Monktonhall Colliery

© Copyright and database right 2015. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100020548.

Alternative Names Newton
Canmore ID 72677
Site Number NT37SW 198
NGR NT 321 702
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former District MIDLOTHIAN
Former County MIDLOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NT37SW 198 321 702

For adjacent Millerhill marshalling yard, see NT37SW 1127.

Glazed pit-head tower, 1953, by Egon Riss.
C McWilliam 1978.

(Location cited as NT 3219 7027). MONKTONHALL Colliery
Previous Owners: National Coal Board
Sinking Commenced: 1954
Production Commenced: 1967
Year Closed: 1997
Average Workforce: 1,618
Peak Workforce: 1,786
Peak Year: 1971
Shaft Details: 2 shafts. No. 1 shaft (upcast) 930m deep, 7.32m diameter and concrete-lined, 2 1,600hp multi-rope tower-mounted friction winders, designed to lift 420 tons of coal per hour in 2 14-ton skips. No. 2 shaft (downcast) also 7.32m diameter, concrete lined, and 920m deep, with 1 multi-rope 1,600hp tower-mounted friction winder with 2-deck cage and counterweight, carrying 2 mine cars (automatic ram loading) or 130 men.
Other Details: Designed to exploit the deep limestone coals of the Midlothian basin, it was one of the wettest pits of the National Coal Board (NCB) era, water causing major problems both during its sinking and its operation. Nevertheless, one of the successful NCB new sinkings and superpits, and the last to survive. Surface facilities included a coal preparation plant, a rapid-loading surface bunker and merry-go-round rail facility, workshops, and administration buildings as well as full baths, canteen and medical facilities. Broke productivity records in 1969. Built with the assured market of Cockenzie Power Station nearby (), but eventually mothballed in 1987, after which neighbouring Bilston Glen (NT26NE 77) closed in 1989. Re-opened as Britain┬┐s first large private mine in 1992, but run by a miners┬┐ co-operative. First coalface back in production in 1993, but lacked capital and ran into financial difficulties in August 1994, after which Waverley Mining Finance plc took increasing interest in the mine. Closed finally in 1997. First of towers demolished in November 1997, second tower in 1998.
M K Oglethorpe 2006.

External Links

Midlothian Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Cochrane, L (1997) Colliery demolition blasts hopes away [Monktonhall Colliery, newscutting], The Scotsman 3 November 1997
Held at RCAHMS Lo Mi.N

Hutton, G (1998) Mining the Lothians, Ochiltree
Page(s): 106-111 Held at RCAHMS J.5.51.HUT

McWilliam, C E (1978a) Lothian except Edinburgh, The Buildings of Scotland series Harmondsworth
Page(s): 358 Held at RCAHMS Quick

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