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Technical | Shafts | Shaft tops   >  South pit

Section under development

The circular mouths of the shafts  were terminated by a rectangular opening slightly larger than the cages.  Part of an early shaft-rim can be seen at the South shaft. The corners are formed from fine-grained sandstone ashlar blocks, a number of which still show the saw marks from when they were cut.  The stone looks similar to that of the coping stones on the end wall of the South engine-house, so it may have been installed in 1922 when the heapstead was modified to operate three-deck cages. 

There are indications that it may be of an earlier date, however. Between the corners is a wall of red brick with a recess at the centre to take the bunton (support timber) for the cage guide rails.  The guide rails were not installed until 1920 and the recess appears to have been cut into the existing brickwork.  The brickwork of the headstock enclosure sits directly on the shaft-rim stonework so the structure probably dates back to at least 1900 when the South headstock was rebuilt.  The lower steelwork certainly looks fairly ancient judging by the extent of the corrosion.


South pit shaft rim - full side RH.    The bunton hole is in the lower LH corner. The stretcher bricks have broken ends indicating that the hole has been chiseled out.

South pit shaft rim - full side RH corner.     This stonework still shows the saw marks from when the blocks were cut


Saw marks still visible on the stonework of the South pit shaft rim

Unfortunately, much of the rest of the shaft-rim was destroyed when the shaft was capped and it’s not clear whether the right and left sides were all stonework or had brick infill.  Part of the empty-side RH  corner can be seen, however and the saw marks can still be seen on the blocks here as well.  All of the empty-side rim was removed at some stage, probably during the 1950s modernisation, when the pneumatic decking gear was installed below the bottom deck level.  It was replaced with a rather poor quality single-skin brick wall. Some of the bricks in this wall bear the legend “NCB Watnall”.  Parts of the kep operating linkages can be seen extending through the shaft-rim steelwork.


South pit shaft rim - empty-side RH corner

South pit shaft rim - empty-side RH .   The end of the kep operating rod can be seen in the centre


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Page updated on:

27 Jul, 2020


07:47:21 PM

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