Hood Hill shaft mounds, 480m east of Hood Hill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017747

Date first listed: 06-Oct-2000


Ordnance survey map of Hood Hill shaft mounds, 480m east of Hood Hill Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 18:37:39.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Rotherham (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Wentworth

National Grid Reference: SK 36830 97536


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 Hood Hill shaft mounds are considered to be an important survival, unusual both for their high standard of preservation and their uniform layout. As such they provide valuable evidence for one aspect of the coal industry in England. They have been little disturbed, and are expected to preserve valuable technological evidence of extraction techniques and pit-top mechanisms. The monument is a prominent feature in the local landscape, and parts of it are used as a recreational area by local people.


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


The monument is situated in the hamlet of Hood Hill, 480m east of Hood Hill Farm, and includes the earthworks, ruins and buried remains of 14 of the Hood Hill shaft mounds. The remains of further shaft mounds are visible to the north, but these are not so well-preserved, being somewhat affected by modern developments, and are thus not included in the scheduling. The monument includes a series of shaft mounds, which have formerly been described as bellpits (pits with a bell-shaped profile typical of early coal mining). In fact their form and organisation suggest deep shaft workings characteristic of coal mining from the 18th century onwards. The shaft mounds are exceptionally well-preserved earthworks, each approximately 3m high and 10m diameter, and take the form of a thick collar of spoil and a wide central depression 2m deep. Particularly distinctive is the layout of the shaft mounds: they were clearly sunk in a planned grid pattern, with approximately 20m between shafts in each direction. Two rows are visible, although the initial grid may have been larger. The plan of the site is believed to represent a single, well-organised period of mining administered by a single landholder. The coal remains lie within the Fitzwilliam estates, where the family of that name have exploited coal resources from the 17th century. It is thought that the Hood Hill shaft mounds represent a rare survival of the family's organised mining ventures. Dating evidence will be preserved within the shaft mounds, and their buried remains and technological features will survive beneath the surface, providing information on pit-top structures such as horse-powered winding gear, and on ventilation and drainage, or other structures associated with mining activity. The modern field walls, surface of the track and 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: 30949

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing