The Bullcroft Main Colliery Co. Ltd began sinking two, five metre diameter shafts in November 1909. In order to get through the waterlogged Permian strata the ground was frozen to a depth of 100 feet. Cast iron tubbing was used to a depth of 117 metres and the shafts were lined with bricks throughout. The Barnsley seam was reached at a depth of 604 metres in December 1911, but the pit bottom was built in the Dunsil seam, at a depth of 626 metres. The Barnsley seam was worked over the entire life of the colliery, with faces in the Dunsil being added from 1943 to 1970. Like other local collieries, there were problems with heatings in the Barnsley seam gobs.

In 1917 the company was restructured as the Bullcroft Main Collieries Ltd. The latter continued until 1937 when it was absorbed into Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries Ltd along with Hickleton Main, Markham Main, Yorkshire Main, Brodsworth and Thurcroft.

Both shafts were used for coal winding, with the coal being taken to screens and a washery at the surface. Most of the colliery’s output left on the GN&GCR West Riding and Grimsby line.

On the 19th October 1941 four small explosions occurred on a face that was known for spontaneous combustion. Some members of the rescue team were killed. The full report can be found here.

Faced with dwindling reserves Bullcroft was linked underground to Brodsworth in June 1970. The two merged on September 28th, with all shaft riding switched to Brodsworth from that date. In the mid 1970s Bullcroft’s surface plant was demolished and the site returned to housing, agricultural and forestry use.

Further reading:

  • NMRS Records, Gazetteer of British Collieries
  • Sections of Strata of the Yorkshire Coalfield, Midland Institute of Mining Engineers, 1927
  • Hill, A. The South Yorkshire Coalfield: A History and Development (Stroud: Tempus, 2002)
  • Hill, A. Colliery Ventilation (Matlock: Peak District Mines Historical Society Ltd, 2000)
  • Hill, A. Coal: A Chronology for Britain (NMRS, British Mining No.94, 2012).
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