South Gloucestershire Mines
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Books and Publications

We have recently added three more books. Check out our sales page for more details.

Public Open Days

SGMRG Public Open Days at Oldwood Pit, attracting around 500 visitors. Our next open day will be in September 2018 (entry is FREE). You can also come along to any of our other events for £2.

Kingswood Coal

SGMRG's first publication is now available from our Publications Officer for £6 plus £1 p&p.

Kingswood Coal is a paperback publication ISBN 978-0-955-34642-2 of 36 pages in length, with 4 maps and includes previously unpublished photographs.

Front cover of Kingswood Coal

Steve Grudgings, the SGMRG Newsletter Editor and Chairman says:

"When I started exploring what remained of the Bristol Coalfield in the early 1980s, the most useful information source I could find were Matt Southway's 'Kingswood Coal' articles. At the time, there was very little accessible information to inform field investigations. Matt's articles gave not only the location and grid reference, but also a brief synopsis of history and commentary on any remaining colliery features. I used this information to help me spend many happy hours walking around some of the less well know corners of South Gloucestershire, poking at walls, peering through holes and introducing myself to surprised landowners (some things never change!)"

Kingswood Coal is divided into four parts, with the first three written by Matt Southway and the last by our very own David Hardwick. All four are neatly contained within this one book, covering different areas of the coalfield:

  • Kingswood Coal Part 1 covers the area from the Avon, north as far as Warmley, includes Kingswood, Easton, Whitehall, Crew's Hole, Pilemarsh and Golden Valley.
  • Kingswood Coal Part 2 covers the area north of here up to Nibley, including Coalpit Heath, Emersons Green, Mangotsfield, Staple Hill, Siston and Pucklechurch.
  • Kingswood Coal Part 3 'The Bedminster Connection' covers the area south of the River Avon, Bedminster and Ashton.
  • Kingswood Coal Part 4 covers Cromhall, Rangeworthy and Yate.

The book contains lots of detail, but is written in an easy to follow style, for example, as Matt explains on page 9:

"The Hole Lane Company sank new shafts, the Brook pits at ST670720 and ST670719, using the old Cowhorn Hill Buff Pit as their engine shaft for pumping. Then in 1876 the Cowhorn Hill Colliery was purchased by Abraham Fussell. His first venture was to deepen the old Blowbottom shaft at ST665714, which had been abandoned at 80 yds. He resank it down through hard pennant rock to 640 yds."

Section of a map in Kingswood Coal, showing pit names and locations

The book goes on to provide a gazetteer of those sites that have survived into the 21st century - with a grid reference, so curious readers can go and look. But, with more mining remains disappearing every day the advice is to go now - whilst there is still anything left. Visible surface remains range from spoil mounds to some stunning original engine houses.

Archaeologist Mark Horton commented:

"Most people don't even know Bristol was surrounded by coalmines right through into the last century - this work opens up the story to anyone. You can't possibly read this book without it changing the way you see our area. The countryside that now looks so green was once a maze of shafts, mines and great steam engine houses. I'm itching to get out to look at some of the sites."

For details on how to purchse, please see our publications webpage.

Or talk to any committee member at one of our meetings. If you don't want to join SGMRG just yet, you can still come along to one of our events as a visitor (for £2) or to one of our public open days at Oldwood Pit (see the events list).

For further information please contact our Publications Officer.

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