Cortonwood Retail Park
|Cortonwood shown within South Yorkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Cortonwood Colliery was a colliery in the parish of Brampton Bierlow, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. The colliery was in the ceremonial county of the West Riding of Yorkshire and became part of South Yorkshire on the boundary changes of 1974. The intended closure of Cortonwood was a tipping point in the Miner's strike of 1984 and 1985. Today the site of the colliery is a shopping and leisure centre.
Cortonwood colliery was sunk in 1873, a year after the formation of the Brampton Colliery Company, which took its name from the local parish of Brampton Bierlow, near Rotherham. By March 1875, two shafts had been dug to a depth of 285 yards (261 m) to work the Barnsley Seam which was at a depth of 218 yards (199 m). The shafts were two of the deepest in the South Yorkshire Coalfield at that time. In 1908, the depths of the shafts were increased to 506 yards (463 m) to access the Parkgate Seam which was located at 481 yards (440 m) down. From 1927 onwards, the Swallow Wood and Silkstone Seam's were being mined and the Parkgate and Barnsley Seams were worked out. During the 1970s, Cortonwood was producing only Coke for steel plants.
In March 1984, when the price of coking coal had fallen dramatically, the National Coal Board announced that the mine was due to close, due to the large stocks of coking coal that the colliery produced. The proposed closure of Cortonwood became the "final straw" in a series of closures which brought about the long-running UK miners' strike (1984–1985). The colliery officially closed on 25 October 1985 with full clearance of the stocks and buildings by the end of 1986.
The site has now been converted into a shopping and leisure area. It features big names such as B&Q, Matalan, Next, Boots, Morrisons, McDonald's, Argos, Pizza Hut, Asda Living, Sports Direct, SCS, Halfords, Smyths Toys, Pets at Home, TK Maxx and many factories and office buildings. Cortonwood now falls within the Hoober ward of Rotherham Metropolitan Council. It is accessed via the Dearne Valley Parkway (A6195 road).
Work has begun to extend the park in May 2016. The expansion will see the arrival of retailers such as River Island, H&M, New Look, Outfit, Poundland, JD Sports, M&S, Wilkinson and Frankie and Benny's and create up to 300 jobs for the local area.
Heritage railway future
The Elsecar Heritage Railway are planning to extend to a proposed new railway station at Cortonwood in the future as finances allow with certification from local councils and the Office of Road and Rail granting level crossing approved status being confirmed in February 2017.
- Hill 2001, p. 106.
- Hill 2001, p. 107.
- Hill 2001, pp. 107–108.
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