Coal mining remains at Broad Oak Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017654

Date first listed: 24-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Coal mining remains at Broad Oak Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Broxtowe (District Authority)

Parish: Strelley

National Grid Reference: SK 51259 41713


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. 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 Strelley shaftmounds are the best preserved remains of the Strelley and Wollaton coal mining area, whose development in the 16th and 17th centuries was important to the expansion of the industry and its commercial success. The surface features provide evidence for the development of mining activities in this area, whilst buried remains will add further technological information, including information on winding gear and operations around the shaft head. Technological and organisational advances at this colliery, such as the installation of a very early wagonway, were influential on the development of the coal industry nationally. The colliery is well documented historically, and offers the possibility of combining archaeological and documentary evidence to produce a detailed understanding of an extensive early coal mining operation.


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


The Strelley shaftmounds lie on almost level ground to the south, west and east of Broad Oak Farm, on the north western outskirts of Bilborough. The monument includes all the earthworks and buried remains of the shaftmounds and related coal mining features. Strelley colliery was named after the family which established it in the latter half of the 16th century. The Strelleys were rivals of the Willoughbys, who had earlier established collieries in the nearby Wollaton area. Litigations between the two families have left a rich source of documentary evidence for the technology and development of mines in the area and by the late 16th century the Strelley and Wollaton pits were the largest and most productive outside Tyneside. They continued to be successful in the 17th century, helped by investment in technology by the prospector Huntingdon Beaumont. One of Beaumont's innovations was the installation in 1603 of a wagonway to transport coal from Strelley pits to a storage area. This was amongst the first railed wagonways in Britain. Beaumont took the idea to the north east, where wagonways later became commonplace. Strelley therefore has a significant place in the history of mining technology. It remained productive at least into the later 17th century. Visible remains include a series of low shaftmounds of up to 5m wide which represent the remains of coal workings. A vertical shaft was sunk to the coal level and the seam was worked out horizontally, giving the pit a bell-shaped profile and leaving a low collar of spoil at the shaft mouth. These undisturbed shaft mounds are rare survivals, and will include valuable technological evidence. Earthworks and buried remains will include further technological data, and include evidence of pit top features such as winding gear and of the early wagonway. Modern field fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 30959

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hatcher, J, The History of the British Coal Industry: Volume I Before 1700, (1993), 161-170
Ref: Notts 02060, Baddeley, Virginia, (1987)

End of official listing