertical shaft was sunk to the coal
level and the seam was worked out horizontally, giving the pit a bell-shaped
profile and leaving a low collar of spoil at the shaft mouth. These
undisturbed shaft mounds are rare survivals, and will include valuable
technological evidence. Earthworks and buried remains will include further
technological data, and include evidence of pit top features such as winding
gear and of the early wagonway.
Modern field fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.
Extensive coal workings are typical of the medieval and post-medieval coal
industry, although this style of exploitation continued into the early 20th
century in some marginal areas which were worked on a very small scale with
little capital investment. In its simplest form extensive workings took coal
directly from the outcrop, digging closely spaced shallow pits, shafts or
levels which did not connect underground. Once shallower deposits had been
exhausted, deeper shafts giving access to underground interconnecting
galleries were developed. The difficulties of underground haulage and the need
for ventilation encouraged the sinking of an extensive spread of shafts in the
area worked. The remains of extensive coal workings typically survive as
surface earthworks directly above underground workings. They may include a
range of prospecting and exploitation features, including areas of
outcropping, adits and shaft mounds (circular or sub-circular spoil heaps
normally with a directly associated depression marking the shaft location). In
addition, some sites retain associated features such as gin circles (the
circular track used by a horse powering simple winding or pumping machinery),
trackways and other structures like huts. Some later sites also retain
evidence of the use of steam power, typically in the form of engine beds or
small reservoirs. Extensive coal mines vary considerably in form, depending on
the underlying geology, their date, and how the workings were originally
organised. Sites can include several hundred shafts spread over an extensive
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 extensive coal workings, together with rare individual
component features are considered to merit protection.

The Strelley shaftmounds are the best preserved remains of the Strelley and
Wollaton coal mining area, whose development in the 16th and 17th centuries
was important to the expansion of the industry and its commercial success. The
surface features provide evidence for the development of mining activities in
this area, whilst buried remains will add further technological information,
including information on winding gear and operations around the shaft head.
Technological and organisational advances at this colliery, such as the
installation of a very early wagonway, were influential on the development of
the coal industry nationally. The colliery is well documented historically,
and offers the possibility of combining archaeological and documentary
evidence to produce a detailed understanding of an extensive early coal mining

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hatcher, J, The History of the British Coal Industry: Volume I Before 1700, (1993), 161-170
Ref: Notts 02060, Baddeley, Virginia, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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