Coal mining remains at The Conery, 500m south of Coleorton Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018464

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Coal mining remains at The Conery, 500m south of Coleorton Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 22:21:15.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: North West Leicestershire (District Authority)

Parish: Coleorton

National Grid Reference: SK 39086 16833


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 coal mining remains at The Conery survive well and represent a rare survival nationally of medieval outcropping and pitting, in particular the preservation of working faces. These earthwork and buried remains will contribute valuable information on early mining techniques employed in the Coleorton area. In addition, the relationship of the coal mining remains to medieval ridge and furrow in the southern part of the site is a valuable indication of the impact of coal mining activities on the land use of the surrounding area.


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


The monument lies on steeply sloping land approximately 1km south west of Coleorton village, and includes the earthworks and buried remains of an area of coal mining. In the north and particularly the north west of the site, shallow earthworks and hummocks are visible which represent the remains of outcropping. This simplest method of coal extraction, where coal is cut from surface outcrops, was the first method used in the Coleorton area, and its earthworks will therefore preserve information about early medieval coal mining technology such as working faces and details of tools used. Shallow shaft mounds and spoil tips in the northern part of the site are the surface remains of closely spaced pits which were worked during the medieval period. A vertical shaft was sunk to the coal seam and then extended in all directions until the roof was in danger of collapse, at which point the pit was abandoned and another started very close by to maximise coal extraction. The remains of these pits will retain buried features relating to their operation and activities which took place around the shaft head. The absence of later types of working suggests that The Conery area was not mined beyond the medieval period. All fenceposts 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: 31756

Legacy System: RSM


Survey of mining earthworks, LMARS (Leicester City Unit), (1990)

End of official listing