The first documentary evidence of coal mining at Bredbury is found in Stockport Parish Registers for 1598.
May 5th. Thomas Spooner of Bredburie a collier had two children baptized, the one named Ranulf the other Margret.
Early references to coal mining at Bredbury and neighbouring Romiley are recorded in the registers of baptisms for St Lawrence’s Church, Denton.
11 Apr 1725: William, son of John GARSIDE of Ramely, Collier. 24 Oct 1725: Esther, daughter of Joseph TAYLOR of Ramelly, Collier. 18 Sep 1726: Mary, daughter of Peter HALL of Ramelley, Collier. 27 May 1759: Mary HARDY, daughter of Henry HARDY of Bredbury, Miner. 25 Dec 1762: Sally HARDY, daughter of John HARDY of Bredbury, Miner.
Throughout the 19th century and into the early years of the 20th century coal mining was an important industry in the village.
The last colliery in Bredbury to close was Lingard Lane Colliery (Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd) which closed for economic reasons and flooding in Apr 1939. However, there is an eyewitness account during the Second World War of coal miners walking back home from Bredbury to Denton along Stockport Rd (Beat Bank) at the end of their shift. This raises the possibility that Lingard Lane Colliery was temporarily reopened during the war but there is no corroborative evidence to support this.
Timeline of Bredbury Pits
|1598||Evidence from Stockport Parish Records of coal mining at Bredbury.|
|17th/18th centuries||Documentary evidence shows that coal mining was being undertaken in the Bredbury area.|
|By 1710||Butterhouse Pits were open.|
A plan of 1710 shows five pits entitled 'The Great Buteras'. The location of these pits is indeterminate but they may have been in fields just to the north of Stockport Rd/Hyde Rd between Bents Ln and Butterhouse Green.
|1817||It was recorded that there were two pits at Bredbury. Parker and Houghton owned one while John Arden (died 1823, uncle of William Arden) owned the other, this being worked by J Jowett and Brown. The identity of Brown is unknown but there is a possibility that he was Thomas Brown, the Resident Engineer of the Peak Forest Canal Co, who is known to have worked Hyde Lane Pit in Hyde.|
|1825||Lord Alvanley (William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley) sold most of his Bredbury lands.|
Following this sale some new pits were sunk. Known persons involved with mining were: the Jowett family, Jesse Howard and Thomas Shaw.
|1825-41||Redhouse Lane Pit opened.|
This pit was situated just off Redhouse Ln between Bents Ln and George Ln.
It probably closed before 1846.
|By 1829||Hall Lane Pit was open.|
This pit was situated in a field at the top of Hall Ln, Woodley, adjoining the Lower Peak Forest Canal close to the site of Unity Mill.
It was on land owned by Samuel Ashton and tenanted by William Hartley.
It was closed by 1846-72.
|c.1829||The partnership between Jesse Howard and others was dissolved.|
|By 1836||Brinnington Colliery (aka Brinnington Moor Pit) was open.|
This colliery was situated in the fields about 504 yards north of the Farmers Arms (now demolished) on Brinnington Rd.
The shaft cut through nine thin coal seams between depths of 402 and 720 feet.
By 1836 Messrs Brown (Thomas Brown?) and Powell of Reddish had acquired it but in 1842 it was owned by the Revd William Vigor Fox and occupied by either James Hopwood or Joseph Sidebottom.
It closed sometime after 1881.
|By 1841||Alvanley House/Ajax Pit was open. This small pit was on Stockport Rd practically opposite Bredbury Station but a little towards Woodley.|
John Jowett owned the land it stood on.
It was probably closed by 1846.
|By 1841||Berrycroft Pit was open.|
It was situated to the north of Berrycroft Ln, midway between Bents Ln and George Ln.
It was owned by William Broadhurst and occupied by James Barlow.
It was disused by 1872.
This pit was close to, or even synonymous with, Bredbury House Fold Pit as it was in the same area.
However, this pit was owned by John Vaudrey and occupied by John Brit.
|By 1841||Rising Sun Pit was open.|
This pit was south of Stockport Rd behind the Rising Sun Inn, in what is now a car park just to the west of Bredbury Station.
The Jowett family first owned it. Later it was owned by Robert Hughes and occupied by Thomas Shaw and afterwards it was owned by Charles Oldham and occupied by Thomas Shaw.
By 1851 Thomas Shaw Sr was resident at the Navigation Inn, Hyde Rd, Woodley, occupied as a coal proprietor employing 56 men. His son, Joseph, was a coal agent and his son, Thomas, was a coal mine underlooker. His wife, Ann, was the inn keeper. By 1861 he was the proprietor of Haughton Colliery, Glass House Fold, Haughton Green.
The Rising Sun Pit closed before 1872.
|1841||The tithe map shows five current and/or former pits: Berrycroft, Clegg Gate, Hall Ln, Redhouse Ln and the Rising Sun.|
|1841-50||Bents Lane Pit opened.|
This pit was situated on the north side of Stockport Rd opposite the junction of Lower Bents Ln with Stockport Rd.
A tramway about 1,085 yards long connected this pit to Bredbury Colliery.
There was an associated coal mine on the opposite side of Stockport Rd. J & J Jowett (Jonathan & John) owned and occupied these as well as Bredbury Colliery. Note that Bredbury Colliery and Bredbury Coal Pit were distinct coal mines. Bredbury Coal Pit (aka Miner Farm Pit) was located SSE of Bredbury Colliery at a distance of about 570 yards.
Bents Lane Pit, c.1875.
|1841-53||Miner Farm Pit opened.|
This pit was synonymous with Bredbury Coal Pit and it was situated immediately south of Miner Farm, Woodley, and west of Mill Ln. It closed sometime after 1872.
Early in the 20th century, some houses had to be demolished due to subsidence caused by this coal mine.
|1846||The rate book shows three working collieries: Bents Ln, Bredbury House Fold and the Rising Sun.|
|1849||The rate book shows that Ann Jowett had an interest in Rosemary Mine but the exact whereabouts of this coal mine is unknown.|
|1849-53||The lack of mention of some pits in the rate book suggests that they may have closed.|
|20 Dec 1850||The Inspector of Mines reports that there was a fatal accident at the Rising Sun Pit when Thomas Gee was killed by a roof fall while drawing pit props.|
|1850-53||Black Mine Colliery opened (aka Bredbury Colliery).|
This pit had one vertical shaft and one drift shaft. It was situated in Beet Field, west of Turner Ln. A tramway about 1,085 yards long connected this colliery to Bents Lane Pit.
J & J Jowett (Jonathan & John) owned and occupied this colliery as well as Bents Lane Pit.
The 1841 tithe map shows that Robert Ashton owned the land.
Bredbury Colliery, c.1875.
|1853||The rate book mentions Black Mine Colliery at Beet Field for the first time (aka Bredbury Colliery or sometimes Demesne Pit, where 'Demesne' means land attached to a manor).|
|1853||John Stott of Castleton, Rochdale, Lancashire, acquired 2,000 acres of land at Bredbury, Romiley and Compstall to enable him to become a colliery proprietor in the district.|
|17 May 1854||John Stott legally changed his name to John Stott-Milne and the family surname was henceforth, Stott-Milne.|
|5 Sep 1854||By this time, John Stott-Milne was a proprietor of the firm of Milne, Wild & Co, trading as cotton spinners, at Burnedge and at Lower Place, Castleton, Rochdale.|
|11 Apr 1857||An accident occurred at Bents Lane Pit.|
|28 Dec 1858||John Stott-Milne was no longer a partner in Samuel Wild & Co, trading as coal merchants at Bankhouse and Holebottom, near Shaw, Lancashire.|
|21 Apr 1859||John Stott-Milne was a proprietor of Dean Colliery, Lancashire, at the time that the partnership was dissolved. The seven partners were Samuel Wild, John Stott-Milne, James Lord, James Haigh, James Andrew, Thomas Statham and John Lord. Subsequently, the proprietors of this coal mine were Hargreaves, Ashworth & Co. The list of coal mines for 1869 states that this mine was in the village of Water, situated to the north east of Rossendale, Lancashire. This is corroborated by there being a Dean Ln in Water.|
|1850s||The Jowett family managed Black Mine Colliery (aka Bredbury Colliery) and Bents Lane Pit.|
Reports by the Inspector of Mines refer to several fatal accidents at Bredbury pits, some of which were reported in local newspapers.
|1866||Thomas Livesey Sr stepped down as a partner of the Bredbury Coal Co and Bradford Colliery Co, Bradford, Manchester. Clegg Livesey and Richard Johnson continued as partners of the two companies.|
|By 1872||Hyde Bank Pit was disused but its date of opening is unknown.|
This pit was situated on the north bank of the Lower Peak Forest Canal to the east of Hyde Bank Tunnel.
|By 1872||Woodley Precinct Pit was closed, the original name being unknown.|
This pit was situated in a field north of the precinct near the bridge over the railway.
The land was owned and occupied by William Vaudrey.
|Jul 1875||Bredbury Colliery closed.|
At the time of closure, Messrs J & R Stott-Milne owned this pit. All the machinery, rails and materials were removed by Dec 1875.
Messrs J & R Stott-Milne were John and Robert, father and son.
|1876||Bents Lane Pit closed.|
|1879-81||Lancashire Record Office. Ref. DDX127/78, 33 documents.|
Papers relating to the case in the Exchequer Division between John Stott-Milne, formerly of Greenbank, Bowden, Cheshire, and now of Trench House, Wem, Shropshire, owner of Bredbury Colliery, the plaintiff, against Richard Johnson (1809-1881), Clegg Livesey (1832-1899) and Thomas Livesey Jr (1839-1899)†, the former owners of Bredbury Colliery, the defendants. The documents include:
|1880||There is a record of the Bredbury Coal and Iron Co.|
|1881||Bents Lane Pit reopened.|
|1880s||Black Mine Colliery (aka Bredbury Colliery).|
The former manager's house and weigh office collapsed into the shaft.
|1889-92||The sinking of two shafts took place on Lingard Ln.|
This new pit was known as Lingard Lane Colliery and it was initially operated by Messrs J & R Stott-Milne.
Once this had become fully operational it was the only working pit at Bredbury. It was situated on the north side of Lingard Ln, close to its junction with Ashton Rd.
For details of the shaft sinking see below a cutting from the Manchester Times dated 27 May 1892.
|25 May 1893||Bents Lane Pit officially closed.|
However, there is documentary evidence that in 1896 the Standing Seam was being worked and the owners were Messrs J & R Stott-Milne.
|1895||There was a miners' strike at Lingard Lane Colliery about work in the Roger Mine (seam).|
For details of the strike see below a cutting from the Manchester Times dated 18 Jan 1895.
|1896||Lingard Lane Colliery.|
The manager was Edward Lyall and there were 270 underground workers and 66 surface workers.
Three seams were being worked: Roger Mine, Four-foot Mine and Five-foot Mine.
The types of coal were gas, household and steam.
|22 Mar 1898||John Stott-Milne and Robert Stott-Milne (trading as J & R Stott-Milne) of Lingard Lane Collieries, Bredbury, were declared bankrupt.|
|1899||The Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd was incorporated under the ownership of Colonel Dobson of Staffordshire who was one of Messrs J & R Stott-Milne's largest creditors. This company negotiated the mineral rights in Brinnington from the Trustees of Revd William Vigor Fox.|
|1902||The proprietors of Lingard Lane Colliery were James Dobson & Co Ltd.|
|8 Apr 1907||Robert Stott-Milne died at Hulme, Manchester, aged 56 years.|
|1908||Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd, Lingard Ln.|
The manager was William McKay and there were 285 underground workers and 30 surface workers. By 1901 William McKay was the manager at Ashton Moss Colliery, Ashton-under-Lyne. By 1908 he was the manager at Lingard Lane Colliery but he was unemployed by 1911. He was then appointed manager at Denton Colliery where he was fatally injured on the 21 Oct 1919.
|Jan-Mar 1909||A strike occurred at Lingard Lane Colliery.|
|1912||Ownership of Lingard Lane Colliery was transferred to John Hamilton of Lanarkshire. He ran it on an inadequate amount of capital. Evidently, the men sometimes had to wait for their wages until customers had paid.|
|12 Mar 1913||John Stott-Milne died, aged 86 years. At the time of his death he was boarding at a house on Churchgate, Stockport, a short distance from St Mary’s Church in the Market Place.|
|1918||Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd, Lingard Ln.|
The manager was Edward Jackson, the under-manager was Harry Jackson (father and son) and there were 183 underground workers and 29 surface workers. By 1891 Edward Jackson was the under-manager at Hyde Lane Colliery, Hyde, and he was still there in 1898. By 1901 he was the manager at Breightmet Colliery, Bolton, and by 1911 he was the manager at Pendleton Colliery where his son, Harry, was assistant manager.
|Mar 1921||There was a discipline incident at Lingard Lane Colliery.|
|1923||Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd, Lingard Ln.|
The manager was John Watts and there were 204 underground workers and 28 surface workers. The Roger and Hard Mines were being worked to produce household and gas coal and by this time electricity was available underground and coal cutters were in use.
|1926||The General Strike occurred, 3 to 13 May.|
This strike was called by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful bid to support coal miners, who were already on strike.
As a result of this, production at Lingard Lane Colliery was stopped until 1929.
|Jul 1930||A report was published entitled 'Developments at Lingard Lane Colliery'.|
|18 Jul 1932||A petition was presented for Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd to be wound up. See Gazette Notice below.|
|13 Sep 1932||The petition to wind up Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd was heard before the County Court of Cheshire held at Stockport. See Gazette Notice below.|
|By 1935||Lt Col William Chaloner OBE TD KStJ, Chairman of Stockport Local Employment Committee, had been appointed as Receiver for Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd.|
|5 May 1936||It was reported that Lingard Lane Colliery was closed for economic reasons and because of flooding.|
|1938||Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd, Lingard Ln.|
The manager was William Graham and there were 2 underground workers and 9 surface workers.
|Apr 1939||Lingard Lane Colliery was officially abandoned.|
|1939-45||There are eyewitness accounts during the Second World War of miners walking home from Bredbury to Denton along Stockport Rd, Beat Bank, at the end of their shift.|
|15 Feb 1957||The name of Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd was struck off the register of companies and was, therefore, dissolved.|
|1957||The shaft of Bents Lane Pit was rediscovered in the back garden of the dry-cleaner's shop on Stockport Rd. It was subsequently filled in.|
|1961||The surface remains of Lingard Lane Colliery were demolished using explosives.|
|1973||Black Mine Colliery (aka Bredbury Colliery).|
Harry Ogden, the farmer of Mill Hill Farm, rediscovered the shafts during landscaping work.
|Sep 1976||Two drift-mine shafts were discovered during alterations to the ticket office and car park of Bredbury Station. These belonged to the former Rising Sun Pit.|
Robert Stott-Milne was born in 1851 to John Stott-Milne (b.1827) and Mary Ann (b.1826). In 1881 the widowed John Stott-Milne was resident with his son, Robert, and other members of his family at Wem, Shropshire. Mary Ann died on the 16 Jan 1881, Robert died on the 8 Apr 1907 and John died on the
12 Mar 1913. Their memorial is in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s Church, Whitworth, near Rochdale.
Lingard Lane Colliery (Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd), 1910.
In 1946 the London Scottish and Midland Railway Co (owner of the former Great Central & Midland Joint Railway) proposed that the connection to Lingard Lane Colliery Sidings should be removed. Plans for this were drawn up by the Chief Engineer's Department for the Derby North District. This suggests that Lingard Lane Colliery was no longer producing coal by this time.
|Under Ground||Above Ground|
|1923 & 1933||186||27|
This view is from the former toll house that stood at the junction of Lingard Ln and Ashton Rd. An air-raid shelter stands by the side of Lingard Ln with a blast wall to protect the entrance. The small structure to the right of this is probably an RAC telephone box.
Colliery Manager's house, 1984.
Credit: J S Oliver.
For more details use the following menu:
Addendum - Difficulties at Lingard Lane Colliery
William Ollerenshaw became the manager in mid-1915, following his dismissal from Denton Colliery. On the 26 Dec 1915 he made a note in his book, which said the workmen were making the most of their power during the Great War. He especially mentioned one 'slacker', a Mr John Bennett. If he were dismissed, the workmen might demand his continuing down the pit.
Against his inclination Mr Ollerenshaw offered him a surface job instead of an underground job. He refused the offer and grossly insulted him. Seeing the men might strike Mr Ollerenshaw said he could stay at the coalface if he would take back his insults. Bennett refused and the men struck.
The day before (Christmas Day) there were mechanical and electrical breakdowns at the pit but neither of the two electricians nor the engine-wright appeared. Both electricians appeared to have left the district without Mr Ollerenshaw's permission. The colliery was in danger of having one of the underground pumps drowned out owing to something being wrong with the cables or starter and yet neither of the electricians could be found.
Oliver, J S: Notes on Coal Mining at Bredbury (unpub. ms, 1984).
Stockport Heritage Library for sources of information.