MINING AROUND RIPLEY - 1800 TO 1829

The Butterley Co output of coal was approximately 3,000 tons in 1801, which then increased to 7,768 tons by 1802. The Codnor Park Agreement came into force in 1803 which gave miners a chance to earn 3s (15p) to 4s (20p) a day as coal was paid for at 3s 6d (17½p) a ton and 1s 9d (8¾p) for slack. Of course many men would have worked around 12 hours a day to achieve this and may have had to walk several miles from home to the colliery and back again so could have been away from home for up to 16 hours a day – leading to the expression ‘all bed and work’.

Sinkings 1801-02:
The 1st Cinderhill and 2nd Cinderhill or Cinder pits at Swanwick colliery (Morewood) at 35 yards (32m) and 25 yards (23m) deep were sunk at Greenhill Lane near Riddings 1801-02; Parkin pit 33 yards (30m) and Farnsworth pit 60 yards (55m) were sunk at Greenhill Lane also (Morewood). Gabriel Britain’s Engine pit 53 yards (48m) to Hard coal near Ripley was sunk around this time also.

In 1802, Wollaton and Cossall collieries (were owned by Henry, Lord Middleton); Shipley and Heanor collieries – (Edward Miller Mundy); Alfreton, Somercotes and Swanwick – (Rev’d Henry Case Morewood); Denby, Robeyfield and Simonfield – (Wm Drury Lowe); Heanor collieries – (Thos Charlton); Pinxton - (Rev’d D’Ewes Coke); Brinsley – (Jos Wilkes); Brinsley New – (Wm Fenton); Ripley and Hartshay – (Henry Hunter); Bilborough, Newthorpe and Beggarlee – (Thos Barber); Butterley and Codnor Park – (Benjamin Outram); Greasley and Ilkeston – (James Potter and John Bourne); Eastwood – (Luke Jackson and John Bourne); Ripley – (James Fletcher and Henry Moore); Hartshay – (James Fletcher and Henry Hunter); Pinxton Mill colliery – (Thos and Sam Hodgkinson); Pentrich – (Thos Pearson and Henry Goodwin).

A pit at Cossall was worked previously by Lord Middleton until 1805 when it was leased to Barber & Walker for a term of 21 years (+ - 1848). It was probably sunk in the period 1795-1800.

Closures 1806: Awsworth pit; Denby pit northeast of the Church (Lowe).

At Denby (Derbys) whilst excavating for the Alfreton to Derby Turnpike some coal seams and layers of good quality clay were exposed. A potter from Belper, Wm Bourne, realised the significance of the find and eventually over the years Denby Pottery was established and prospered. The distinctive brown and mottled surface of the ware was achieved by throwing salt into the kilns during the firing process. Several small drift mines were established in the area working both the clay for the pottery and coal for the kilns.

John Farey Senior's book ‘A General View of Agriculture and Minerals in Derbyshire’.
This was published in 1811 and lists the pits below, located in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire observed in 1808:
Butterley Carr NE of Ripley; Denby NE of Church (closed); Denby Hall N of Denby Church; Hartshay 1 mile S of Pentrich; Heage Bent or Nether End W and SW of town (closed); Heanor SE of town and S and SW and W of town; Horsley NE of Church (closed); Horsley Woodhouse NE of Horsley (closed); Hucknall Huthwaite (Richard Haslam & Robt Wm Booth) (Notts); Ilkeston S of Church (closed); Ilkeston Common or Bennerley 1 mile NE of town; Little Hallam N of village and S of Ilkeston (closed); Miln-Hay 1 mile ENE of Heanor (closed); Morley E of town (closed); Morley Park 1 mile SSE of Heage; Pentrich SSE of town; Robey East-Field 1 mile E of Denby Church (lately); Robey West-Field NW of Denby Church; Simonfield SE of Smalley (closed); Slackfields E of Horsley; Smalley NNE of town (closed); Smalley Common SSW of town (closed); Smithy Houses NE and NW of Denby Church (closed).

At some Derbyshire pits at Heanor, Ripley and Denby Hall a thin layer of dirt called duns, cat dirt or tow (mentioned before) was present and had to be separated from the coal and not gobbed, but brought out of the pit separately due to its spontaneous combustion properties. On occasion at Denby Hall the only way in the past to put out gob fires caused through throwing the cat dirt in the gobbins was to flood the waste or goaf.

Butterley Co built new ironworks and a forge in Codnor Park. The minerals had been leased from the Rev’d Leigh Hoskins since 1796.

Collieries closed by 1810:
Cossall mine, (Lord Middleton) (½ mile NW of the town); Robey East Field (Drury Lowe) (1m E of Denby Church).

Between 1797 and 1813 Butterley Co had built a new small hamlet for their workers at Golden Valley. A new village was begun named Ironville nearby in 1811 but would not be completed until around 1843. Further housing was built at Hammersmith.

Collieries closed 1813:
Denby Old colliery (Lowe).

Collieries closed in 1815:
Several in Ilkeston district and Ilkeston manor, Deep Hard seam.

A Watt’s improved Newcomen engine was erected at the Basset pit at Kilburn in 1817, and was used for pumping. It was still in use in 1886.

J A Twigg's Survey of the Ripley Area:
James Ashton Twigg, Mineral Surveyor & Mining Engineer of Chesterfield, published a Mineral Tract in 1827 belonging to CV Hunter and WH Hunter Esquires, lying under lands situate in Ripley, Hartshay and Padley within the Township of Ripley in the Parish of Pentrich in the County of Derby. The survey, commenced in 1817 and completed 1827 showing the basit or break out at the surface of all the workable beds of coal – with courses of all the ancient and modern levels and the courses of all the known faults from ‘Investigations’ and ‘Trials’ by boring or sinking upon the said mining ground from 1795 to present. The Porter Barn fault passes through Ripley.
He surveyed a large area around Ripley, (Derbys) during the years 1817-27. Pentridge Engine pit 70 yards (64m) deep to the bottom hard coal was shown along with 2 sough adits to the north of the Canal. Coppice level driven to drain Ripley old Hard coal bed is shown as well as the large Porter Barn fault of 56 feet (17m) up to the north, which passes through the area.
The plan byTwigg in 1820 also shows pits near Padley Hall, Hammersmith, Ripley: No1 Engine, No2 Engine (Hartshay Foundation) 95 yards (87m) to Bottom Hard, Engine pit 145 yards (133m), Padley pit, New Air pit, and pit part sunk near Upper Hartshay, and several old shafts. His plan of 1817-27 mentioned a tholl (thirl, thurl or connection, a term originating from an Anglo-Saxon word thyrel….to bore a hole) from ‘counterhead’ to No2 pit near Padley Hall. It also shows Hartshay Foundation, Hill Top pit and Haslam’s Foundation at Pentrich.

Sinkings in 1820:
Heanor Hall’s 6 pits, Mrs Sutton’s, being the oldest sunk early 1820; Heanor Whysall Street (Turton) sunk.

In the township of Ripley, 1821, there was a reference to coal and slack lying under the estate of Mr Thomas Topham.

Sinkings in 1821:
Old pit Langley Mill 61 yards (55.75m) (leased to Seeley by W Morewood);

Collieries sunk or opened in 1822
Padley pit near Pentrich (CV Hunter) in May, (J Burgoyne, Surveyor), situated to the east of Turnpike road to Cromford and to south of Cromford Canal where there was a couple of coal wharfs.

The mining lease for the West Hallam area expired on Lady Day 1822 and the lease passed firstly from John Sutton of Heanor to Hunloke until 12th November, when it passed to Francis Newdegate until Michaelmas 1848, then leased by Wm Lings, then passed to HB Whitehouse for coal and ironstone.

Closures in 1822:
Morley Park Hard coal pit (Mold?) 57 yards (52m) deep;

Sinkings in 1823:
A plan showing the Duke of Rutland’s Estate at Greasley Castle Kimberley by John Thomas Woodhouse 8th April 1867 showed that Sam Potter sank pits at Kimberley 60 yards (55m) deep at Kettle Bank Common and 80 yards (73m) deep at High Spania. Saul Potter was working a pit nearby and the workings stripped an old sough (ancient level) leading to the watercourse near Bennerley Bridge which passed nearby. It joined the Barehill Fields sough. Workings here began in 1800 and finished in 1823. A stone head was driven to the north through a fault by Potter and Burn in 1806 to find coal for pits towards Eastwood.

Collieries sunk in 1824:
At Loscoe, the Butterley Co sank the (old) Ormonde pit in 1824; Miller Mundy sank No1 pit at Shipley Woodside, between Heanor and Ilkeston;

Shipley pits (Miller Mundy) produced 45,000 tons in 1824.

An advancement in Technology:
Shaft guides, invented by John Curr of Sheffield Collieries were introduced at Duckmanton pit in 1825 - these being the first in the area. This invention led to the widespread use of cages in shafts. These first rigid guides were made of wood, later ones would be steel and then free swinging steel ropes would become the popular choice in the late 19th and 20th Centuries in the majority of shafts with the ropes being anchored in the headgear and the tension of the ropes being achieved using heavy cheese weights at the bottom. Hazel corves or baskets were still generally in use at many pits, together with hemp ropes for hauling the coal up the shallow shafts.

At this time Horse Gins or hand wound windlasses still raised the coal from many of the shallower mines. Later some of these were replaced by steam engines called Whimseys using wire or steel ropes.

The second iron furnace was established at Morley Park.

Sinkings 1826:
Rutland Engine pit (Potter) Ilkeston, was sunk to the Top Hard at 151 yards (138m) deep;

At West Hallam, Francis Newdegate installed a pumping engine at Blue Fly or Simonfield shaft 116 yards (106m) deep to replace a previous one, and would work to 10th Feb 1870.
On 2nd May 1826 the Canal Committee decided to construct a railway with edge rails as suggested by Twigg instead of L shaped rails suggested by Crossley and Jessop. A double track was laid on an embankment 30 feet (9.1m) wide. As with other tramways and railways at the time stone blocks for sleepers were used.

Closures 1827:
Heanor Whysall Street (Mr Turton), Heanor, sunk 1820.

Collieries sunk or opened in 1828:
Kilburn (unknown owner);

Fatal accidents in 1828 included Heage colliery, Thomas Alton (14), fell down the shaft Dec 1828.

Pits that were noted by Farey in 1808 and still working in 1829 were:
Butterley (Car) ⅓ mile NE of Ripley (an iron furnace and mines) worked formerly by a tunnel for boats; Butterley Park 1 mile NE of Ripley (over the Cromford Canal tunnel); Castle Hill 1 mile N of Pentrich, 10th coal; Codnor Upper Park 1¼ miles NNE of Codnor; Cotmanhay Wood 2 miles N of Ilkeston; Denby Hall 1¾ miles N of Denby Church; Greenwich ⅓ mile E of Ripley and 1¼ miles NW of Codnor; Hartshay 1 mile S of Pentrich, 12th coal; Heanor ½ mile SE of the town, S, SW and W of the town; Ilkeston Common (or Benersley) 1 mile NE of the town; Langley Mill S of houses, ½ mile E of Heanor; Morley Park 1 mile SSE of Heage, 9th coal, an iron furnace and mines; Pentrich ½ mile SSE of the town, 12th coal; Ripley SW of village, 1½ miles SSE of Pentrich; Roby West Field ¾ mile NW of Denby church; Shipley 1 mile SSE of Heanor 244 yards (223m) deep; West Hallam (or Ferneyford) near Lewcotegate, 1 mile NE of West Hallam;

Collieries that were sunk after 1808 and still open in 1829 are listed:
Belper Lane End 1 mile NW of Belper, 1st coal, brasses;

In 1829 the following pits had been closed since 1808:
Hallam Bridge (or Nutbrook) 1 mile N of Stanton by Dale; Heage (or Buckland Hollow) N of town, 4th coal; Heage Bent (or Nether End) W and SW of the town, 3rd coal; ; Horsley ¼ mile NE of Church, 4th coal; Horsley Woodhouse W of houses, 1 mile NE of Horsley; Ilkeston S of church; Little Hallam N of the village, ½ mile S of Ilkeston; Morley ⅓ mile E of town; Roby East Field 1 mile E of Denby Church; Simon Field SE of Park Hall, 1 mile SE of Smalley; Smalley ½ mile NNE of town; Smalley Common ¾ mile SSW of town; Smithy Houses NE, ½ mile NW of Denby Church; Smithy Moor SW of Stretton, 1¾ miles NNW of Shirland, 9th coal; Stanfrey (or Horsecroft) E of houses, 2¼ miles NNE of Bolsover, lately; Stanley Common 1 mile NW of West Hallam;

The following pits were sunk after 1808 but closed by 1829:
Belper Gutter ½ mile E of Belper, 2nd coal; Belper Town NW of church, 1st coal; Bent near Whitemoor, 1 mile NE of Belper, 2nd coal; Hopping Hill E of houses, 1¼ miles S of Belper, 1st coal; Wheat Croft in Crich, NW of village, 1st coal;

By 1829 James Oakes & Co had 3 coal pits, 2 iron ore mines, 2 blast furnaces and a foundry and employed around 1,500 men and boys, 750 of them at the pits. The Butterley Co (previously Benjamin Outram, Francis Beresford, Wm Jessop and John Wright) now owned furnaces, a foundry and had a steam engine factory at Butterley, and furnaces and a foundry and bar-iron works at Codnor. They had collieries at Ormonde, Portland and Heanor (Bailey Brook) and Butterley Park, and owned the Crich limestone quarries and lime works, as well as the lime works at Codnor Park.

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