The Bolton Loop - Mines

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Maryport and Carlisle Railway - Bolton Loop - Mines

Cumbria Railways - Bolton Loop Mealsgate Station

In 1831 the Bolton Company renewed their lease of Lord Egremont’s coal in the manors of Wigton, Westward and Bolton for a further twenty-one years. At this time the company had three working pits — Engine and Limekiln Pits at Bolton Colliery and Crummock Pit near Weary Hall. A fourth pit was sunk at Weary Hall in 1833 which reached Main Band coal in June 1834. In the early 1830’s the company paid no dividends because the coal seams at Bolton were nearly exhausted, Crummock colliery was working at a loss in 1833 and the new winning at Weary Hall was drowned out in 1835. Matters were made worse by competition from Harris’s pit at Oughterside which obtained a great part of the market in the Wigton area and from another pit at Weary Hall controlled by Messrs Drewry. The last pit was advertised for sale in 1841 “by order of the assignees of Rebecca Drewry, bankrupt”, with eighteen years of the lease still unexpired.

Between 1814 and 1821 the Bolton Colliery raised over 30,000 tons of coal per annum. Thereafter output gradually declined, to 25,000 tons in 1828 and to 16,000 tons in 1837. Despite their difficulties the company continued with the colliery until 1847 when they were succeeded by Messrs Addison and Paisley who leased Bolton Colliery for a term of 21 years from 25 March 1847 at an annual rent of £250 and a royalty rent of one-tenth of the selling price of all coal sold.

Allhallows Colliery was sunk near Mealsgate station in 1874 by Messrs. I. and W. Fletcher to the 30 Inch seam at 63 fathoms. Two years later, after further sinking, Yard Band coal five feet thick was reached at a depth of 105 fathoms from the surface. This colliery, which comprised royalties 490 acres in extent belonging to Sir Wilfrid Lawson, George Moore and others, was enlarged in i886 by the addition of 221 acres of a Leconfield royalty in the manor of Allhallows. In 1887 the colliery passed to the Allerdale Coal Co. Ltd, which soon found itself in difficulty. The colliery was costly to work and because the coal face was a long way from the shaft and expensive rope haulage was needed to bring the coal to the shaft bottom. In the Carlisle area Allhallows coal had to compete with coal from the Brayton Domain Colliery which enjoyed favourable railway rates, paying about 4 pence per ton less than Allhallows coal. Similarly Alihallows coal moved to Maryport by rail had to pay higher transport charges than Brayton coal.

The longwall system of extracting coal was introduced at Allhallows in 1876. By this method all the coal was removed in a single operation. The workings were pushed forward in a long continuous line and as the colliers advanced the goal (i.e. the space from which the coal had been taken) was packed with stone and slack on which the roof was allowed to settle. The coal was brought out through the goaf via gateways which were twelve yards apart and supported on each side by walls of stone. Only in the gateways was height made for the movement of coal by ponies or hand-trailing. This system was invariably employed in working thin seams.

In the 1920’s attempts were made to mine coal in the Bolton area. An adit driven 100 yards by Tom Dand in 1924 reached the Ten Quarters seam at Pow Ghyll near Bolton where the coal was five feet thick and of good quality. After working this seam he was succeeded in 1926 by the Wigton Coal Co. Ltd. which sank a pit sixty-six feet to the Master Band. However, little development took place and coal getting amounted to no more than robbing back pillars of coal which had been left by earlier miners in old workings. Only twenty to fifty tons of coal were raised per week and in 1930 the colliery was closed.

Allhallows Colliery - Mealsgate

  • Closed in 1927.
  • At its peak in 1896 it employed 372 below ground and 75 above ground.
  • Produced Household and steam coal.
  • For more information on Allhallows Colliery visit Durham Mining Museum website.

Bolton Colliery - Mealsgate

  • Closed in 1897.
  • In 1896 it employed 8 below ground and 4 above ground.
  • Produced Household coal.
  • For more information on Bolton Colliery visit Durham Mining Museum website.

Brayton Knowe Colliery - Baggrow

  • Closed in 1914
  • In 1914 it employed 119 below ground and 45 above ground.
  • Produced Household and steam coal.
  • For more information on Brayton Knowe Colliery visit Durham Mining Museum website.

Brayton Domain No 3 Colliery - Aspatria

  • Closed in 1902
  • In 1896 it employed 194 below ground and 113 above ground.
  • Produced Coking, Gas, Household, Steam coal.
  • For more information on Brayton Domian No 3 Colliery visit Durham Mining Museum website.

Pow Ghyll Colliery

  • Closed in 1930.
  • In 1929 it employed 12 below ground and 5 above ground.
  • Produced Household coal.
  • For more information on Pow Ghyll Colliery visit Durham Mining Museum website.

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