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Report - - Montcliffe Colliery - Winter Hill, Horwich, Bolton - September 2021 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Montcliffe Colliery - Winter Hill, Horwich, Bolton - September 2021


MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is going to be quite a short report on the remains we found of Montcliffe Colliery. Winter Hill near Bolton is famous locally for the huge T.V. mast at the top and is popular with walkers but it has been extensively mined and Quarried in the past. There were multiple collieries around the hill along with many quarries and much older opencast mines. We decided to explore the area and see what was left and started with Montcliffe Colliery.

History - Montcliffe Colliery was situated on the east side of the large quarry on Winter Hill, overlooking the town of Horwich. The colliery had two main shafts with many small adits and joining tunnels to older mine workings nearby. The No.1 shaft was 381.25 feet deep and the No.2 shaft, 429.02 feet. That’s 116.205 metes and 130.765296 metres respectively. The number one and two shafts were sunk around 1820 and 1860 respectively. Once the number two shaft was constructed it was apparently then the only one used for winding. As the population of the surrounding towns rose during the industrial revolution water became short as the small reservoirs of the time could not meet the increased demand. A decision was taken to test the purity of the natural ground water that flowed into the mines and had to be pumped out. The water was found to be of an exceptional quality and was used for human consumption, probably until the larger Rivington reservoirs where in service. The remains of large pipes can still be found exiting the mines in various locations. There are two tunnels, possibly old trials near to the site of another old pit, that were extended up to the Montcliffe mine and used as air roads to ventilate the mines, these are still intact.

The explore - There is very little left above ground as the site of the colliery is now a massive quarry. We found evidence of old tracks dotted around but are unsure whether these relate to the mine or the old abandoned quarry next to it. The main remaining feature are the two air roads for the 2 pits. These are still intact and accessible although appear quite dangerous. Access to these is very tight and dirty work and they are both somewhat flooded. They seem to run on for quite a distance and as far as we know potentially still connect to other workings. I would usually include a map with what we found marked but due to the nature of these tunnels thought it best not too. Was a great day trudging around winter hill finding this stuff, we will be going back to see what else we can find. Weirdly as we were walking round we bumped into an old bloke who seemed interested in what we were doing, possibly due to the fact that i was covered in mud and had a camera, it turned out he worked in one of the pits on winter hill from the age of 14 and told us loads of interesting stories about his experiences.


Montcliffe Colliery as it was.
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Map of the original location.
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The mast that Winter Hill is known for.
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The Quarry that is now on the site of the Mine.
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Air road for Pit no.1
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This tunnel isnt clear on the pics but it seems to connect the 2 air roads together although it's in a bad way.
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Air road for pit no.2
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The roof in here is very sketchy.
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Large metal pipes, possible for drawing off water from the mine for drinking?
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Tracks.
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More tracks.
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A small abandoned quarry near the mine, I think the tracks may be for this rather than the mine?
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The whole area is littered with huge mound's of quarried material.
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Thanks for looking.
 

Down and beyond

The true source of englands wealth is coal
Regular User
I assume the pipes was for pumping the water out the actual pit bottom , did you see the 2 air ways link up ? If so one would probably be a clean air way into the workings then a return airway which originally had a fire at the bottom to aid air circulation, could also be possible that one was a pedestrian access way , they use to divide shafts many times ,so separate sections had a purpose and when entering you didn’t have Corves hitting your head in the old days .
 

MK83

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I assume the pipes was for pumping the water out the actual pit bottom , did you see the 2 air ways link up ? If so one would probably be a clean air way into the workings then a return airway which originally had a fire at the bottom to aid air circulation, could also be possible that one was a pedestrian access way , they use to divide shafts many times ,so separate sections had a purpose and when entering you didn’t have Corves hitting your head in the old days .
The 2 air ways ran parallel and there was a tunnel which seemed to go between the two but it was collapsed so couldn't confirm if it linked up. Would be great to see how far these go and what's left of the workings.
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Theres a lot more to see i think but I know my limits and didn't want to go any further without being more prepared!
Yeah mate best to stay with what you are comfortable with. You can can ways go back like you say, when you are better prepared.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Excellent set. Great job getting in those air pits. looks tight and sketchy. Photos are great though. Like the combo of old maps/ photos and how it is today :thumb
 

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