Coal was discovered in 1890 during borings for a proposed Channel Tunnel and development began in 1896 with the sinking of Dover or Shakespeare Colliery. Mining ended with the closure of Betteshanger Colliery in 1989.

Kent was rare in having productive seams in the Upper Wesphalian and is probably the only coalfield to have more suspended sinkings than working collieries.

Dover Museum’s Coalfields Heritage Initiative Kent has a useful website.1


Collieries after Nationalisation in 1947
Colliery Location Opened Closed
Betteshanger Betteshanger 1921 1989
Chislet Hersden 1914 July 1969
Snowdown Nonington 1908 1986
Tilmanstone Eythorne 1906 1986
Return to previous page