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Report - - Wentworth Silkstone Mine, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, June 2024 | Mines and Quarries |

Report - Wentworth Silkstone Mine, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, June 2024

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Regular User
1. The History
Located in Badger Wood, close to Hood Green, near Barnsley, Wentworth Silkstone mine first opened in June 1911 under the ownership of Wentworth Silkstone Collieries Ltd. Previously coal had been extracted from the site through Coopers Wentworth pit when shafts were sunk in 1856 to reach the Silkstone Seam. Production then ceased in 1887, before the new company then drove two drift entrances in 1911.

The mine expanded and in 1918 was employing three hundred men underground along with seventy surface workers. As the Silkstone seam became exhausted, separate new drifts were driven into nearby coal seams including one at Flockton and Thorncliffe and all connected by the same return drift. The number of workers employed had increase to five hundred workers underground and eighty on the surface by 1932. With the nationalisation of coal mines after World War Two in 1946, the mine’s seven drift entrances were reduced to three.

With resources starting to become exhausted in 1955, the NCB invested £500,000 to redevelop the mine including the extension of two drifts into the Whinmoor seam. A new conveyor system and man ridding paddy were also added. In 1961, the nearby Silkstone Common mine came under the management of Wentworth Silkstone, with all coal being brought to the surface at the mine. Over time all coal production came from the Whinmoor Seam. The colliery finally closed in the summer of 1978, with 250 men transferring over to Houghton Main.

Old O/S map detail of the mine:


2. The Explore
Had this on my radar for a while and had previously explored the scant remains of the nearby Sovereign Colliery (report HERE)

In truth wasn’t expecting to do a report on this place as there isn’t an enormous amount left over ground. However, given it hasn’t been reported on before and I got enough decent pics thought I’d pop one in anyhow. Took the scenic route round to the drifts. One is blocked from the start, but the second larger drift goes a little way in before being sealed.

3. The Pictures

Interesting stone with drill holes:


Some of the old winding wire:


Track leading from the main drift to the processing plant:


Then you come to the first drift entrance, well-sealed:


With an earthy looking back fill:



Old loading platform:


Then a bit further on, we’re on to the main attraction:


Into the dark:


A few bits and bobs:



Including this conveyor belt roller:


A safety refuge:


Until we come to this:


So back out we go:


That’s all folks!!!