The colliery is located about 1½ miles east of Knottingley in West Yorkshire and is the last remaining deep mine in the British Isles, however it is scheduled to close in December 2015.
The sinking of the two shafts was started in 1960 following exploratory boreholes that were drilled in the 1950s, revealing seven workable seams. The top 600 feet of the ground was found to be waterlogged necessitating in freezing the strata to enable the sinking. The shafts were concrete lined and high pressure grouted to prevent water leakage when the ground was thawed. The shafts reached at depth of about 2624 feet.
Coal production began in 1965 from the Beeston seam, mainly for local power stations, with a small amount going for household and industrial use.
In recent years the colliery employed about 800 people and produced around 900 tons of coal an hour. The Beeston workings were expected to last until at least 2015, with faces in the Silkstone seam extending the mine’s life to beyond 2019. The latter development has not gone ahead, however, because the UK Government refused to make a grant towards its cost; the colliery closed 2015 with over 600 job losses.Return to previous page