SO9491 : Racecourse Colliery Dudley

taken 4 years ago, near to Tipton, Sandwell, Great Britain

Racecourse Colliery Dudley
Racecourse Colliery Dudley
In the Black Country Living Museum, viewed across the museum's tramway.

The museum's website states that the ground beneath the museum site was once mined for coal, limestone, fireclay, and ironstone. More than 40 old mine shafts are shown on old plans and around one of these shafts, Racecourse Colliery has been built as a typical small Black Country coalpit. Small scale, rough and ready pits were common in the Black Country. There were once as many as 500-600 of these pits in the region.

The colliery was so named because the land on which it stands was formerly Dudley Racecourse which was closed when the railway line from Dudley to Wolverhampton was built in 1846.

Racecourse Colliery is shown as it would have been in about 1910 with the manager's office in the weighbridge house from Rolfe Street in Smethwick, the typical hovel and blacksmith's shop. It represents a typical Black Country coal or fireclay mine.

The mine shaft which forms the centrepiece of Racecourse Colliery was originally the Earl of Dudley’s Coneygree Colliery Pit number 126. It operated between 1860 and 1902, before being abandoned and the shaft filled in.
The wooden pit frame stands over a shaft 30 metres deep and a cylinder outside drum steam powered winding engine would wind the cage up and down the shaft.

In the 19th century commentators spoke of this region as a great coalfield, and of the "earth turned inside out" by all the mining activity. It was coal mining which was at the heart of the industrialisation of the Black Country.
A pit like this could have been started up by a few men, possibly miners themselves, who would rent the mineral rights from the land owner. In this area, that was usually the Earl of Dudley. Or, the Earl of Dudley could mine the coal himself and appoint an agent or a manager to run his pits for him.

This pit has a manager's office and a weighbridge office. There is also, beyond the shaft and head frame, a hovel where miners could dry their clothing and perhaps brew a drink over the fire.

Next to the colliery is Brook Shaft, a reconstruction of a small 1930s pit built over an original mine shaft worked before 1842.
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SO9491, 447 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 26 July, 2015   (more nearby)
Monday, 27 July, 2015
Geographical Context
Quarrying, Mining 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 9485 9141 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:31.2327N 2:4.6397W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 9490 9141
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Black Country Living Museum 

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