The Denaby Main Extension. – Opening Out Another Coalfield.

May 1888

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 11 May 1888

The Denaby Main Extension.
Opening Out Another Coalfield.

A correspondent sends the following with reference to the opening out of the South Yorkshire coalfield in the direction of Cadeby.

After many rumours, affirmative and to the contrary, the Denaby Main Colliery Company and the executors of the late Sir Charles Watson Copley, Bart., of Sprotborough Hall, near Doncaster, have concluded negotiations whereby the right of working the coal under the Cadeby and Sprotborongh estates is acquired by the company.

The arrangements only needed the signature of the late baronet a short time ago to be brought to a conclusion, but his death intervening, they were postponed for a little while.

The company will commence operations as soon possible, the site for the new colliery being what is known as Cadeby “Rattles,” a field on the Conisbrough side of the tunnel on the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway to Doncaster.

It is stated that two shafts will be sunk, each capable of an output of 2,000 tons of coal per day. The site is about two miles from the Denaby Main Colliery, and the sinking will be carried forward with all possible speed. The new pit will be connected with the present colliery by a private line, which, it is said, will be continued in northerly direction so as to join the Hull and Barnsley Rails or near the village of Upton. The opening up this extensive coalfield, through which it is proposed to carry the new line, will have and enormous effect on the prospects of the Hull and Barnsley Railway.

One of the leading geologists of the country, who is well acquainted with this locality, gives it his opinion that the largest and most valuable portion of the future Yorkshire coalfield will be found between South Kirkby and Snaith, both being close to the Hull and Barnsley line, and the former being directly connected with it; and that the new field will add 92,000 acres to our present known deposits. But in connection with the coal there are large quantities of ironstone and fireclay, and a practically unlimited supply of limestone, so that iron smelting could earned on economically, if not more so, than any other part of the country. This valuable and unbroken field of coal, of which the Hull and Barnsley Railway should have the entire control, as it passes directly through it either side, should tend to make Hull one of the most important coalshipping ports in the kingdom. When the Hull and Barnsley Railway was projected it was sanguinely expected that this new district would be opened up.

The Denaby Main Colliery occupy peculiarly advantageous position in one respect, of all the collieries in the district they stand the most eastward, and, therefore, nearest to Hull. Last year they sent into that seaport over 200,000 tons of coal, nearly double that any other colliery, and the new enterprise on which they now propose embark will make their daily output, it is said, some 6,000 tons. The colliery company, with commendable enterprise, propose to carry forward their private line from Cadeby so as to meet the Hull and Barnsley or near Upton.

It is anticipated that in course of time other pits will be sunk adjacent to-the colliery line, and thereby materially improve the position of the Hull and Barnsley system.

With regard the site of the new pit a better position could not have been selected, as both railway and water communication are close at hand. The district which will now be trenched upon is a very pretty one, as many visitors to Conisbrough will know, and to those who think like John Ruskin, the pretty valley will soon be devoid of all beauty.

But the opening the now colliery is fraught with great importance, and the work it and its neighbours will find for surplus labour in the coal trade will entirely outweigh the sentimental side of the question. The coal centre of the district in the course the next few years will be moved more to the eastward. Barnsley will soon become the western verge of the South Yorkshire coalfield, and Mexborough, which is the last mining town going east, will come into further eminence.

The important step taken by the Denaby  Colliery has not yet been circulated to any extent through the district, and the news will come as an agreeable surprise to those who could not bring themselves to place reliance in previous rumours.