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Monument record MDR9594 - Swanwick Colliery and branch line (site of), Thornton Park, Alfreton

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

In 1789, the Morewood family of Alfreton acquired a crown lease for the ancient mine of Swanwick. Also known as 'Morewood's Pit', the first recorded exploitation of coal was in the 13th century with a grant of lands and rents to Beauchief Abbey, by Sir Thomas Chaworth, lord of Alfreton. Swanwick was a deep mine and in the early 18th century horse gins and whimseys were used, then the steam engine; one engine was erected on the Benty Field behind the Cross Keys Inn and the other near Hill Top. Close by each engine was a pond. In the early part of the 19th century mining activities were centred at Greenhill, near Wood End Cottage. There were 4 coal pits and a tramway connecting them with the Cromford Canal at a wharf near the Golden Valley canal tunnel. After Enclosure, the Swanwick owners began mining operations on Alfreton Common, where 7 shafts were sunk between 1851 and 1914. The pit closed in 1968 (1-3) A Robey Air Compressor (1916) and eight Lancashire boilers, a 16 ft (4.8 metres) flywheel, a horizontal twin cylinder winding engine (1865), drop valves, air cylinders in tandem with steam cylinders were recorded in October 1966. (4) See also SMR26020. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Knifton, D. 1985. Alfreton; A Case Study of Industrial Change in the Post War Period.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Johnson, R. 1970. A History of Alfreton. p. 115-116.
  • <3> Article in serial: Johnson, R. 1953. 'An ancient Swanwick coal mine', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 73, pp 114-120.
  • <4> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Swanwick Colliery (1966).
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Derbyshire XXXV.15.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2011. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: A Gazetteer of Sites, Part III, Borough of Amber Valley (second edition). pp. 34.



Grid reference Centred SK 41174 54644 (921m by 554m)

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Record last edited

Jun 19 2015 3:56PM

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