Coal mining remains in Lount Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018465

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Coal mining remains in Lount Wood
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 10:33:37.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: North West Leicestershire (District Authority)

Parish: Ashby-de-la-Zouch

County: Leicestershire

District: North West Leicestershire (District Authority)

Parish: Staunton Harold

National Grid Reference: SK 38059 18779


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 well-preserved shaft mounds and earthwork formations in Lount Wood demonstrate that these early coal mining remains have survived without disturbance by later workings, and will contain valuable technological information on cutting and other aspects of the medieval coal mining industry. The Lount Wood monument is one of several in the historic mining area of Coleorton, each of which preserves a distinctive period or type of working and which together represent a cross-section of mining techniques from the medieval period to the late 20th century. It will contribute to an understanding of coal mining technology and organisation employed, it is thought, from at least the 14th century.


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


The monument lies in woodland approximately 850m south west of the village of Lount. It includes the earthworks and buried remains of coal mines in Lount Wood. The surface remains on the site are typical of medieval coal workings and take the form of a vertical shaft dug down to the coal seam, from the base of which coal is cut out in all directions until the unsupported roof is in danger of collapse, giving the pits a bell-shaped profile. Densely clustered hollows representing the closely-spaced pits are associated with mounds of spoil thrown up from the initial cutting of the shaft. The monument includes intensively pitted areas, a typical pit being between 1m-1.5m deep and 1.5m-3m wide. In these areas spoil heaps are not clearly defined, but slump into one another as a result of continued backfilling and reworking. In the most heavily worked areas, immediately adjacent to the road, this creates the impression of an undulating bank, rather than a succession of individual pits. These workings follow a north east to south west alignment, evidently working a coal seam parallel to the road. Further north, the pits are more widely spaced, but still concentrated in certain areas. The form of the earthworks indicates a date earlier than the mid-15th century. The pits will preserve valuable technological details, including information on extraction, transport and haulage methods during an important early period in the coal mining industry. All modern fences and the surfaces of tracks 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: 31757

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing