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Barnsley Main Colliery Day Books

9th January 2024

During 2023, Barnsley Archives and Local Studies received over 50 new collections of archives. This included the successful purchase at auction of an important series of Day Books which originated from the former Barnsley Main Colliery. They were compiled by the Deputy Manager between 1978 and 1988 and provide a daily log of coal extracted, along with other useful statistics. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the 1984-5 Miner’s strike, it’s a real positive to be able to extend and enhance our coalmining collections. 

Barnsley Main Colliery originated as Oaks Colliery when a coal-winding shaft and pumping shaft were sunk to the west of Oaks Lane, Stairfoot in 1824. Thirteen explosions occurred at the colliery over 10 days in 1866, resulting in the deaths of 383 miners and the closure of the Old Oaks shafts. New shafts sunk at Ardsley the following year opened as the New Oaks Colliery in 1870. 

Barnsley Main Colliery closed for the last time in 1991 and is now a Grade two listed building, with surviving winding house and head gear.  You can visit the site on foot anytime, and the car park is open when volunteers are there with their pop up museum and refreshments on Mondays and Thursdays between 10am and 12 noon.