Savile Pit, methley
Savile Pit, Methley

The Savile pit, a general view of the whole complex, 1983.

This photograph was taken from the station path near Shann Cottage. The two headgear, baths and the gantry to the winding cage can be seen on the right hand side.

On the extreme left is the coal washing plant (the light coloured building). The pit yard was extended and new buildings, workshops and canteen were erected in the years following the Nationalisation of the Coal Mines in 1947. There was a general improvement in the mine and new machinery was installed.

The pit-head baths were built around 1955 and the winding gear electrified in 1958, making the old chimney obsolete.

The colliery, sunk at the west end of Main Street, Mickletown, greatly altered the village. Two shafts were sunk in 1874 to develop the Haigh Moor Seam, linking the former Whitwood Pit, in the Earl of Mexborough’s royalty, and by 1878 there was full-scale working.

Men and their families flocked to the village seeking work in the new development and the village population grew rapidly from just over 1000 at the beginning of the 19th century to over 4,000 by 1901. The village changed from a purely rural, agricultural area to semi-industrial.

The mine was owned until Nationalisation in 1947, by Henry Briggs, Son and Co., founded in 1865.

Savile Pit, 1900

This photo was taken in 1900 from a track between the Mulberry path and the station path on which the powder magazine for the mine was situated. The path has now disappeared and is part of an agricultural field.

The tall chimney, pouring out black smoke, dominated not only the pit yard area but also the area of Main Street. Grime and smoke blackened everything in the vicinity of the mine. The winding gear and surface workshops were steam-driven.

The original path to the station was immediately in front of the high fence. The path was altered when the pit-head baths were built and the pit yard was extended to accommodate them.

Savile Pit Yard c.1900

Photograph taken from the entrance to Pit-yard off Main Street. The pit chimney is again dominant. One steam-driven winding head-gear can be seen together with the old washing plant and screening on the right; joiners’ and blacksmiths’ workshops are on the left.

Railway lines criss-cross the yard. The mine had its own railway transporting coal (shunting) within the pit precinct to land-sales/out-sales depot (near the entrance off Main Street) to the ‘Basin’ or wharfe for canal transport and to the main LMS railway line for rail transportation

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