Notes regarding Birdforth Colliery. 8th Nov. 1990.

On the morning of the above date Dr S.R. Eyre and I went to view this site along with Mr Philip Ogden, who once owned the land on which some of the mines were located.
Mr Ogden showed us an iron coal-pick, and a clay tobacco pipe-bowl, which he had found on the site some years ago.
We consulted the 1853 OS which Dr. Eyre had with him.
We then walked along the raised stone track, which lead to the supposed site of the pump-house.

Mr Ogden pointed out a post in the hedge-back, which he said was the point where a hedge once ran into the field, when he removed the hedge some years ago, he found the outline of a small building, (foundations) on a level part, at the end of the track, under the hedge, at a corner of these “foundations” was a flat stone, under which he found clay pipe stems, and a clay tobacco pipe bowl. Further along the hedge,(although maybe not at the same time,) he found the coal-pick.

Mr Ogden next showed us where he thought the main coal-workings were sited, he said, in that location the land was black and heavy, whilst the rest of the field was light and rather sandy. (I found some shards of pottery in this area, which are still in my possession.)

We were told of a mine-shaft location in a hedge-back, which could still be identified when Mr. Ogden moved to the farm in 1938 or 39.

We discussed a set of buildings, which were approximately half way up the hill on the road-side, which Mr Ogden thought had been stables connected with the mine-workings, however, Dr. Eyre suggested they could be much later, infact dating from the 1870s, as they were not shown on the OS.

These buildings, at the time of our discussion had been demolished for some time.
I looked into them prior to their demolition, they were long and low, and could indeed have been stables.

I do not remember the type of brick with which they were built, however, I feel sure they were hand-made, and maybe even 2″, perhaps a re-use of second-hand material ?

Mr Ogden had the clay pipe bowl dated, he was told it was late C18.
Perhaps the small building, under the floor of which it was found had been some kind of workman’s hut ?

John Butler

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