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Monument record MDR12099 - Coal or white coal pits, Cobnar Wood, Barlow

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Cobnar Wood is first referred to in 1324 when it appeared as "a wood called Cobbenouere". By the Elizabethan period, if not before, it was a "springwood", ie a coppice wood managed carefully and felled at regular intervals. Within the wood is a large group of pits interpreted as having been associated with the production of white-coal, used in the smelting of lead between about 1550 and 1750. The white-coal was produced by burning chopped wood to a lower temperature than was needed for charcoal. The Cavendish family profited from managing Cobnar Wood until late in the 18th century. In 1762, for instance, a lessee was given permission "to make saw pits, charcoal pits and kilns for making charcoal and drying white coal…". (1) An alternative interpretation of the pits in Cobnar Wood is that they are workings in the Deep Hard sandstone above adit workings in the same coal seam. A couple of other shallow pits are probably associated with surface ironstone. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Article in serial: Hey, D. 2006. 'A walk in the woods', Ancestors. August, p 74.
  • <2> Personal Observation: Smith, P. Personal communication to the HER by Paul Smith. Email, October 4 2007.



Grid reference Centred SK 3562 7512 (786m by 792m)

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Record last edited

May 28 2015 9:57AM

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