Barnsley Main colliery, S.Yorks, March 2017

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Regular Member
Jan 6, 2013
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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Located to the north of Oaks Lane, Hoyle Mill, Barnsley, deep mining has taken place on the colliery site since late Georgian times. Only the disused colliery winding engine house and pit head structures from circa 1900 (modernised 1956) now remain. They are the last significant standing remains of Barnsley Main Colliery, infamous for its historical association with the Oaks Colliery Disaster of 1866; England's worst mining accident. The disaster saw the loss of 361 men and boys, some as young as 10 years old, caused by two separate explosions on 13th December 1866.

Barnsley Main Colliery No.2 Shaft appears on an 1892 Ordnance Survey map without any associated buildings. Previously under Rylands Main Colliery whose pit head was immediately to the south, the workings were developed and renamed Barnsley Main Colliery. The earliest parts of the winding house and shaft top building appear on a 1906 Ordnance Survey map. No.2 Shaft was deepened beyond the Barnsley Main Seam in 1916 in order to mine the Fenton Seam. Around this time the machine cutting of coal was also introduced for the first time at the colliery. By 1931 Barnsley Main Colliery had expanded further, taking over Oaks Colliery whose pit head was just to the south east (now redeveloped as an industrial estate).

Post Second World War Barnsley Main passed to the National Coal Board. No.2 Shaft was modernised in 1956 which saw the installation of new headstocks and an electric winder, as indicated by a simple date-stone on the engine house. The colliery closed and re-opened numerous times between 1929 and its final closure in 1966. In the 1970s No.2 shaft was re-used for man-riding (with the coal being brought to the surface at Barrow Colliery). Barnsley Main finally ceased production in 1991, followed by the clearance of the buildings and general landscaping. No.2 Shaft with its headstocks and winding engine house were retained and passed into the ownership of the local authority. Openings were subsequently bricked up to secure the structures from unauthorised entry and vandalism and the engine house and the pithead structures at the disused colliery were Grade II listed in June 2013.

2. The Explore
This was always likely to be an external-only job given the recent lack of reports. And true to form, the place was like a fortress. There were a handful of reports from 2014 when entry, apparently with a squeeze, was possible. For an excellent report from back then which shows the inside see Wakey Lad’s fab set here:


Just about enough to merit a report given the odd bit of graff. So here are a handful of pics on a rainy and overcast morning in Barnsley.

3. The Pictures

33112585831_ab7c9de44b_b.jpgimg9021 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32396931754_2a7cbc0e09_b.jpgimg9023 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32396955804_da62387140_b.jpgbarnsley main 1 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32426356093_5eeabf6e0a_b.jpgimg9025 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32426323823_445067e580_b.jpgimg9026 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32396845954_63f2fb2b15_b.jpgimg9027 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32857896400_fc7386a465_b.jpgimg9028 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32426253143_94d357244a_b.jpgimg9029 by HughieDW, on Flickr

33112609401_ca6bff8233_b.jpgimg9032bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

33084385202_c698e56e21_b.jpgimg9031bw by HughieDW, on Flickr
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Regular Member
Oct 14, 2013
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Love this hughie and a real shame you could not get in.looking at reports it looks really nice inside


Regular Member
Sep 8, 2009
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Was much the same when I went a couple of years back, there was a new looking wired up CCTV camera pointed straight at where the access obviously used to be...


Veteran Member
Apr 1, 2012
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Lovely set of images there!

It was sealed up when I went there about 3yr ago, I think someone had actually removed some of the wall at the side to get in!

Is Wakey Lad still about do you know? I pm him but not heard back. He's a good geezer.

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