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Hood Hill shaft mounds, 480m east of Hood Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wentworth, Rotherham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4735 / 53°28'24"N

Longitude: -1.4469 / 1°26'48"W

OS Eastings: 436809.944189

OS Northings: 397557.057975

OS Grid: SK368975

Mapcode National: GBR LXB8.KL

Mapcode Global: WHDD3.RY6K

Entry Name: Hood Hill shaft mounds, 480m east of Hood Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017747

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30949

County: Rotherham

Civil Parish: Wentworth

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Wentworth Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

Details

The monument is situated in the hamlet of Hood Hill, 480m east of Hood Hill
Farm, and includes the earthworks, ruins and buried remains of 14 of the Hood
Hill shaft mounds. The remains of further shaft mounds are visible to the
north, but these are not so well-preserved, being somewhat affected by modern
developments, and are thus not included in the scheduling.
The monument includes a series of shaft mounds, which have formerly been
described as bellpits (pits with a bell-shaped profile typical of early coal
mining). In fact their form and organisation suggest deep shaft workings
characteristic of coal mining from the 18th century onwards. The shaft mounds
are exceptionally well-preserved earthworks, each approximately 3m high and
10m diameter, and take the form of a thick collar of spoil and a wide central
depression 2m deep.
Particularly distinctive is the layout of the shaft mounds: they were clearly
sunk in a planned grid pattern, with approximately 20m between shafts in each
direction. Two rows are visible, although the initial grid may have been
larger.
The plan of the site is believed to represent a single, well-organised period
of mining administered by a single landholder. The coal remains lie within the
Fitzwilliam estates, where the family of that name have exploited coal
resources from the 17th century. It is thought that the Hood Hill shaft mounds
represent a rare survival of the family's organised mining ventures.
Dating evidence will be preserved within the shaft mounds, and their buried
remains and technological features will survive beneath the surface,
providing information on pit-top structures such as horse-powered winding
gear, and on ventilation and drainage, or other structures associated with
mining activity.
The modern field walls, surface of the track and all fence posts are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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
area.
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 Hood Hill shaft mounds are considered to be an important survival,
unusual both for their high standard of preservation and their uniform layout.
As such they provide valuable evidence for one aspect of the coal industry in
England. They have been little disturbed, and are expected to preserve
valuable technological evidence of extraction techniques and pit-top
mechanisms. The monument is a prominent feature in the local landscape, and
parts of it are used as a recreational area by local people.

Source: Historic England

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