William Gill 19th century colliery on Stonesdale Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018368

Date first listed: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of William Gill 19th century colliery on Stonesdale Moor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Arkengarthdale


National Grid Reference: NY 91557 05283


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 major secondary product produced from coal at the colliery was coke. This was formed by heating coal in the absence of air. Initially this took place in open heaps and from the 18th century onwards in purpose built structures. Early coke ovens used a range of stalls, hearth-like structures and ovens. By the 19th century these had developed into a standardised form known as the beehive oven after its distinctive shape. The colliery at William Gill preserves important evidence of the coal extraction processes and coke processing. Although small collieries of this type were common in the area during the 19th century very few survive today. Thus the William Gill colliery offers impotant scope for the study of small upland collieries in the Yorkshire Dales.


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


The monument includes the mine shaft, standing ruins, spoil heaps and buried remains of the 19th century colliery located on open moorland next to William Gill on the east of Stonesdale Moor. The core of the colliery is centred around the shaft, which is still open. The upper part of the shaft is stone lined. Horse power was used for pumping and winding in the shaft. The machinery used for this was called a gin and remains of it survive adjacent to the shaft head. The remains includes the gin circle, a circular track 8m in diameter which a horse followed around a central winder and pump. At opposite sides of the circle are two substantial stone supports 3m high which supported the superstructure for the gin and the winding and pumping equipment. To the north east and south west of the shaft are the remains of two coal stores. The remains of the coke oven stand to the north of the shaft head on a lower terrace. To the north east and north west of the shaft head are long spoil tips of both mining and coking waste. The colliey dates to the 19th century and was part of a wider exploitation of coal in this area of the Dales. As early as 1384 coal from the Tan Hill area was supplying Richmond 30km to the east and by 1682 coking was in operation in the area. It was in the 18th and 19th century that coal production reached its high point with coke being produced from numerous primitive beehive ovens for use in the burgeoning lead industry.

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: 29548

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
White, R, Yorkshire Dales, (1997), 93-95

End of official listing