Sunday, 21 September 2014

Barnsley Main Colliery, Barnsley


Deep mining had taken place here since Georgian times, and this site was one of the largest on the South Yorkshire coalfield, eventually merging with the Oaks Colliery. The seam was notorious for firedamp and the high methane content of the coal made it a dangerous place to mine.

On 5 March 1847 disaster struck when an explosion killed 73 miners. An even more serious explosion on 12 December 1866 claimed the lives of a further 361, the blast being so forceful it sent the pit cage rocketing up the shaft and into the headgear. The day after, 27 rescuers were killed when a further explosion ripped through the mine. An inconclusive investigation suggested that mine workings ignited the firedamp and coal dust, leading to the successive blasts.

The disaster is extensively documented here:

Originally closed in 1966 the mine was later reopened following the closure of the Barrow pit in 1985. It closed for good in 1991. Remarkably the pit head and engine house was left, finally getting Grade II listing in 2013 as a result of its historic significance.


A video of a drone flyover of the area can be seen here:

All photographs are available as prints or canvas with or without the border. Message for sizes/ prices.

Esoteric Eric


  1. Awesome content! One place I wanna go too this one, it's on the list!

  2. Cheers! There's an interesting climb on to the second level in here, I ended up with oil all over my shorts!