Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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East Gawber Hall colliery fanhouse, 800m north east of Croft Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St Helens, Barnsley

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Latitude: 53.5734 / 53°34'24"N

Longitude: -1.482 / 1°28'55"W

OS Eastings: 434400.732869

OS Northings: 408658.445994

OS Grid: SE344086

Mapcode National: GBR LW23.YR

Mapcode Global: WHDCQ.6FKX

Entry Name: East Gawber Hall colliery fanhouse, 800m north east of Croft Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017748

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30951

County: Barnsley

Electoral Ward/Division: St Helens

Built-Up Area: Barnsley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Athersley St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument lies south of the New Lodge housing estate, in an area of scrub
and woodland, and includes the earthworks, buried remains and ruins of a
former colliery fanhouse and associated structures.
The brick fanhouse belonged to the East Gawber Hall colliery which stood to
the north on the other side of a disused railway. The colliery opened in 1856
and was closed before 1922. It has since been demolished. For much of its
lifetime it had the same ownership as the nearby Wharncliffe Carlton colliery,
to which the fanhouse has sometimes been attributed.
The building originally housed a Guibal fan, a steam-powered device commonly
used for mine ventilation in the late 19th century, and dating in this case to
the 1880s. The fan is thought to have been installed in 1875-80 at the time
the colliery shaft was sunk, and to have been approximately 10m in diameter.
Fans of this type were enclosed: stale air was drawn from the mine shaft
through an inlet passage, and expelled through a chimney-like outlet or
The evasee is the site's most prominent survival, standing to 10m, with a
brick wall projecting south west from its north west wall. To the evasee's
south and south east are other structural and earthwork remains, including a
brick-built structure surviving to 1.2m height, and earthworks associated with
a mine shaft. Spoilheaps, an iron slag heap, and iron mountings are visible to
the south and east. It is thought that the complete ground plan of the
fanhouse survives as a buried feature, and will retain information for the
internal arrangement of the building.

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.
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.

Fewer than fifteen Guibal fanhouses are known to survive nationally, and this
example is therefore a particularly rare monument. These fanhouses were once
commonplace in the coal mining industry, and their remains present a valuable
opportunity to study their technology and form. The evasee in particular
survives well, and surrounding structures are believed to preserve the ground
plan of the fanhouse in its entirety. Further technological information within
the monument will increase understanding of the day-to-day operation of the
fan house and structures.
The site is within woodland used as a local recreational area, and is a
notable landmark.

Source: Historic England

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