Bathurst Main Silkstone Colliery

Bathurst Fire Stone & Fire Brick Co. Ltd

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During its short existence Bathurst Main Silkstone Colliery was known locally as "Batties Main" pit, but was not owned by Earl Bathurst although it was on his land.

Bathurst Main Silkstone Colliery was a landsale pit and was short lived.  It was located in the Darwood Lane area, immediately south of Spital Green, close to the western entrance to Scarcliffe Tunnel.

The brickworks stood alongside the Midland Railway branch line, a short distance north of Palterton and Sutton station, near the bridge carrying Carr Lane over the railway.

A local web site relating to several topics including the village of Carr Vale and mining matters refers to Bathurst Main Colliery as also being known as Carr Vale Colliery.  This is factually incorrect and misleading.  There is absolutely no evidence available to suggest this pit was ever known as Carr Vale Colliery.  On the contrary the village of Carr Vale was in its infancy when "Batties Main" closed (c.1891).  This colliery was always in the village of Palterton, close to the boundary with Bolsover.  The Earl Bathurst Estate Papers are absolute proof of these facts and others facts referred to on this page.  Until documentary proof is forthcoming, my opinion is that any reference to Carr Vale Colliery should be ignored.

Scale drawing of area as at 1885.  Middle left can be seen Carr Farm.

1881.  Two men, namely Josiah Court a Staveley surgeon and William Mannikin a mining engineer of Bolsover took out a lease from T.W.C. Master and Sir Henry Ponsonby, as trustees of the Bathurst Estate, to mine the Clowne coal and fireclay, under lands owned by Earl Bathurst to the north west of Palterton in the parish of Scarcliffe.

The lessees opened the Bathurst Main Colliery to exploit the coal and also built Brick Kilns to use the clay found with the coal.

1883Court and Minnikin established the Bathurst Fire Stone & Fire Brick Co. Ltd to continue the business, which was to be managed by John Flecknoe Court of Netherthorpe Hall, Staveley.  These Brick Kilns were always known locally as Palterton Brick Yard.  These brick built kilns were constructed a short distance to the east the side of the Midland railway line.  Their purpose was to exploit the clay found in the coal.  The coal was transported to the railway sidings by means of a rope haulage system.

The new company had an authorised capital of 20,000 and paid 1,660 to Court and 840 to Minnikin (in both cases entirely in shares) for the colliery and other works.  J.F. Court subscribed 2,460 in cash for his shares and four other subscribers took one share each, making a total issue of 500 shares.  The venture was not really successful.

My hand drawn sketch of the pit layout as at 1885.

On my hand drawn sketch, 28 is part of Daw Wood Pingle and Daw Wood.  29 is part of Lady Leys Plantation.  50 and 51 are Lady Leys.  At the top of the sketch, running right to left and curving down part of the left hand side is Darwood Lane.

1885.  By this year the company had accumulated liabilities of 3,422, which Malcolm Wyndham Wadham of Weston-on-Trent agreed to meet and also to introduce additional working capital (in all 4,550) in return for control of the business.

1889.  The company had been taken over by Charles Baker, a farmer of Barlborough, who died in 1890.

1890.  In June, William Arkwright of Sutton Scarsdale bought the business from Baker & Sons, contractors of Dudley Hill, Bradford (Yorkshire) but had no further use for the limited company, which was dissolved four years later.

A plan drawing of the area as at 1885.

On this larger image, the Elms Farm can be seen (bottom centre), as can Sallow Gap (Sally Gap) running directly off Carr Lane to the north.  This is conclusive proof that Sallow Gap has always been in Palterton.  Further west down Carr Lane can be seen Carr Farm(top left).

1891Bathurst Main Silkstone Colliery closed, but the Bathurst Fire Stone & Fire Brick Co. Ltd continued until the mid C.20th.

1893.  There is no mention of this colliery in the 1893 Edition of Pott's Mining Register and Directory for the Coal and Ironstone Trades of Great Britain and Ireland.

1893.  It was put up for auction as a going concern by Messrs Byron & Rangeley, when the plant was said to include a Newcastle kiln with a capacity of 100,000 bricks a week, two Galloway boilers, a winding engine and a drying shed.  It had a siding on the Doe Lea branch of the Midland Railway and good road access.

1896.  The works was offered for sale again, still as a going concern, this time by Pearson & Sons, the contractors.
It remained in use in 1921, by which time they were known as the New Byron Brick Works, apparently named after A.W.Byron, the Sutton Scarsdale Estate agent.

1921.  It was now known as the New Byron Brick Works

This image was taken on the 4 September 1955 and shows the Palterton and Sutton railway line from the bridge over Carr Lane, looking north towards Carr Vale and Bolsover Colliery. The wagons are in the sidings by the side of the main line, that was used by coal wagons to and from Glapwell and Ramcroft Collieries. The bonus in this image is that the old Palterton Brickyard can be clearly seen on the right. The brickyard cottages are faintly visible above the dark bushes to the right of the chimney. This scene has long since disappeared.

1921.  There was a narrow gauge tramway connecting the claypit to the north with the works but no railway within the works itself.

The works closed sometime before the Second World War, although it was apparently reopened temporarily during the war.

Small-scale illegal working of coal is said to have taken place on the site of the colliery during the miners' strikes of the 20th century, including that of 1972.

This image shows the location of the old Batties Main Pit. The remains can just be seen left midway. The new houses 
in the background are a 1980s estate and part of Bolsover.

This image shows an image taken in Palterton Brick Yard, many years after closure, probably c.1960.  Ack. Mrs Eileen Marsden formerly Wagstaffe.

This image shows an image taken in Palterton Brick Yard, many years after closure, probably c.1960.  Ack. Mrs Eileen Marsden formerly Wagstaffe.

References: Bathurst Estate Papers in the County Record Office, Gloucester.
also, apologies - Source mislaid for some of the other information.

Bathurst Main Silkstone Colliery

Bathurst Fire Stone & Fire Brick Co. Ltd


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Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 21 December 2009