Saturday 08 August 2020

Castle Place Colliery

There is very little documented about Castle Place Colliery but it is known to have closed originally in the latter part of the 19th century. The 1917 sale particulars for the Lythwood Estate show large spoil heaps at the two 'old shafts' together with a building by the west shaft, which is where the engine is known to have been. Power was taken from the steam engine here across to the east shaft for pumping purposes.

After the second world war, R and J Fowles re-opened the mine with Harry Wood as the sole employee but achieved very little before closing finally in 1947. As a young lad of about 14, Brian Hobson of Castle Place farm, recalls descending the shaft in a bucket, travelling underground to the other shaft before returning to be winched back up again. Since then, much of the spoil has been removed and although there is a cap on the west shaft all other evidence has been obliterated by the buiding of a sewage works there. Nonetheless, small pieces of low quality coal can still be found around the edges of the pit mound. The spoil heap from the east shaft has been levelled to provide the base of a manege but a steady flow of clear water issues from the capped shaft's overflow and the water supply for Castle Place farm is taken from here, being pumped electrically. This source replaces a ram pump installed at the edge of a field nearby and powered by the little stream it is next to.

Close to the east shaft is a very old property known as Starr's Coppice. This dates from before 1580 and was originally two cottages inhabited by a series of farmworkers or miners.