Ancient Monuments

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Mary Colliery winding gear head frame, 775m north west of Lochore Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty, Fife

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Latitude: 56.1537 / 56°9'13"N

Longitude: -3.3371 / 3°20'13"W

OS Eastings: 317035

OS Northings: 696477

OS Grid: NT170964

Mapcode National: GBR 23.J672

Mapcode Global: WH6RK.QL2B

Entry Name: Mary Colliery winding gear head frame, 775m NW of Lochore Castle

Scheduled Date: 31 October 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9016

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: coal

Location: Ballingry

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of the head frame of the winding gear of the Mary Colliery at Lochore. The Colliery was first sunk by the Fife Coal Company in 1902, and named after Mrs Mary Carlow, who cut the first sod. The concrete frame, which is now the only upstanding relic of the colliery, belonged to the second shaft, which was sunk in 1923 as part of an attempt to solve ventilation problems as well as to improve productivity in the deeper seams.

Standing over a shaft of 280 fathoms, the frame was of particular significance as one of the first in the country to be constructed of reinforced concrete; the lifting gear was operated by an electric winding engine, now gone.

The colliery closed on 24 September 1966, having had an active life of over sixty years, ten more years than initially anticipated. The area disfigured by the surrounding coal workings was subsequently the subject of one of the first major exercises in land reclamation, to form the Lochore Meadows Recreational Park.

The head frame has been retained next to the first green of the golf course as a reminder of the industrial history of the site. The head frame itself was conserved in 1988-89.

The area to be scheduled is a circle of 55m diameter centred on the head frame. All surface features are excluded from the scheduling apart from the head frame itself.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as one of the first reinforced concrete head frames to be built for the winding gear of a British colliery, and also as one of the few visible relics of coal mining in central Fife.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 19 NE 27.


Hutton, G. (1999) Fife the mining kingdom Ochiltree Sawmill, The Lade Ochiltree, Ayrshire, 4.

The Benarty Mining heritage Group (1992) 'No more bings in Benarty'.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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