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Report - - Draycott Cross Colliery - Staffordshire - Dec 2019 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Draycott Cross Colliery - Staffordshire - Dec 2019


Abandoned-Sheffield

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Built into a disused railway tunnel, Draycott Cross Colliery consisted of a number of adits descending into the hillside. A narrow gauge railway was installed with electric winding gear to transport the coal out of the mine.

The mine closed in 1991 after less than a decade of operation.

You can check out all my photos from this explore here on my Flickr.

Background:

The North Staffordshire Railway opened their Stoke on Trent to Uttoxeter line in 1848. As this missed Cheadle by three miles there were several abortive schemes for a branch line to serve the town. On 18th March 1887 the Cheadle Railway, Mineral & Land Co. Ltd. was formed and they proposed a new route from the North Staffordshire line at Creswell, through Totmonslow to a terminus on the south of Cheadle. Public support and money for the venture was quickly forthcoming with £100,000 being raised and construction started on 22nd March 1888. Fifty men and a team of horses were engaged on this work and a month later the first quarter of a mile had been built. The money soon ran out however which delayed the completion of the first 1 mile 400 yard section of the line between Creswell and Totmoslow. This was eventually opened on 7th November 1892, four years after construction started.

Draycott Colliery probably closed in the 1940’s. A 1949 Ordnance Survey map shows the line back to the north portal of the tunnel and the exchange siding are still in place but the half mile of track into the colliery has been removed.

railway-tunnel-draycott-end.jpg


In about 1983 a privately owned drift mine, known as Draycott Cross Colliery commenced production from adits just inside the southern portal of the old railway tunnel. A new two foot gauge tramway was laid in the tunnel with mine tubs hauled by cable.

Prior to 1988 Draycott Cross Mine was owned by the Costain Group. In July 1988 Europa Minerals bought two Staffordshire Coal Mines from Costain in a £3.3 million cash and share deal. The mines were Draycott Cross and Acres Nook Collieries. The two mines were expected to add 1 million tons of extractable coal to the company’s reserves. Europa already owned the Ormondcroft Drift Mine. By 1989 they was hoping to increase production from 500 tons a week to 1400 tons a week (65,000 tons a year).

The explore:
Getting access to the mine was fairly simple, however be warned that this may not be possible for people on the larger side - I myself am quite skinny and the gap was only just big enough for myself. Once you've overcome the high entrance, and down from a rather larger drop inside, the mine opens up. You can tell this was used as a railway tunnel and is pretty large inside. There's lots of evidence of a mine being here, from pulleys on the ceiling/floor to winches across the ground. Across the ceiling there is a thick black layer of what I can only assume is as a result of the coal that was mined here. This is a great explore and somewhere I'd definitely recommend a visit.

Plenty of evidence this was once an operating mine, as well as a railway tunnel:
Screenshot 2019-12-18 at 01.26.05.png


Looking down the tunnel away from the entrance:
Screenshot 2019-12-18 at 01.28.35.png


Black walls and black ceilings:
Screenshot 2019-12-18 at 01.30.19.png


Only a small glimpse of how immensely far this mine goes:
Screenshot 2019-12-18 at 01.31.19.png


Not sure what these alcoves are but there are plenty of them, perhaps for workers to move out of the way of winches?:
Screenshot 2019-12-18 at 01.32.32.png
 

Attachments

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
There should be actual mine workings accessible from that tunnel, judging from other reports, they show adit tunnels leading to the flooded mine.
 

Urbulon

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The thick black layer is soot from the burning of coal in steam locomotives passing through when it was a working railway.
 

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