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Howroyd Colliery 1938.[1]
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Howroyd Colliery off Howroyd Lane in Whitley LowerVillage near Thornhill in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. near Thornhill in the West Riding of Yorkshire was the name for a number of day holes and drifts that worked the coal at the outcrop. Howroyd Colliery was started in 1905 by members of the Jaggar family who had run the coal mining operations around EmleyRural village in the South Pennine fringe, midway between Hudddersfield and Wakefield. from 1819. The small colliery survived to be nationalised in 1947 and closed in 1962. The colliery was in a rural area with no rail access and coal was moved by road.

The surface screens were opposite the Woolpack public house on Whitley Road. Coal was hauled to the screens via a short tramway from the drift mouth in the valley of the Howroyd Beck which, along with two footpaths, were the only means of access.[1]


Three Jaggar brothers, William, Wilson and Joseph, leased two coal seams, the Green Lane and Blocking, under Briestfield in 1905 and drove an adit from Whitley Lower to access them. At the end of 1907, a deeper seam, the Wheatley Lime under the same area, was also leased and a second drift was started in 1908 to access the coal. The coal was worked by pillar and stall methods and hand filled into tubs. The Green Lane seam was abandoned in 1926 and the 1908 drift (Howroyd Old) lasted until 1929. The difficult Blocking seam lasted until 1941. More leases were acquired before 1920 by Jaggar and Co which was run by Joseph and Fred Jaggar and employed 92 men.[2]

Leases for the New Hards seam that outcropped in Whitley Lower were negotiated in 1925 and 1927. Howroyd New was driven in 1931 to access the New Hards which was also worked by pillar and stall methods. The company had 45 underground and 12 surface workers in 1945 by which time the New Hards was exhausted.[2]

Howroyd New Colliery was nationalised in 1947 and a new drift was developed to replace Howroyd New which was closed. The new drift, Howroyd New Mine, worked the Blocking seam and some mechanisation was introduced. In 1955 the colliery had 50 employees was grouped with CaphouseEx-colliery in Overton, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, now the National Coal Mining Museum for England., Grange AshColliery that operated between 1871 and 1966, south of the A642 road east of Grange Moor crossroads. and Shuttle EyeColliery on the South Yorkshire Coalfield at Grange Moor in West Yorkshire, between Wakefield and Huddersfield on the A642 road.. In 1962 the colliery closed, its 40 employees transferred to other local nearby pits.[2]