Frickley Colliery

Frickley & South Elmsall Colliery was opened by the Carlton Main Colliery Company Ltd in 1903 in South Emsall, in Yorkshire, England.

Frickley & South Elmsall Colliery

The first sod was cut on 23 April 1903 of shafts No.1 and No.2 and the Barnsley Bed was hit on 23 May 1905 at a depth of 606m. Sumps were established at a depth of 624m in the Dunsil seam. Both shafts were 7m in diameter and brick lined throughout.South Elmsall Colliery situated in the same curtilage as Frickley, was sunk during 1920–23 reaching the Shafton Seam at a depth of 218m. This No.3 shaft was 4.26m in diameter and brick lined throughout.

Despite being located in South Elmsall, the colliery was sunk within the land of Frickley Hall, part of the small Hamlet of Frickley, hence the Frickley name.

The Carlton Main Colliery Company was a model employer with strong views on the welfare of its workers. Its Welfare schemes included a hospital, maternity home, medical service, recreation ground, swimming baths and miners institute. The colliery saw the birth of Frickley Colliery F.C. later Frickley Athletic F.C. in 1910.

The Barnsley seam was worked until 1934 by hand-got tub stalls when mechanical conveying was introduced at the coal face. During the next three years the installation of face conveyors was completed almost throughout the whole pit.

The total output was obtained from the Barnsley seam until 1942 when the Dunsil seam was entered in a small area to the south of the shaft piller. Since 1942 further access to the Dunsil has been obtained by means of drifts from the Barnsley level and two further areas to the West and East have been entered to work the Dunsil seam. Coal winding remains at the original Barnsley level.

In 1951 the first prop free, front face with an armoured conveyor installation started up on 101's unit in the East Dunsil area.

In February 1955 it became necessary to start off a face in the East Dunsil on the end cleat of coal and it was considered that such conditions would lend themselves to the use of an Anderton Disc Shearer machine working in conjunction with an armoured conveyor, friction type props and link bar supports.

Timeline of Frickley Colliery

*1905 First Coal Drawn from Barnsley Bed
*1910 Formation of Frickley Colliery F.C Frickley Athletic F.C.
*1914 Baum Washery Completed
*1923 Production Commenced in Shafton Seam
*1925 Production Seased in Shafton Seam
*1934 Longwall System replaced hand-got tub stalls.
*1937 Face conveyors installed in pit
*19 March 1938 Pit Baths Opened
*1942 Drives made into Dunsil Seam
*1942 Production recommenced in Shafton Seam
*1 January 1947 Colliery became part of NCB Yorkshire No.5 area.
*1965 Colliery became part of Doncaster area.
*1968 Rapid loading bunker for merry go round trains installed-one of the first in country.
*1968 New main fan installed
*1968 Frickley and South Elmsall Collieries merge under one manager.
*1970 Cudworth Seam replaced Shafton Seam.
*1977 New Baum Washery completed.
*1984 Top Haigh Moor seam replaced Barnsley Seam.
*1984 Miners Strike- Frickley is the strongest hold out in the country.
*1985 Colliery became part of British Coal South Yorks Area.
*1986 Dunsil Seam ceased productions.
*1990 Colliery became part of North Yorkshire Group
*1992 Production commenced in Newhill Seam.
*1993 Colliery became part of Northern Group

In its heyday in the 1930s the colliery employed 4000 men and boys and at is closure on 26 November 1993 735 men.

In October 1992 Frickley/South Elmsall was one of the 31 collieries intended to be closed by the government. Given a temporary reprieve of just 13 months whilst studies showed the pit was one of the most profitable in British Coal, the miners were forced to vote on closure of the pit in a " No Win" situation in November 1993.

Despite having plentiful and easily accessible reserves, the pit closed due to politics on 26th November 1993, leaving massive social and economic problems in the local area.

To this day Frickley lives on in many peoples hearts and minds, Frickley Athletic F.C. continue to represent the name nationally at a high level of football. With the Westfield Lane stadium backing onto the former colliery.


In 2005 it was announced the majority of the former colliery will be reclaimed to provide a high quality country park. As part of the scheme, provision will be made to allow the creation of new sport pitches and allotments if required.

On the site of the former pithead up to 160 homes will be built, which will include affordable housing and overall will achieve some of the highest standards for sustainability in the country.

ee also

*List of Yorkshire Pits


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