Report (Permission Visit) - November 2019, Brandy Bottom Colliery, Pucklechurch, Bristol | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report (Permission Visit) November 2019, Brandy Bottom Colliery, Pucklechurch, Bristol


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The Avon Industrials Buildings Trust (AIBT) was formed in 1380 to promote the conservation of industrial monuments in what used to be the County of Avon. The trust receives grants from places such as Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund for work on specific projects, such as industrial archaeology for transport, agriculture, manufacturing and mining. Brandy Bottom Colliery near Pucklechurch is a rare example of the footprint of a 19th Century steam colliery. It is on the Historic England's 'Heritage At Risk' register. The remains of the surface buildings of the Brandy Bottom colliery are located to the west of Pucklechurch.

The first shaft was sunk in 1837 when it was known as 'Lord Randor's Pit'. The first mention of the name 'Brandy Bottom' comes in a coroner's report in 1856. It was the name of the deepest pit at 225 yards at its deepest. The pit was taken over by Handel Cossham in 1871. He sank a new pit shaft and joined Brandy Bottom underground to his nearby pit at Parkfield. Coal hoisting had ceased by the time of the 1915 Ordinance Survey, as the railway lines that can be seen running alongside the New Pit in the 1903 map no longer appear in the 1915 one. Electrical pumps were installed around 1920, and it is probable that the Cornish Engine was decommissioned at the same time. It is thought that the two pits were closed on the 15th August, 1936.

Brandy Bottom is known to have worked 4 seams of coal, a 2ft thick Hard Seam located 512 ft below the surface the 2ft thick Top Seam at 608ft, the 2ft 6in Hollybush at 638.5ft, and the 2ft 6in Great Seam at 674.5ft. The workings are inaccessible now as they are flooded to just below the surface. There were 155 underground workers and 17 surface workers in 1896.

Work started in 2008 to clear vegetation and then establish what the priorities were for conserving the building. Contractors have rebuilt several areas, including the north-east wall of the Cornish Engine House, the top of the 23m high chimney and the tops of the walls of the Cornish Engine House and Old Pit heapstead. Conservation work continues...




At the north end of the site, near the railway line, is an unroofed brick building, thought to be a weighbridge.


Close to the weighbridge are the two halves of a large spoked iron wheel, about 6m in diameter, thought to be part of the headgear of a pit. This was imported from a coal mine in South Wales, but it is of the same type as that used at Brandy Bottom, it relates to the technology of 19th century mines.



To the south west of the weighbridge is a spoil tip approximately 60m long, 20m wide and 5m high...


at the south end of which is a group of buildings including a chimney, engine house and workshop, the chimney is about 40m high.


The Cornish beam engine house is thought to retain its internal engine settings.




The guy that showed us around said he had bought a new boiler for the mine off of eBay, which goes to show they really do sell everything. He hopes to have it fitted in the future.


This is the old boiler house, it has been pretty much stripped of everything and is being held up on the left by the spoil heap


On top of the Heapstead was where the coal could be moved about on rails. Here you can see the tipper slots


And from above


Once the chimney had been repaired the team lit a fire in the East flue and got to see smoke coming out of the chimney, showing that their hard work was paying off.


The new boiler house was found by accident, they didn't even know it was there until they were clearing up some rubbish and stumbled across it, but what a find!


Looking into some of the underground pits they have been excavating. It is hoped that as much of it was underwater that most wooden parts will be well preserved when they find them



This is the Heapstead Alcove


It is quite clear to see how badly damage this building is



View of the New Pit (which we didn't get a tour of)


And that is about that. I did get more photos but a lot of them showed just stone and brick which are a little more boring. If you DO want to see more though let me know I can email the whole set to you or something. I don't think it was a bad find seeing as we just went to visit on the off-chance, realised it was all fenced up and then got offered a guided tour! Kudos to the guys and gals fixing it up!