Part of Goyt's Moss colliery, centered 220m south west of Derbyshire Bridge


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Part of Goyt's Moss colliery, centered 220m south west of Derbyshire Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014868 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

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:
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 area. 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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].