List Entry Summary
Name: Snibston colliery
List entry Number: 1018472
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North West Leicestershire
District Type: District Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first scheduled: 19-Mar-1999
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: RSM
List entry Description
Summary of Monument
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.
Snibston colliery is one of the best surviving examples of a mining complex dating from the British coal industry's period of peak production, and is judged to be one of four sites in England which best represent the coal mining industry since the 1890s. Rare structures such as a double-decker cage, tandem winding gear and creeper system are preserved in situ. In situ survivals of machinery include two electrical winding engines, a fan and locomotive engines. The tandem headgear is extremely rare and is thought to be one of only two surviving in the country. The colliery remains are now the focus of the Snibston Discovery Park, which is dedicated to the history of science and industry. The colliery, formerly of vital economic and cultural importance to the local community, has developed a new role in preserving mine structures and communicating their function to the public.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument lies south of the A50 road in the Snibston area of Coalville. It
includes intact buildings, structures, machinery and buried remains of the
former Snibston colliery, which now forms part of Snibston Discovery Park.
The colliery and adjoining railway were built from 1832-4 by the engineer
George Stephenson and his son Robert, at a time of great expansion in the
local coal industry. A wooden tandem headgear (with two winding wheels back to
back rather than side by side) and single steam engine served two shafts.
Surviving 19th century structures include a locomotive shed, woodworking shop
and the No 1 Winding House of 1864. The colliery continued to expand and
during World War I a third shaft was sunk, now known as No 2 or Stephenson
shaft. It was equipped with a steel headstock supporting steam-powered winding
gear, and a new winding house for the engine. In 1942 the wooden headgear of
No 1 Pit was replaced by a steel tandem structure. Nissen huts were erected
for storage, which survive as distinctive rounded structures. Further
buildings, including a powder store and power house, were added in the 1950s.
Modernisation in the 1960s and 70s saw the steam winding engines replaced with
electrical engines which remain in situ, as well as the introduction of a coal
preparation plant served by a `creeper' small-gauge rail system, new brick
pithead buildings, a prototype fan house for No 1 Pit (with fan still in
situ), workshops, stores, a canteen and a large modern office block
incorporating a lamp room and medical centre. All of these structures survive.
With the decline of the British coal industry, the colliery closed in 1986 and
was reopened as an industrial heritage park in 1992.
Remains around No 1 Pit Top, in the west part of the monument, include the
nationally rare tandem headgear. It has a steel frame around 15m high, with
two steel-clad shaft housings, each mounted with a narrow winding wheel.
Between the shaft housings is a brick pithead structure of the 1960s. The
headgear retains in situ cages or shaft lifts. Also included is the No 1
Winding House and its M B Wild electrical winding engine. The winding house
was built in 1864 to house a twin cylinder horizontal steam engine. Although
altered in the 1960s when the electrical engine was installed, it retains
technological details of the original engine and is included in the
scheduling. A decorated brick plinth built against the south wall of the
winding house supports a boiler or reservoir. South of the No 1 shaft is a fan
house of the 1970s, retaining its concrete exhaust vent and an electric fan
used to ventilate the mine. In addition to technological data about daily
operation of the mine in the 20th century, the structures and buried remains
around the pit top will include information about earlier pithead arrangements
including ventilation, transport and winding techniques. Other structures
around No 1 Pit Top include a cable shop of the 1960s, a power house of the
1890s and a storage building: these are not included in the scheduling because
of significant alteration or deterioration in their condition. The No 2 Pit
Top has also seen a multi-period complex of structures develop around the mine
shaft. The shaft, sunk in 1914, was equipped with contemporary steel headgear
and a winding house. The shaft is now closed but shaft top equipment is
intact, including double-decker cages. The shaft head benefited from
modernisation in the 1950s and 60s. A concrete compressor house was built, and
a winding engine by English Electric installed in No 2 winding house, with
alterations to the headgear (which was further altered in the 1970s with the
addition of platforms). A bridge was built over the adjacent railway. The
bridge was part of the remarkable creeper system at No 2 Pit Top: this was a
narrow-gauge rail circuit on which tubs of coal could be moved from the shaft,
up a ramp and across the railway to load into trucks. It is preserved in its
entirety, with rails and tubs in situ, and is included in the scheduling.
The 1950s and 60s also saw the construction of distinctive buildings to the
north of No 2 Pit. A powder house in which explosives were stored is of
typical 1950s style. The large office block to its east includes the former
lamp room and medical centre, each including original equipment, and a
`control room' from which underground and pit top operations were supervised.
These buildings are not included in the scheduling. Workshops, storage
buildings and a canteen south of the railway, and the locomotive shed of the
1830s-60s (including three well-maintained locomotive engines) are also not
included, although they are nonetheless integral parts of the colliery
The monument includes all in situ machinery and fixtures, including winding
engines, ventilator, cages, creeper rails and tubs and signage.
Modern fenceposts, track surfaces, retaining walls, lamp posts, gates and
railings and a lighting rig 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.
Books and journals
Gould, S, Snibston Colliery, (1994)
Letter to G Fairclough at EH, S J Warburton, Snibston Colliery, (1996)
Photos from site visit., Bell, A J, (1997)
Title: Ordnance Survey Map Source Date: 1929 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 25
National Grid Reference: SK 41882 14509
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018472 .pdf
This copy shows the entry on 25-Nov-2017 at 02:22:52.
End of official listing