In 1916 and 1917 the Highgate Colliery Co. Ltd worked the 0.45 metre thick Highgate coal at a depth of 14.6 metres, while the shafts were being sunk to the Shafton seam at a depth of 45.7 metres. Highgate shared the Hickleton Colliery Branch of the L.M.S.R’s Dearne Valley Line.

The List of Mines records that Highgate was discontinued March 10th 1925, but work resumed the following year. The underground workforce remained low until 1929, however.

Because the Shafton seam was so shallow it was wet, so hand got pillar and stall working was used to prevent breakage of the strata which would increase the inflow of water. In the 1930s pairs of electrically powered Siskol machines were used to get the coal. One undercut the coal and the other sheared it. This gave a higher proportion of round coal.

The company was restructured as the Highgate Colliery Co. (1943) Ltd which worked until it was nationalised.

In 1948 the shafts were replaced by drifts which carried the output until 1966, when Highgate was linked underground with Goldthorpe where coal surfaced thereafter. Trials with longwall mining in the early 1950s failed because of bad roof conditions and the influx of water. Later, with increased cover as the workings moved down dip, longwall faces were used successfully.

In March 1968 Highgate was officially merged with Goldthorpe, and that section of the mine was closed in 1985.

Further reading:

  • 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)
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