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record MDR6121 - Plumbley Colliery and 'Seldom Seen' Engine House, Ince Piece Wood, Eckington

Type and Period (7)

  • (Victorian to First World War - 1875 AD to 1914 AD)
  • (Victorian - 1875 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • (Victorian - 1875 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • (Victorian to First World War - 1875 AD to 1914 AD)
  • (Victorian - 1875 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • (Victorian - 1875 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • (Victorian - 1875 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The Seldom Seen Colliery Engine House is an exceptionally large brick built beam engine house some 75 feet high to the eaves and 40 feet x 20 feet in plan, now in a ruinous condition. The shaft headings have cross ventilation tunnels. (1) Plumbley Colliery. A small 19th century colliery in the Moss Valley west of Eckington. The main standing remain is a large brick vertical engine house which is in a ruinous state [in 1995]. This was probably a beam pumping engine, but it may also have been used for winding and ventilation and could even have been a vertical winder. The other features of the colliery are at a higher level to the south of the engine house, with remains of a guibal ventilation fan house built into a retaining wall at the point where the ground rises. There is a small stone arch at the foot of this wall which is presumably linked to the shafts for ventilation or drainage. Foundations survive of a second engine house for a horizontal engine. The chimney is identifiable as a concentration of bricks at the site indicated on OS maps, and the coke ovens are identifiable by firebricks with vitrification. The two reservoirs survive as earthworks. The more northerly appears to have been deliberately breached and a trench excavated in the floor. The second reservoir has a pit in the south corner, possibly subsidence. The site was referred to by Frank Nixon as 'Seldom Seen' colliery and this name is commonly used today. No visible sign of either shaft. Site History: Mining started in the Moss Valley prior to 1875, when the first edition OS 25" map shows one shaft, one engine house and one reservoir. Originally the coal was taken by tramway up the valley and up an inclined plane to Plumbley Lane, Mosborough. The second shaft and engine house and a standard gauge railway to Eckington were constructed in the late 1870s. The colliery closed in the 1890s but continued to be used for pumping until 1914. A private licensed drift mine ('New Plumbley Mine') operated about 200m east of the main site around 1950-56. The shafts at the main site were filled and capped in 1948. (3) Scheduling for Plumbley Colliery, including the engine house. The colliery includes the engine house, ruined buildings, earthworks, conical tips, fan house, coke ovens. Opened before 1875 the colliery had reached its full extent by 1897 and was disused by 1914, with small scale independent mining taking place thereafter. As such it represents the survival of a predominantly late 19th century coal mine. The guibal fan and conical tips are particularly rare survivals. (4) Named Plumbley Colliery in 1900. (5) Plumbley Colliery. Brick colliery winding engine house, 41ft x 24ft outside, walls 1ft 7in thick, with two almost full length brick engine beds inside. The winding shaft was in front of this building. There was another shaft to the SSW beside the foundations of a rectangular stone building - perhaps a pumphouse. There were also two ponds or cisterns nearby. A great deal of colliery spoil is in evidence around the site. After years of decay the structure was consolidated in 1998. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: 1975. CBA Panel on Industustrial Monuments.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Nixon, F. 1969. The Industrial Archaeology of Derbyshire. p 76.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Mitchell, I. 1995. Plumbley Colliery - Index Record for Industrial Sites. DR/DAS/IHM001.
  • <4> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Notification. 30948. Cat. No.: 402.
  • <5> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Colliery, Eckington, 1970.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. p 31.



Grid reference Centred SK 42180 79957 (438m by 185m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR1641

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Record last edited

Jul 6 2020 3:17PM

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