Wharton Hall Colliery was in Little Hulton on the Lancashire CoalfieldThe Lancashire and Cheshire Coalfield in North West England was one of the most important British coalfields. Its coal seams were formed from the vegetation of tropical swampy forests in the Carboniferous period more than 300 million years ago. in Lancashire, north west England. It was sunk on land belonging to the Wharton Hall estate and its mineral rights extended under 18 Cheshire acres A Cheshire acre is a historical measure of area that was used in the 19th century. of the Tyldesley township.

History


John Gerrard Potter bought the Wharton Hall estate in 1870 and started started sinking two shafts in about 1873 but sold the estate to the Bridgewater Trustees in 1879 or 1880.[1] The Bridgewater Trustees developed Wharton Hall Colliery. Walker Brothers of Wigan installed staging with a galvanised iron roof over the screens, sorting belts, chutes and tub tipplers in 1888/89. A Schiele fan for ventilation was installed. It measured 12 feet 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet wide and was driven by a 20in x 36in horizontal engine. Steam for the surface plant was supplied by five Lancashire boilers.[2]

The colliery had three shafts, the 14 feet diameter No. 1 Pit was sunk to 312 yards. No. 2 Pit at 14 feet 3 inches diameter reached the Arley mine at 551 yards in 1903. No. 3 Pit, 11 feet in diameter was sunk to 461 yards. All had twin-cylinder horizontal winding engines. No. 1 had a 26 inch x 60 inch engine and No. 3 had a 20 inch x 42 inch engine and a 9 feet diameter by 6ft 6in wide rope drum. No. 2’s engine had 30in x 60in cylinder.[2]

In 1923 Wharton Hall, Nos. 1, 2 & 3 Pits had 565 underground and 112 surface workers.[3] After Wharton Hall closed in 1927, Brackley Colliery about three quarters of a mile to the north took over its reserves.

Wharton Hall’s spoil heap
Source: Wikimedia Commons

When coal winding ceased in December 1927 No. 2 Pit was retained as a pumping station. The shaft’s lattice girder headgear remained in place until 1964.[4] No. 1 Pit was abandoned and the shaft was bricked round at the top. Three boilers were retained to provide steam for the remaining winding engines and the Walker compressor. In 1933-34 the pumping operation and No. 2 winding engine were electrified. The air compressor was moved to Howe Bridge Colliery, the boiler plant was demolished and a boiler was moved to Gin Pi Gin Pit was a colliery that operated on the Lancashire Coalfield from the 1840s in Tyldesley Lancashire, England. t in Tyldesley. No. 3 Pit was retained for periodic inspections by hoppit and tackle or the portable winding engine from Boothstown Mines Rescue Station.[2]

Incidents


During the 1881 Lancashire miners’ strike The bitter and violent Lancashire miners' strike of 1881 lasted for seven weeks, but ended with no resolution. , a man died in a baton charge when police reinforcements attempted to disperse a crowd of strikers from across the neighbourhood who had marched on the pit to bring out blackleg workers.[5]

Cutacre


The colliery’s spoil heap, one of the largest in the country, was not removed until after 2000 when the tip and a 330 acre area around it was opencasted in a complex regeneration scheme. The area was restored and landscaped with provision for employment and a country park with areas of woodland, water and footpaths.[6]

Citations



Bibliography


DMM. (n.d.). Bridgewater Collieries Ltd. Retrieved from http://www.dmm.org.uk/company/b1008.htm
Phillips, C. B., & Smith, J. H. (1982). Lancashire and Cheshire from AD 1540 Regional History of England (reprint). Routledge.