Trefarclawdd colliery remains immediately north of Pottery Cottages


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016680

Date first listed: 27-Sep-1999


Ordnance survey map of Trefarclawdd colliery remains immediately north of Pottery Cottages
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Oswestry Rural

National Grid Reference: SJ 26236 27560


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. The term `nucleated' is used to describe coal mines that developed as a result of increased capital investment in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are a prominent type of field monument produced by coal mining and typically consist of a range of features grouped around the shafts of a mine. The simplest examples contain merely a shaft or adit with associated spoil heap. Later examples are characterised by developed pit head arrangements that may include remains of engine houses for pumping and/or winding from shafts, boiler houses, fan houses for ventilating mine workings, offices, workshops, pithead baths, and transport systems such as railways and canals. A number of later nucleated mines also retain the remains of screens where the coal was sized and graded. Coke ovens are frequently found on or near colliery sites. 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 nucleated coal mines, together with rare individual component features are considered to merit protection.

The remains of the Trefarclawdd colliery survive well. The gin circles and shaft mounds in particular are unusually well-preserved. The monument will offer valuable technological data about methods of extraction, winding, pumping and transport at a typical horse-powered colliery, contributing to our understanding of Trefarclawdd colliery's development.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument lies around 3km south west Of Oswestry and to the west of a minor road. It includes the earthworks and buried remains of the Trefarclawdd colliery, including shaft mounds, gin circles, water management features and a trackway. The monument preserves the remains of a once-typical lowland mine complex.

The Trefarclawdd colliery was in operation by 1792, and continued for around 40 years before flooding forced its closure in the 1830s. Throughout its working life, horse-power was used to power drainage and winding machinery. Trefarclawdd fell out of use without ever apparently installing steam engines, and so its remains provide evidence for the layout of a typical late 18th century colliery which employed horse-power.

Visible remains include a number of well-preserved shaft mounds with associated spoilheaps and earthworks. The mounds are typically 2m high and 7m wide, with a central depression surrounded by a collar of spoil. In some cases, notably on a mound in the centre of the site, this collar forms a flattened 2m wide surface or `gin circle' on which the horse would walk around the shaft, powering the drainage or winding gear. A smaller shaft mound in the south of the site is thought to be a ventilation shaft, cut to encourage the circulation of air in deeper workings. There are spoilheaps of varying size and shape in all areas, including a large dispersed heap of around 2m in height in the eastern part of the site. Running roughly NNE-SSW in the western part of the site, a 1.5m wide flat area between the mounds represents a trackway and is further defined by shallow linear spoilheaps along its north eastern edge. Spoilheaps are also visible around deep curving drainage cuts in the northern and south eastern parts of the site. These cuts are part of a water management scheme which took water from a nearby spring, diverting it, and surface water, away from the mine workings to brick works and a pottery.

The brick works and pottery are believed to have stood in an area now covered by farm buildings, and are not included in the scheduling. The monument will retain the buried remains of pit-head mechanisms such as windlasses and pumping engines, and underground remains will retain technological information about extraction and haulage methods employed at the site. Further shaft mounds visible to the east of the monument are not included in the scheduling.

All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 31751

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing