Scheduled Monument record MDR6615 - Pleasley Colliery, Pleasley

Type and Period (6)

  • (Victorian to Late 20th Century - 1873 AD to 1983 AD)
  • (Early 20th Century - 1920 AD? to 1930 AD?)
  • (Victorian to Early 20th Century - 1873 AD? to 1922 AD)
  • (Victorian to Early 20th Century - 1873 AD? to 1922 AD?)
  • (Victorian - 1873 AD to 1873 AD)
  • (Victorian to Edwardian - 1898 AD to 1904 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Scheduled (14/3/97) The standing remains of Pleasley Colliery - an engine house, chimney and headstocks. In 1873 the Stanton Iron Company began sinking two shafts and constructed the winding house, located between the two shafts. It was designed to house two Worsley Mesnes steam winding engines, positioned back-to-back. These engines worked the colliery until 1922. The downcast (northern) winder was overhauled, whilst the upcast winder was replaced with a larger, modern engine. Pleasley Colliery continued to operate steam plant until closure in 1983, although the engines continued in use for salvage work until 1986. The downcast shaft has been infilled, although the headgear remains in situ. This was erected in 1901 to replace the former wooden frame. 10m to the south-west of the shaft is the intact winding house: commenced in 1873 and partially rebuilt in the early 1920s. In part of the building is the Worsley Mesnes engine (1874). To the east of the winding house is a tall chimney originally associated with the now demolished boiler house. Early photographs show a second chimney to the east of the winding house suggesting possibly a second boiler house. The headgear above the upcast shaft, to the south of the winding house, is of a similar design to the downcast headgear, but is encased in brick and concrete. (1) In 1871 the Stanton Iron and Coal Company acquired the Pleasley Park mineral rights and soon after began sinking their shafts. The actual choice of site may have been to keep it away from the scenic end of the Pleasley estate, known as Little Matlock. The colliery was sited on a hill just west of Pleasley village. Between 1871 and 1874 two shafts were sunk to work the Top Hard, with a working depth of 1609 feet. The sinking evidently went more slowly than was originally intended and is was reported in 1881 that it had taken six years to bring the mine into full production. The pit may have been the earliest to use electricity underground in England, if not the UK, with electric lights being used experimentally in 1881. In 1888 an electric winder was in use and by 1908 eleven motors were underground, although 120 horses were still used for various jobs. By the 1930s the coal faces had become mechanised. Both shafts were deepened in the first half of the 20th century. Pleasley ultimately evolved into a large complex of buildings covering the area between two railways until it was closed in December 1983. The only exception was the South Shaft which became a downcast for Shirebrook Colliery until 1992, when it was filled in. Pleasley Pit was identified as being of national significance in early 1997. It was the earliest and deepest pit on the whole of the East Midlands Coalfield. The surviving back-to-back engine houses, of unusual architectural merit, house two unique Markham and Lilleshall steam engines. Also flanking the back-to-back engine houses, the two rolled steel girder headstocks were the first built in this country. (2) Winding gears, headstocks and engine houses of Pleasley Colliery, opened in 1873 by the Stanton Iron and Coal Company and rebuilt in 1922. The winding engines by Lilleshall Company and Markhams of Chesterfield remain in situ. The engine houses are built of local Magnesian limestone. Some years after closure the remaining buildings of the colliery were spot-listed as imminent demolition was threatened. In 1996 the Friends of Pleasley Colliery was formed to work on the restoration of the remaining structures and to press for the development of the site as a heritage area. The colliery was formerly served by the GNR Leen Valley Extension and the Midland Railway Westhouses-Mansfield Woodhouse branch, but both are now closed and converted into footpaths. (3) Headstocks, chimney and engine house are early 20th century magnesian limestone and brick features, with twin cyliner winding engines and pair of headstocks. Currently (2008) derelict. Engines being renovated by Friends of Pleasley Pit. Feasibility Study (1997) recommended heritage use and visitor centre with craft workshops. Re-roofing of main engine house now completed. Works to chimney underway with English Heritage and English Partnerships grant. Scheme drawn up for workshops and visitor centre. Friends of Pleasley Pit and English Heritage still heavily involved. Consolidation works complete. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1997. Scheduling Notification. 21660. Cat No: 382.
  • <2> Unpublished document: PHT Consultants. 1997. Pleasley Pit Coalfield Heritage and Regeneration Project- Feasibility Study.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. p 10.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Bolsover District Council. 2008. Bolsover District Council Historic Environment Scheme 2008-2012.



Grid reference Centred SK 4993 6437 (830m by 698m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3780
  • EDR2631

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 24 2023 6:29PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.