Coal Mining on Cannock Chase
Rough Time Line
1298: - There is evidence that coal mining is being carried out on Cannock Chase
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
Cannock Chase Colliery Company lease Uxbridge Pit from Marques
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.
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
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
1887: - West
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
Colliery nearly exhausted brought by
instead of up the
Valley Pit thereby having to pay no subsidy to the Marques of
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
1902: - Second shaft 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
– Rescue station opened ,Mid
Cannock pit opened by
1914: - West Cannock Colliery Company cut first sod for the
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
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
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