The first coal discovered in Nottinghamshire was found near Strelley in about 1316.
It out cropped in the area of Spring Wood, Digby Church and Cossall. These coals when fired gave off a choking mixture of black smoke and sulphurous fumes and this combination deterred its use.
These original out crop coal seams sloped away from the surface but at a depth of approx. 20 ft. they became hard and shiny and burned almost smokeless. A system of bell pits was developed to tap into this newly found useable coal and the Lords and Landowners would reap the profits from the power of coal and provide the local Coal Barons with their halls and mansions like the imposing Wollaton Hall built on the profits from coal. The use of this local coal set up the beginning of an Industrial Revolution in Nottinghamshire.
PHOTO Nottinghamshire’s First Collieries PHOTO
It is interesting to observe Farey’s List of Collieries at work in Notts in the year 1807 :
Aspley, near Bobbers Mill, “in Wollaton”, Notts.
Beauvale Abbey, north of Greasley, Notts.
Beggarlee, one mile north of Eastwood, Notts.
Brinsley, old, east of village, one mile north of Eastwood, Notts.
Brinsley (or Brunsley), New or Fenton’s, north of Eastwood, Notts.
Cossall, half mile south west of Awsworth, Notts.
Cotmanhay Wood, two miles north of Ilkeston, Derbys.
Eastwood, half a mile north of Eastwood Town, Notts.
Holly-wood, Bilborough, three quarters of a mile south east of church.
Newthorpe Common, one mile north west of Awsworth, Notts.
Nuthall, one mile north west of Bilborough, Notts.
“Robinets,” three quarters of a mile east of Cossall, Notts.
Trowel Moor, one mile west of Wollaton, Notts.
Wollaton, one and a quarter miles west, north west of Nottingham.
Most of the above collieries were owned by the Barber, Walker Company. One exception was Brinsley New or Fenton’s, that the Company purchased in 1843.
Most of the above collieries were closed by the mid 1800’s and the Land Owners started to develop the Leen Valley pits and collieries within the Nottingham City boundaries, including Babbington, Radford, Wollaton and Clifton collieries.
Bob Collier – Committee Member