Hemsworth or Fitzwilliam Colliery and Kinsley Drift
Fitzwilliam Main was sunk to the Shafton Seam by J.R. Fosdick between 1876 and 1880. From 1888 onwards it appears in the annual list of collieries as Hemsworth Colliery. In 1897 it was deepened to the Haigh Moor Seam, and from 1899 the Barnsley Seam was worked. It worked as an independent colliery until early spring of 1967 when it was linked underground to South Kirkby Colliery, which wound Hemsworth’s coal. The two collieries were officially merged in July 1967. I suspect that at or soon after the latter date the pit top at Hemsworth was closed, because around 1970 I remember seeing it from the Wakefield – Doncaster road and thinking it looked derelict.
Between September 1976 and 1978 the Kinsley Drift mine was driven from the old Hemsworth pit yard, the old buildings having been cleared. It was designed as a short-life, high productivity mine to work the Shafton and Sharlston Yard Seams. Kinsley closed because it was uneconomic in July 1986.
In 1879, just a year after the colliery opened, there was an explosion caused by naked flames being used for lighting. It is thought that a fall released a pocket of gas. Five colliers lost their lives. The full report can be found here.
|1882-1887||Fitzwilliam, Hemsworth Colliery Co.|
|1888-1894||Fitzwilliam, Hemsworth Coal Co.|
|1896-1897||Hemsworth Coal Co.|
|1899||New Hemsworth Coal Co.|
|1901-1903||New Hemsworth Colliery Co. Ltd|
|1904-1905||Fitzwilliam Hemsworth Collieries Ltd|
|1907-1946||South Kirkby, Featherstone & Hemsworth Collieries Ltd|
|1947-1967||National Coal Board|
|Haigh Moor||1897-1950, 1966|
|Top Haigh Moor||1951-1963|
|Low Haigh Moor||1951-1961|