Coal Mining Remains in Mallygill Wood
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County Council (Unitary)
Durham County Council
City of Durham
SE310310 (430953, 546005)
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Situated within Marygill Wood on the east side of the A1 (M) are the earthwork remains of 19th century and earlier coal mining. Coal mining is recorded at nearby Rainton in the 15th and 16th centuries, and it is thought that the remains within Mallygill Wood relate to that period of mining activity. The mines had been abandoned long before 1861 since by this date the Ordnance Survey maps show an established woodland on the site. Mining was resumed, however, in the later 19th century when a deep mine, known as Woodside Colliery, was sunk towards the north east corner of the wood. This was abandoned on 1896. The mining remains include at least 76 shaft mound, including Woodside Colliery, remains of a drift mine, and evidence of opencast extraction directly on the coal outcrop. The greatest concentration of workings lie in the central and western part of the monument where the coal seams are situated close to the surface. The shaft mounds, 28 of which are now waterlogged, generally survive as inverted cones measuring from 3 metres to 12 metres in diameter and up to 2 metres in depth. Many are surrounded by a spoil collar surviving up to 1 metre in height. A series of trenches running north to south on either side of Mally Gill are thought to be the remains of opencast working on the coal outcrop and are also thought to represent one of the early forms of coal extraction at the site. The monument also includes the earthwork remains of a small drift mine driven north eastward into the north side of the ravine of the Mally Gill, as well as other shallow depressions thought to be associated with mining activities. Scheduled. The features described are visible as earthworks on air photographs although tree coverage obscures the detail.
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