DARLEY MAIN. Barnsley, Yorkshire. 29th. January, 1847.

The colliery worked the Barnsley Thick or Main Coal and there was no division between the districts of the mine which could confine the results of an explosion and the quantity of ventilation was totally inadequate for the 100 men and boys who worked in the pit. While blasting the coal with gunpowder, the coal caught fire about 200 yards from the pit bottom. After trying to put it out for over two hours with no success the men had to retreat through the smoke. Many got to the shaft in safety but some were exhausted and six men lost their lives and the bodies were recovered by noon. Eight men escaped and although they were exhausted, they were expected to recover.

Those who died were:

  • G. Gomersley, underground steward
  • T. Elistone
  • T. Broadhead
  • J. Jenkinson
  • J. Gilberthorpe
  • G. Brown

Of the six victims, five were married men. All the victims were buried in one grave in Worsborough churchyard.


Annals of Coal Mining. Galloway. Vol.2, p.63.
Mining Journal. Vol. xvii, p.58.
The Third Report, 1835. p.117.
Tremenheere’s Report.
Lodge’s Almanack, 1915.
The Report of the Select Committee on Accidents in Coal Mines, 1853.

Information supplied by Ian Winstanley and the Coal Mining History Resource Centre.

Return to previous page