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Report - - Aspull Pumping Pit - Aspull, Wigan - September 2021 | Industrial Sites |

Report - Aspull Pumping Pit - Aspull, Wigan - September 2021

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Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
We had a mooch around the ruins of Aspull Pumping Pit as we are currently looking round the remnants of the coal industry in our local area. While it is very much in a ruined state it was still interesting so we thought we'd stick it in a small report.

History -
Aspull Pumping Pit was built in 1871 for the purpose of draining the Cannel and King Coal Mines and concentrating several smaller pumping establishments at the mines around Aspull. The pit shaft was 21ft diameter and a wagon road had been laid to it from the sidings at No5 Moor Pit. A waterway was constructed in the King Seam from Scot Lane Pits, past Woods No4 Cannel Pit to the pump lodges in the King Coal at the pumping pit.
In December 1872 it was stated that ‘the quantity of water has been greater than we anticipated’. Three large, direct acting steam engines with inverted cylinders were erected to work the 20-inch diameter ram pumps at this pit.
The water in the Cannel was good clean water suitable for steam boilers and it was pumped to the surface by the ram worked from an offset on the spear rods. It was used for the locomotives and for the boilers at the pit.
All three engines were fitted with condensers and the three pumps delivered through 16-inch diameter cast iron pipes against a vertical head (after the collapse of the sough tunnel) of approximately 180 yards.
By December 1876 the whole job had been completed, including the engine houses, the winding, the capstan engine, the head frame, the gantries and all the boiler plant. The latter in 1895 consisted of 5 Lancashire boilers. It ceased operating in 1932 and the closure caused flooding and subsequent closure of Scot Lane Collieries and Westhoughton Coal & Cannel Company’s collieries.

The pumps used at the pumping pit where as follows;

No.1 Pump – Bull-type pumping engine 56 inches x 6 feet 9 inches, 20 inches ram pump, 540 gallons per minute at 6 strokes per minute. This engine reputedly built by J. Musgrave, Bolton, c.1840 and second-hand from another of the Earl of Crawford’s pits.
No.2 Pump – Installed 1874, Bull-type 50 inches x 8 feet 1½ inches, 20 inches ram pump, pump rods 16 inches square. 436 gpm. at 4½ strokes per minute.
No.3 Pump – Installed 1875, ex. Gorse’s Pit, Bull-type 60 inches x 8 feet, 20 inches ram pump at King Mine, 12 inches ram pump at Cannel Mine worked by offset from main rod. Cannel Mine water used for boilers and locomotives. 657 gpm. at 4½ spm.
Engines fitted with condensers, pump delivery through 16 inches diameter cast iron rising mains. Initially pumped 123 yards to Great Haigh Sough, except Cannel Mine water which was pumped to surface. Later all water pumped to surface, 180 yards, following subsidence damage to Great Haigh Sough.
Underground Pumping Engine – Installed 1894. Cross-compound horizontal pumping engine by William Wilkinson, Holmehouse Foundry, Wigan. Cylinders 32 inches (HP), 60 inches (LPT by 36 inches stroke. Quadruple ram pumps 10½ inches x 36 inches. Delivery 60,000 gallons per hour at 600 feet head. Steam pressure 100psi. Flywheel 25 feet diameter.

Explore - This is more of a mooch than an explore. Access is through a farmers field and a small hop over a barbed wire fence. It is very chilled out but it does look like it's a hangout for local kids at night due to the amount of beer cans and cheap cider bottles. It's an interesting place though and you get a real sense that when intact it would of been huge.

Plan of the pumping pit.


















Thanks for looking.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Cheers mate. Was only a small explore while we were out and about. Would have been an epic building when it was intact.
It's still worth the look. Most things are I think. Looking at the diagrams you posted you can see it was an impressive building in its day.

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
:thumb Nicely put together. Lovely remains. Looks really cool. Shame its a ruin, your diagram shows it was a really nice design. Well done Mr & Mrs MK83 :cool:


Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
:thumb Nicely put together. Lovely remains. Looks really cool. Shame its a ruin, your diagram shows it was a really nice design. Well done Mr & Mrs MK83 :cool:
Thanks Jane. It would have been pretty epic when it was in operation. When you research it theres a few statements from people who worked there about the huge amount of noise it used to make.


Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
I am quite local to you :D
You probably already know about most of the stuff that we post then! We visit these local places when we only have a couple of hours free, we trawl the area for as many industrial revolution and ww2 remains as we can find. Still more to find though.

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