This database is a ‘lite’ version of one developed as a research tool for the NMRS by Mike Gill, its Recorder. It is based on a National Coal Board Statistical Department listing of mines taken into state control on Vesting Day, January 1st 1947, and does not include the smaller mines of coal and/or clay which remained in private hands. Like the database of Mines of coal and other stratified minerals in Yorkshire from 1854, it seeks to establish a chronology, this time for the decline of the post-war coal industry.

The Coal Act, 1938 conveyed the fee simple in “all coal and mines of coal …” to the Coal Commission which thereby acquired the freehold in the coal and shafts from January 1st 1939. The activity of mining coal and selling it remained with the private enterprise coal mining industry until January 1st 1947. Apart from a few areas of thin coal seams, associated with workable deposits of fireclay or ganister, which were sold back to their original owners and became known as ‘alienated coal’, “all coal and mines of coal …” are now the responsibility of the Coal Authority (see below). Most of the alienated coal in Yorkshire is on the western edge of the exposed coalfield, around Bradford and Halifax.

The National Coal Board began trading under the name British Coal on April 28th 1986. It remained as the NCB for legal purposed until the Government was able to change the name by legislation. This appears to have been done in Coal Industry Act, 1987. British Coal’s remaining mines were transferred to the private sector on December 30th 1994.

The table is set out as follows:

County – this column gives the pre-1974 county in which the mine was located. The tables are ordered by county.

Name – this column gives the mine’s name, but, please note that some collieries changed their names soon after nationalisation.

Town – this column gives the nearest town or large village.

Closed – these two columns give the month and year when the mine closed. If the year is enclosed in brackets, this denote the year in which that mine was merged with another (see comments column) as part of the NCB’s programme of rationalising its reserves and resources.

Comments – this column gives the date of sinking and/or a more precise date of closure, where known. It also suggests alternative names and gives those mines with which an entry had been merged.

Sources used in compiling this list:-

  • National Coal Mining Museum for England, Caphouse Colliery, Wakefield. The library has a comprehensive collection of industry magazines (Coal, Coal News, RJB NewScene and NewScene) from 1947 onwards. It also has the annual Guide to the Coalfields.
  • Durham Collieries Database on the Durham Record Office website (
  • Durham Mining Museum ( This is a very useful webside dedicated to collieries in Durham, Northumberland and Cumberland.
  • Hill, A. The South Yorkshire Coalfield: A History and Development (Stroud: Tempus, 2001).
  • Jackson, C. A to Z of Colliery Names (Alfreton: the author, 2002).
  • Owen, D. South Wales Collieries Vol.3 (Stroud: Tempus, 2002).
  • Keith Ramsay (pers comm.) for the Somerset coalfield.

If you can add further information, please contact the Recorder

For ease, the data has been further separated into countries.




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