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Coke ovens, 120m north east of Summerley House

A Scheduled Monument in Dronfield, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2989 / 53°17'56"N

Longitude: -1.4476 / 1°26'51"W

OS Eastings: 436909.953159

OS Northings: 378135.617489

OS Grid: SK369781

Mapcode National: GBR LZB9.D4

Mapcode Global: WHDF2.QBVV

Entry Name: Coke ovens, 120m north east of Summerley House

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1979

Last Amended: 24 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018379

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30947

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Dronfield

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Dronfield St John Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument lies 120m north east of Summerley House, and includes the ruined
buildings, earthworks and buried remains of the Summerley coke ovens and
associated features. The Summerley coke ovens served the colliery of the same
name, which has since been cleared. The ovens represent a very rare survival
of intact beehive coke ovens in a large range with much of its internal
detail preserved. The coke ovens and colliery were opened shortly after the
main line railway reached the area in 1871. Originally taking coal from the
colliery, the ovens had attained their present size by 1876 and continued to
operate after the colliery closed in 1884, remaining in use until 1921.
The ovens are in two back-to-back banks, each of 24 beehive-shaped chambers
with portals and voussoirs of brick or stone, and brick vaulting within. Some
have been re-lined in brick or stone on one or more occasions. On each side of
the range, four narrow stone stairways between chambers give access to the
top, where the remains of four collapsed square-based chimneys can be seen.
The remains of brick-lined flues are also partly visible here, and further
flues will survive as buried features. They are of two types; those running
along the range to connect a number of ovens to a chimney, and those running
diagonally across the range to connect an individual oven to a chimney.
Spoilheaps, adjacent to the ovens, are included in the scheduling and will
provide additional information on the operation of the ovens. Also included in
the scheduling is a part of the former railway, whose remains will preserve
valuable details of the relationship between the railway and coke ovens.
Modern field boundaries 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.
Coking is the process by which coal is heated or part burnt to remove volatile
impurities and leave lumps of carbon known as coke. Originally this was
conducted in open heaps, sometimes arranged on stone bases, but from the mid-
18th century purpose built ovens were employed. By the mid-19th century two
main forms of coking oven had developed, the beehive and long oven, which are
thought to have been operationally similar, differing only in shape. Coke
ovens were typically built as long banks with many tens of ovens arranged in
single or back to back rows, although stand alone ovens and short banks are
also known. They typically survive as stone or brick structures, but earth-
covered examples also exist. Later examples may also include remains of
associated chimneys, condensers and tanks used to collect by-products. Coke
ovens are most frequently found directly associated with coal mining sites,
although they also occur at ironworks or next to transport features such as
canal basins.
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. All surviving pre-
1815 ovens are considered to be of national importance and merit protection,
as do all surviving examples of later non-beehive ovens. The survival of
beehive ovens is more common nationally and a selection of the better
preserved examples demonstrating the range of organisational layouts and
regional spread is considered to merit protection.

The coke ovens 120m north east of Summerley House survive well, and are
considered to be rare examples of beehive ovens nationally. Their structural
remains and buried features, particularly internal ones, will provide valuable
information on the layout and operation of coking ovens during the late 19th
and early 20th centuries.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Battye, K et al, 'Industrial Archaeology Review' in Summerley Colliery Coke Ovens, , Vol. XIII, 2, (1991), 152-161
Other
Ref: DR 4724, Dronfield, 19thC Beehive Coke Ovens and Associated..., (1983)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 25"
Source Date: 1897
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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