Kellingley Colliery

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Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery - - 579893.jpg
Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery is located in North Yorkshire
Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley Colliery
Location in North Yorkshire
Location Beal, North Yorkshire
District Selby
Country England
Coordinates 53°42′19″N 1°12′24″W / 53.70534°N 1.20661°W / 53.70534; -1.20661Coordinates: 53°42′19″N 1°12′24″W / 53.70534°N 1.20661°W / 53.70534; -1.20661
Products Coal
Opened 1965
Company UK Coal
Website UK Coal
Year of acquisition 1994

Kellingley Colliery is the last deep coal mine left in Britain. It is situated at Beal in North Yorkshire, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Knottingley in West Yorkshire, on the A645[1] and 3.6 miles (5.8 km) east of Ferrybridge power station. The colliery's location was influenced by the proximity of road, rail and canal routes. Its workings extend into West Yorkshire. The colliery is owned and operated by UK Coal. On 3 April 2014, it was announced the colliery would close in late 2015.


Kellingley Colliery from the M62

Exploratory boreholes sunk in the 1950s established there were up to seven workable seams of coal at Kellingley.[2] Sinking its two shafts started in 1960. Sandy and porous geology down to about 600 feet (180 m) was waterlogged. Boreholes drilled around each shaft position had sub-zero-temperature brine pumped through them to freeze the ground down to about 640 feet (200 m). The sinking personnel had to work in subzero temperatures until the shafts were below this frozen ground. The shafts were eventually sunk to a depth of around 870 yards (800 m).

After a concrete lining sealed the shafts, the cooling brine was stopped and the frozen ground allowed to thaw. Grout, a thin cement mixture, was pumped at high pressure through holes bored through the shaft's concrete lining into the water-bearing strata. When it set, most of the water leaking into the shafts was stopped and the ground around the upper part of the shafts was stabilised. The pressure needed to pump in the mixture caused the ground above to heave, causing the winding engine towers mounted above the shafts to tilt slightly. This had been anticipated and provision had been made to jack up the four legs that each tower stood on. The procedure was done regularly during the pumping phase to bring the towers into alignment. To keep the shafts to the correct alignment, plumb lines were used. Four steel lines, evenly spaced, were suspended around the inside of each shaft, all the way to the bottom.

Kellingley employs about 800 people. In March 2004, the pit received £7.2 million from the Coal Investment Aid Scheme.[3]

The colliery began production in April 1965.[2] During planning and building the surface infrastructure for the new colliery, employment of 3,000 mineworkers was expected at completion. Due to updated methods and machinery, only about 2,000 men were employed there at any one time. Many of the miners relocated from Scotland to work at the colliery, having lost their jobs at Scottish pits that closed in the 1960s.[4]


Kellingley’s two main shafts are each almost 870 yards (800 m) deep. One is used to move of men and materials, and the second to move coal from the Beeston seam, at a rate of up to 900 tonnes an hour. Kellingley primarily supplies local power stations. It also produces some housecoal-quality coal: larger-sized coals of higher calorific value.[2]

The Beeston seam was accessed after a £55 million investment programme undertaken by UK Coal. It was expected to extend the life of the colliery until at least 2015. Coal reserves are expected to be accessible in the Silkstone seam, which are anticipated to extend its life to 2019.[2]

Miners took part in the 1984 miners' strike,[5] although there was a higher number opposed to the strike at Kellingley than in most other pits in Yorkshire.[6] A miner from Kellingley, Joe Green, was killed after being hit by a lorry on 15 June 1984.[7] From January 1985 onwards, some miners returned to work, and the formal end came on 3 March 1985.[7]

From March to June 2004, workers took sporadic strike action.[8]


On 30 September 2008 miner Don Cook died in a rock fall.[9]

Miner Ian Cameron died after equipment fell on him on 18 October 2009.[9]

On 30 November 2010, 200 workers were evacuated from the pit following a methane explosion underground.[10]

On 27 September 2011 Gerry Gibson was killed and another miner injured after an underground roof collapse.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UK Coal Mining Ltd". Cylex Business Directory: United Kingdom. Cylex Technologia Informatiei. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Deep Mining: Kellingley". UK Coal. Retrieved 28 September 2011. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Public Cash Secures 4,000 Coal Jobs". BBC News. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  4. ^ Winterton, Jonathan; Winterton, Ruth. Coal, Crisis, and Conflict: The 1984–85 Miners' Strike in Yorkshire. Manchester University Press. p. 7. ISBN 9780719025488. 
  5. ^ Jackson, Pete. "Miners Return to Kellingley Pit After the 1984 Miners Strike". Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online. Michael Norfolk. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Winterton, Jonathan; Winterton, Ruth. Coal, Crisis, and Conflict: The 1984–85 Miners' Strike in Yorkshire. Manchester University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780719025488. 
  7. ^ a b BBC Bradford & West Yorkshire - The Coal Strike 1984-1985
  8. ^ "Long-running Mine Dispute Ends". BBC News. 11 June 2004. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Sculpture memorial to dead Kellingley miners". BBC News. BBC. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Kellingley Colliery production resumes after blast". BBC News. BBC. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Miner killed in Kellingley Colliery roof fall". BBC News. BBC. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Kellingley Colliery at Wikimedia Commons