Henry Lodge Ltd began sinking two shafts for a new Goldthorpe colliery soon after the construction of the Dearne Valley Line by the L.M.S.R. The diameter of No.1 Shaft was 4.3 metres and that of No.2 Shaft was 3.6 metres. The Shafton seam had been worked in the area from the late 17th century until 1783 and the new venture was intended to follow it further down dip. The first sod was cut on July 29th 1909 and the shafts cut the 1.5 metre thick Shafton seam at 59 metres.
Henry Lodge had worked Bloomhouse Green colliery at Darton from 1861 to 1878, and was still working the Shafton seam at Ryhill Main from 1874 to 1923. When the latter mine closed in September 12th 1923 they sold out to Goldthorpe Collieries Ltd. It worked it until nationalisation.
The shallower parts of the colliery were worked by pillar and stall until, having got far enough down dip, advancing longwall faces were introduced in 1950. The faces were mechanised ten years later, with power shearer/loaders and armoured conveyors. The increased output proved the coal winding capacity of the shafts too small and, to remedy this, a new drift was driven from the surface to the Shafton Seam between 1956 and January 1958.
In 1966 Goldthorpe was linked underground with Highgate and began winding all the latter’s coal. They were treated as a single mine, called ‘Goldthorpe – Highgate’, from 1967 to 1985. As part of this rationalisation of resources, a new return drift was driven from Hickleton pit yard into the combined workings. The Highgate workings were closed in 1985 and on January 1st 1986 Goldthorpe and Hickleton were merge to become ‘Goldthorpe – Hickleton’, to which were added the reserves of Shafton coal within the former Cadeby colliery’s take.
Although it was on the British Coal Corporation’s list of mines to be retained, Goldthorpe was closed on February 4th 1994 and placed on ‘care and maintenance’. Its reserves were judged too small, however, and no buyer was found, so the mine closed in October and was soon demolished.
- NMRS Records, Gazetteer of British Collieries
- 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)
- NUM Report to Annual Conference, 1984