Collieries Arrowsmiths Dictionary of Bristol 1884

Collieries. Bristol has long been celebrated for its coalfields. The whole of the seams of this district are good, and run from about 5 feet to 22 inches. In some instances the works spread out underground to a distance of 2 miles from the shaft, and the deepest pit is about 300 fathoms. The following is a list of pits :- Ashton vale, Bitton, Golden valley, Coalpit heath, Bedminster, Easton, Hanham, Whitehall, Kingswood, North and South Parkfield, Nailsea, Rangeworthy and Warmley. The average output from the above is 13,000 to 14,000 tons per week, and the hands employed are somewhere about 3,500. At Coalpit heath, the horses employed walk up to and step by pairs into the cage, to be drawn to bank when the shift is over; but in the Kingswood and other collieries there are some 60 who, having once descended, never again see the light of day, unless there should happen to be a strike. On June 20th, 1851, 50 colliers were buried alive in the Bedminster coalpit; after being in the pit 40 hours they were all, by great exertions, brought alive to the surface.

Source: Arrowsmith’s Dictionary of Bristol. Edited by Henry J. Spear and J. W. Arrowsmith. Bristol 1884.

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