Part of Goyt's Moss colliery, centered 220m south west of Derbyshire Bridge
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2019 at 11:14:32.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- High Peak (District Authority)
- Hartington Upper Quarter
- National Park:
- PEAK DISTRICT
- National Grid Reference:
- SK 01455 71773
Reasons for Designation
Coal has been mined in England since Roman times, and between 8,000 and 10,000
coal industry sites of all dates up to the collieries of post-war
nationalisation are estimated to survive in England. Three hundred and four
coal industry sites, representing approximately 3% of the estimated national
archaeological resource for the industry have been identified as being of
national importance. This selection, compiled and assessed through a
comprehensive survey of the coal industry, is designed to represent the
industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity.
Extensive coal workings are typical of the medieval and post-medieval coal
industry, although this style of exploitation continued into the early 20th
century in some marginal areas which were worked on a very small scale with
little capital investment. In its simplest form extensive workings took coal
directly from the outcrop, digging closely spaced shallow pits, shafts or
levels which did not connect underground. Once shallower deposits had been
exhausted, deeper shafts giving access to underground interconnecting
galleries were developed. The difficulties of underground haulage and the need
for ventilation encouraged the sinking of an extensive spread of shafts in the
area worked. The remains of extensive coal workings typically survive as
surface earthworks directly above underground workings. They may include a
range of prospecting and exploitation features, including areas of
outcropping, adits and shaft mounds (circular or sub-circular spoil heaps
normally with a directly associated depression marking the shaft location). In
addition, some sites retain associated features such as gin circles (the
circular track used by a horse powering simple winding or pumping machinery),
trackways and other structures like huts. Some later sites also retain
evidence of the use of steam power, typically in the form of engine beds or
small reservoirs. Extensive coal mines vary considerably in form, depending on
the underlying geology, their date, and how the workings were originally
organised. Sites can include several hundred shafts spread over an extensive
Coal occurs in significant deposits throughout large parts of England and this
has given rise to a variety of coalfields extending from the north of England
to the Kent coast. Each region has its own history of exploitation, and
characteristic sites range from the small, compact collieries of north
Somerset to the large, intensive units of the north east. A sample of the
better preserved sites, illustrating the regional, chronological and
technological range of extensive coal workings, together with rare individual
component features are considered to merit protection.
The north western part of Goyt's Moss colliery survives well, and its earthwork remains provide evidence for both the historical and technological development over a much more extensive area. The range of surface features in this sample area varies from simple 18th century shafts, to later shafts with gin circles and an associated transport network of linking causeways, allowing the development of the mine workings to be understood. The area immediately surrounding each shaft will retain buried features, such as gining (the drystone walling lining the shaft), and the post holes and timber supports for winding gear, which will contribute to an understanding of how the shafts were worked. The development of mining at Goyt's Moss played an important part in the establishment of Buxton as a major centre of limestone extraction and the limeburning industry. It therefore represents an important element in the area's social and industrial development and its surface features are considered to be the best surviving examples of their type in the Peak District.
The monument is situated within the Peak District National Park, in an area of
moorland, west of the confluence of the River Goyt and south of Jacob's Cabin.
It includes the earthworks and buried remains of part of Goyt's Moss colliery.
The mining remains of the colliery extend over a considerable area. A sample
area, of approximately 17ha, in the north western part of the colliery has
been selected for inclusion in the scheduling. This area was orked over
several centuries and much of the development of coal mining on Goyt's Moss is
considered to be represented in the range of surface features which are
protected within the scheduling.
Although mining activities in the Goyt's Moss basin began in the early 17th
century, the main period of production occurred between c.1790 and 1810.
Access to the coal pits was initially by hollow way, but transportation was
greatly improved following the construction of the Buxton to Macclesfield
turnpike in 1759, making larger scale extraction more practical. Mining by
sinking relatively closely-spaced shafts was the norm until the mid-19th
century, by which time all the coal close enough to the surface to be
economically extracted by this method had been removed. From the mid-19th
century onwards the extraction was by means of underground adits, but the
reserves were exhausted by 1893. Before 1780 the Castids Common area,
to the west of the River Goyt and north of the 1759 Buxton to Macclesfield
turnpike, lay within Cheshire rather than Derbyshire and was mined as a
separate enterprise from the rest of the colliery. After 1780, however, both
areas were controlled by the Duke of Devonshire. The coal was more suitable
for industrial rather than domestic purposes and the majority was supplied to
the Duke's limekilns at Grin Low to the south of Buxton.
Thirty nine shafts have been identified within the north western part of Goyt
Moss colliery which, together with their associated earthworks, are believed
to represent three phases of mining activity and are included in the
scheduling. In 1994 an archaeological survey indicated that the earliest
shafts were sunk in the south eastern part of the site and are believed to
have been worked in the early and mid-18th century. Following the construction
of a link road between the mine area and the Buxton to Leek turnpike, mining
developed in the south western part of the site. This small section of road,
which was built in 1778, is visible as a cutting through the steep valley side
at the southern end of the monument and is included in the scheduling to
preserve the relationship between the coal mines and the turnpike road. During
the late 18th century, mining operations expanded northwards and westwards to
extract coal from the more waterlogged areas of moorland. Cartographic
evidence indicates that these areas were worked into the 19th century, but
mining activites had ceased by c.1840.
The majority of shafts from the two later periods of workings are associated
with access tracks, usually of cart width, which can be traced across much of
the site as raised causeways. Many of these shafts have little spoil
associated with them; this material is thought to have been used for
causeway construction. One of the most noticeable characteristics of the
causeways is their frequent change in direction at the shafts, indicating that
they were extended gradually from shaft to shaft with new sections of causeway
added as new shafts were sunk. Where shafts occur in close proximity to one
another there is evidence for associated spoil heaps since only short sections
of causeway were required to connect these shafts to the transport network. At
most examples, the causeways run into the spoil heaps which are thought to
have been used as working areas for transferring coal from the shaft to carts.
The incremental and dendritic way in which the causeway system developed away
from the dated turnpike roads allows the development of mining activites at
the site to be reconstructed and dated accurately.
The coal was originally extracted from the shafts by hand winches (stowes),
but as shallow reserves became depleted in the 1770s and 1780s and deeper
shafts were sunk, it became impractical to use hand winches and horse-powered
gin winding engines were introduced between the mid to late 19th century. Two
types of winding gins have been identified; the cog and rung gin, where the
winding gear was positioned directly above the shaft and the horse walked
around the mouth of the shaft; and the whim gin, where the horse circled the
winding gear which was sited to one side of the shaft. The earliest shafts, in
the southern part of the site, are visible on the ground surface as simple
hollows with small spoil heaps. However, two shafts in this area have
relatively large diameter, flat-topped platforms or hollows surrounding the
shaft, and these are thought be the sites of cog and rung gins. At least 25
shafts across the site retain earthwork evidence for the more commonly used
whim gins which are recognised by their circular mounds with flat tops. Many
of these are located on the upslope side of the shaft to increase clearance.
Although there is no surface evidence for the gins themselves, their buried
remains will survive within and beneath the mounds. A number of shafts,
particularly those in the central part of the site, have small quarry pits cut
into their sides which are thought to have provided the material to seal the
shafts once they had fallen out of use. Elsewhere there is surface evidence to
indicate that some shafts were backfilled by using material from the gin
mounds or by collapsing the gining (the drystone walling which lined the
shaft) at the top of the shaft.
In the western part of the site are the earthwork remains of a stone quarry
which truncates one of the mine causeways, indicating that this feature post-
dates the mine workings in this area. It is thought to have been the source of
stone for the surrounding field enclosure walls and for the buildings which
were erected alongside the Buxton to Macclesfield turnpike in the late 18th
century. It provides evidence for later industrial activities in this part of
the site and is included in the scheduling.
The shooting butts in the north eastern part of the site and the dry stone
enclosure walls are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these
features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Barratt, J, The Goyt Valley, Archaeological Survey, (1994), 46-7
Barratt, J, The Goyt Valley, Archaeological Survey, (1994), 49
Roberts, A F, Leach, J R, The Coal Mines of Buxton, (1985), 27-31
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing