Monktonhall Colliery


Site Name Monktonhall Colliery

Classification Colliery

Alternative Name(s) Newton

Canmore ID 72677

Site Number NT37SW 198

NGR NT 321 702

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Midlothian
  • Parish Newton
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District Midlothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology 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.


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