Coleorton Parish

Coleorton Parish in Leicestershire includes the villages of Coleorton, Coleorton Moor, Church Town
and Farm Town as well as parts of Peggs Green, Griffydam and Lount

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Coal Mining in Coleorton

Coal mining has taken place in Coleorton since medieval times and provided economic wealth for the landowners and paid occupation for the working population. You can see from the Census figures how many people worked in the mines during the 19th century. The last deep mine at New Lount closed in 1968. Opencast mining continued at the Lounge site near J13 of the A42 at Ashby until 1990.

Mines from 1800

  • Peggs Green 1830-1859
  • Coleorton No1 (California) 1849 - 1873
  • Coleorton No2 (Califat / Alabama / Windmill) 1855-1873
  • Coleorton No3 (Bug & Wink) 1875-1933
  • Joseph Smart & Son (Colliery & Brickworks) 1874 - 1880

Coleorton No 3

Also known as "The Bug & Wink" the colliery operated from 1875 to 1933. The site is now redeveloped as Coleorton Wood owned and managed by Coleorton Parish and the Coleorton & New Lount Volunteer Group

New Lount Colliery

Newbold Heritage Group have created a Mining Trail with information boards at the former New Lount Colliery, Newbold. New Lount has been turned into a Nature Reserve managed by NWLDC rangers and Coleorton & New Lount Volunteer Group. More about the New Lount Colliery Heritage Trail >>

Fatalities in the mines

Mining was a most dangerous occupation and fatalities and death no respecter of age or status. The devastation to their families left behind was awful see Gwen Milnes story of the Richards family. List of fatalities in Coleorton mines available from Samuel T. Stewart's book, pdf available for download at the Griffydam History website >>

Employment of women and children

Back in the bell pit days mining was often a family affair. The man of the house would lower his wife and children into the pit where they would excavate coal as far as it was safe and fill baskets with coal for the men to pull up. Without any machines or engines the men were the ones strong enough to haul up the coal - and their families - at the end of the shift. Not particularly nice, but not as horrific as the conditions in the commercial underground mines that were common in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Children, girls and boys worked alongside their parents in dark, dirty, dangerous and hot conditions. Women also worked, pulling trucks full of coal in low-ceilinged tunnels uphill to the exit. They were frequently unclothed.

In 1842 a commission headed by Lord Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury did a thorough review of working conditions of children in mines. When published its findings horrified the Victorian public and the Mines & Collieries Act 1842 was passed. This set out strict rules for employment of women and children by collieries:

  • No female was to be employed underground
  • No boy under 10 years old was to be employed underground

About the Mines & Colliery Act 1842 >>

Beaumont Centre Miners Welfare InsituteThe Beaumont Social Centre

The Beaumont Centre on Nottingham Road, Peggs green, was originally the Miners Welfare institute for Peggs Green mine. When the mine closed it was given to the parish council for use as a village hall. More about the Beaumont Centre today >>

Edward_Medal200x300William Birch

William Birch was awarded the Edward Medal for bravery for his attempts to save a fellow miner trapped in a rock fall at the Coleorton No.3. Colliery (Bug & Wink) on Dec 11th 1910. The medal was presented by King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on March 9th 1911. See the report of the occasion and celebrations on his return to Coleorton >>

More about the Edward Medal which was awarded for life saving in mines and quarries >>

Other sources of info about mining in Coleorton


Bug & Wink Colliery

Coleorton No 3 “Bug & Wink” Colliery operated 1875 - 1933.
The site is now redeveloped as Coleorton Wood owned and managed by Coleorton Parish.


Coleorton Railway Bridge

Coleorton Railway bridge passing over Aqueduct Road. The railway was used for transporting coal using horses and mules to pull the wagons. The bridge has been removed but the embankments can still be seen.
More about railways & tramways in Coleorton >>