Coal Mining on Cannock Chase


                                    Rough Time Line

1298: - There is evidence that coal mining is being carried out on Cannock Chase


1546: - Beaudesert Park coal pits pass into the hands of the Paget family from the

            Bishops of Lichfield


1589: -The Queen leased for 21 years all coal mines and veins of coal in “New Hay”

            and “Red Moor” to Gilbert Wakering.


1595: - Gilbert Wakering has 2 coal mines on Cannock Chase one of Black Coal and

the other of Cannel Coal.


1601: - Three collieries working on site of Cannock Wood.


1603: - One colliery at Hednesford.


1630: - Coal and Ironstone mined at Cheslyn Hay.


1642: - Coal and Ironstone mined at Great Wyrley.


1688: - Lord Paget leases his mines at Cannock Wood, New Hay and elsewhere


1775: - Pits recorded on the present day site of Cannock Wood Colliery


1817: - William Gilpin mined coal at Walk Mill for use in his foundry and for sale.


1820: - Park Colliery recorded on the site of Cannock Wood Colliery


1832: - Colliery at Rumer Hill near Leacroft belonging to Edward John Littleton

            later to become Lord Hatherton.


1858: - Lord Hatherton’s pits at Rumer Hill closed after reaching a depth of 70 yards


1848: - Joseph Palmer coal master holds the lease on Lord Hatherton’s

LONG HOUSE COLLIERY for the next two years


1850: - Cannock Chase Colliery Company launched by John Robinson Mc Lean.


1852: - Marques of Anglesey opens Uxbridge Pit at Chasetown

            Cannock Chase Colliery Company lease Uxbridge Pit from Marques

of Anglesey


1860: - Cannock Chase Colliery Company opened pits in Chase Terrace,

Rawnsley and Heath Hayes during the period 1860 – 1867 one

of which worked to 1962.


1865: - Cannock and Rugeley Colliery Company sink one shaft at

 Cannock Wood Colliery


1866: - Cannock Chase Colliery Company becomes one of the first

            to build its own railway lines to connect its Collieries to the main lines


1868: - Cannock Chase Colliery No.8 pit sunk at Heath Hayes


1869: - West Cannock Colliery Company start their enterprise to open four Plants at Hednesford by starting to sink No.1 plant on Green Heath Common

            (Pye Green Valley).


1871: - Sinking commenced of the Fair Oak No.1 plant.

            Franco – Prussian War. There followed a trade boom in which several new undertakings were begun. The boom ended in a depression at the end of

            this decade and some of these failed

Namely East Cannock Colliery Won for £150,00 sold for £20,000 never ceased mining coal at colliery.

Leighswood Colliery won for £100,00 sold for £20,000 only

Leacroft Colliery started in 1874 – 1877 survived in its original form


1872: - Wimblebury Colliery opened.

Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster an in rush of water 22 men and boys lost their lives


1873: - Mid Cannock Colliery sinking started


1874: -  Pool Pits (later called Valley pit) opened by Cannock and Rugeley Colliery Company     

            Second shaft sunk at Cannock Wood Colliery


1875: - Fair Oak No.1 plant abandoned

             Fair Oak No.2 plant sinking commenced


1881: - Fair Oak Colliery and Littleton Colliery abandoned after water problems.


1882: - Mid Cannock Colliery sinking abandoned


1887: - West Cannock Colliery Company close No.2 Plant off Stafford lane


1893: - Great Federation Lockout Hednesford miner Thomas Thomas wrote ballads

            designed to win over public sympathy for the strikers


1894: - Coppice Colliery at Heath Hayes opened by William Hanbury


1896: - William Harrison Ltd open Wyrley No. 3 Colliery

            Wimblebury Colliery nearly exhausted brought by Cannock and Rugeley Colliery Company connected with their Valley Pit started drawing coal there    

            instead of up the Valley Pit thereby having to pay no subsidy to the Marques of Anglesey

Cannock Chase Colliery Company generated their own electricity at No.5 pit


1897: - Littleton Colliery resume sinking shafts with T.H.Bailey as engineer


1899: - One shaft at Littleton completed to a depth of 1.694 feet


1902: - Second shaft at Littleton completed to a depth of 1.663 feet (during this operations a total of 4 shafts were sunk No, 1 & 4 shaft to alleviate water at

            No. 2 & 3 shaft No. 4 shaft was filled in 1986 approx and No.1 shaft was used as a pumping station through out the life of the colliery)


1907: - The beginning of the sale of Mr Monkton's Mines to the Holly Bank Coal Company. This took place over a period of approx 6 years 1907 – 1913.


1908: - Inrush of water at the Coppice pit at Brereton 3 killed.


1911: - Old Hednesford Colliery Disaster Dec 14th (fire underground) 5 men killed

 Coal output for Cannock Chase for the year was 5,614,680 tons

1912 – Minimum wage strike

1913 – Rescue station opened                                                                                    ,Mid Cannock pit opened by Harrison’s

1914: - West Cannock Colliery Company cut first sod for the shafts at West Cannock No. 5 Colliery at Brindley Heath (Tackeroo)


1916: - West Cannock No.5 Plant (later Colliery) sinking of shafts completed.


1922: - Hilton Main Colliery at Featherstone opened (1924 – Hilton Main pit opened)

1925: – Great Wyrley pit closed

1926: – 26 weeks coal stoppage (General strike) meeting at Fiveways Heath Hayes in front of Memorial Gates meeting dispersed by constabulary. West Cannock  Colliery         Company  No.4 Plant stops coal winding due to strike.

1928: – Old Hednesford pit shafts filled in. West Cannock Colliery Company officially close No.4 Plant on Green Heath Common (Pye Green Valley)

1930: - Grove Colliery Disaster 14 men killed in a Firedamp explosion


1933: - West Cannock No.5 Colliery Disaster 6 men killed in a Firedamp explosion.  

            Pithead baths at Cannock Wood and Mid Cannock opened


1940: - Baths open at Valley Colliery


1947: - Nationalisation of Collieries


1949: - In June Nook and Wyrley Colliery closed

In August Conduit Colliery closed

            In December West Cannock No. 3 Pit closed


1950: - Yew Tree Drift closed


1951: - Lea Hall Colliery at Rugeley started

            Cannock Chase No. 9 merged with Cannock Chase No. 8


1952: - In January The Grove Colliery merged with Wyrley No. 3 Colliery

            In December Hollybank Colliery closed


1953: - Baths open at West Cannock No.5 Colliery


1954: - In September Cannock and Leacroft merged with Mid Cannock

           Baths Opened at West Cannock No.5 Colliery.


1955: - In February West Cannock No.2 Pit  merged with West Cannock No.5 Colliery.


1956: - In January West Cannock No.2 Pit Closed


1957: - In May East Cannock Colliery closed (East Cannock Colliery Company                 goes into voluntary liquidation).


1958: - In September West Cannock No.1 Pit merged with Littleton Colliery West.  Cannock No.1 Pit closed


1959: - Cannock Chase No. 3 Colliery closed


1960: - Lea Hall Colliery completed.

            In July Brereton Colliery closed

            April Hawkins Colliery closed


1962: - In January Cannock Chase No. 8 Colliery closed

            In December Wimblebury/Valley merged with West Cannock No. 5 Colliery


1963: - In June Wyrley No. 3 Colliery merged with Mid Cannock Colliery


1964: - In April Coppice Colliery Heath Hayes (Cannock Chase) closed

            In October Walsall Wood Colliery closed


1967: - In December Mid Cannock Colliery closed


1969: - January Hilton Main Colliery closed


1973: - In June Cannock Wood Colliery closed


1982: - On December 17th West Cannock No. 5 Colliery closed


1990: - In December Lea Hall Colliery closed


1993: - In December Littleton Colliery closed