Bank Hall Colliery was a coal mine near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on the Burnley CoalfieldThe Burnley Coalfield surrounding Burnley, Nelson, Blackburn and Accrington, is the most northerly portion of the Lancashire Coalfield. in Burnley, Lancashire. Sunk in the late 1860s, it was the town’s largest and deepest pit and had a life of more than 100 years.

History


Bank Hall Colliery’s first shafts were sunk to the Arley mine[a]In this part of Lancashire a coal seam is referred to as a mine and the coal mine as a colliery or pit at a depth of 287 yards by the Executors of John Hargreaves between 1865 and 1869. The four feet thick seam was worked until 1925. The King mine was worked between 1905 and 1925, and the Dandy (or Upper Arley) mine from 1910 to 1935.[1] No. 3 shaft was sunk to the Dandy mine in 1903 and became known as the Dandy Pit.[2] No.4 shaft was sunk to the Union mine, which had been formed by the merger of the Upper Foot and true Lower Mountain mines. Production from the Union mine started in 1915 and became the pit’s the major source of coal.[1] The fourth shaft at 1,500 feet was the deepest in the coalfield.[2]

Worsley Mesnes Ironworks in Wigan built a twin horizontal winding engine with 26 inch cylinders for No. 1 shaft in 1912. Its 18 foot drum could wind up to 1,554 feet. Yates and Thom of Blackburn built No. 4 shaft’s cross compound horizontal engine in 1914. It had 38 inch and 60 inch cylinders, a 19 feet drum and could wind to 1,464 feet. Walker Bros of Wigan supplied a steam fan engine with a 5 feet diameter fly wheel.[3]

The colliery was taken over by the National Coal BoardThe National Coal Board (NCB) was the statutory corporation created to run the coal mining industry in the United Kingdom under the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946. (NCB) on 1 January 1947 and significant investments were made. Haulage roads were made for battery locomotives, which pulled five-ton mine cars and the pit botton at No.4 Shaft was modernised.[1]

The Union mine proved to be gassy and ignitions of firedamp were caused by sparks made when mechanised cutter picks hit coal balls containing nodules of iron pyrites. The problems led to the NCB stopping the last coal face working in January 1971 and closed the pit on 17 April. Salvage work was completed and the site cleared in 1972.[1][4]

Citations



Bibliography


Ashmore, O. (1969). Industrial Archaeology of Lancashire. David & Charles.
Davies, A. (2010). Coal Mining in Lancashire & Cheshire. Amberley.
Johnson, G. (2011). Historian digs into past of Burnley town’s biggest pit. Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/8832045.Historian_digs_into_past_of_Burnley_town___s_biggest_pit/

Notes

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a. In this part of Lancashire a coal seam is referred to as a mine and the coal mine as a colliery or pit