The first documentary evidence of coal mining in 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 in Bredbury and neighbouring Romiley are recorded in the registers of baptisms for St Lawrence’s Church, Denton.

11 April 1725: William, son of John GARSIDE of Ramely, Collier, was baptised. 24 October 1725: Esther, daughter of Joseph TAYLOR of Ramelly, Collier, was baptised. 18 September 1726: Mary, daughter of Peter HALL of Ramelley, Collier, was baptised. 27 May 1759: Mary HARDY, daughter of Henry HARDY of Bredbury, Miner, was baptised. 25 December 1762: Sally HARDY, daughter of John HARDY of Bredbury, Miner, was baptised.

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 to close was Bredbury Colliery (Lingard Lane Collieries) on Lingard Lane, which officially closed in 1936 for economic reasons and because of flooding. At that time it was under the management of British Smokeless and Oil Fuels Ltd. However, there is an eyewitness account during the Second World War of coal miners walking back home from Bredbury to Denton along Stockport Road (Beat Bank) at the end of their shift. This raises the possibility that Bredbury Colliery was temporarily reopened during the war. There is no corroborative evidence to support this account.

Timeline of Bredbury Pits

1598Evidence from Stockport Parish Records of coal mining at Bredbury.
17th/18th centuriesDocumentary evidence shows that coal mining was being undertaken in the Bredbury area.
By 1710Butterhouse 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 Road/Hyde Road between Bents Lane and Butterhouse Green.
1817It was recorded that there were two pits in Bredbury. Parker and Houghton owned one while J Ardern 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 Company, who is known to have worked Hyde Lane Pit in Hyde.
1825William Ardern and Lord Alvanley sell Bredbury Estate. There were no working pits on this estate at this time but the Ardern family reserved the mineral rights.
Following the sale, some new pits were sunk on the former estate. Known persons involved with mining were: the Jowett family, Jesse Howard and Thomas Shaw.
1825-1841Redhouse Lane Pit opened.
This was situated just off Redhouse Lane between Bents Lane and George Lane.
It probably closed before 1846.
By 1829Hall Lane Pit was open.
This pit was situated in a field at the top of Hall Lane, 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 1846-1872.
c.1829The partnership between Jesse Howard and others was dissolved.
By 1836Brinnington Moor Pit (Brinnington Colliery) was open.
This pit was situated the fields near the junction of Lingard Lane and Ashton Road where the Farmers Arms once stood.
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 Rev. William Vigor Fox and occupied by either James Hopwood or Joseph Sidebottom.
It closed sometime after 1881.
By 1841Alvanley House/Ajax Pit was open. This small pit was on Stockport Road practically opposite Bredbury Station but a little towards Woodley.
John Jowett owned the land it stood on.
It was probably closed by 1846.
By 1841Berrycroft Pit was open.
It was situated to the north of Berrycroft Lane, midway between Bents Lane and George Lane.
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 1841Rising Sun Pit was open.
This was on Stockport Road 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.
It closed before 1872.
1841The tithe map shows five current and/or former pits: Berrycroft, Clegg Gate, Hall Lane, Redhouse Lane and the Rising Sun.
1841-1846Bents Lane Pit opened but this must be contrasted with evidence that it opened in c.1850.
Ann Jowett had an interest in this pit at one stage.
It was situated on Stockport Road at the hamlet of Bentlane opposite to the junction of Bents Lane with Stockport Road. There was also an airshaft just off the right-hand side of Bents Lane, a short distance from its junction with Stockport Road, where Marina Road now is.
1841-1853Miner Farm Pit (Bredbury Coal Pit) opened.
This pit was situated just to the west of Mill Lane, Woodley, south of Miner Farm. It closed sometime after 1872.
Early in the 20th century, some houses had to be demolished due to subsidence caused by Miners Farm Pit.
1846The rate book shows three working collieries: Bents Lane (End), Bredbury House Fold and the Rising Sun.
1849The rate book shows that Ann Jowett had an interest in Rosemary Mine but the exact whereabouts of this coal mine is unknown.
1849-1853The lack of mention of some pits in the rate book suggests that they may have closed.
20 Dec 1850The 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.
1850-1853Black Mine Colliery was opened. Also known as Bredbury Colliery or Demesne Pit.
This pit had one vertical shaft and one drift shaft. It was situated in Beet Field, south of Turner Lane. It was east-northeast of the Horsfield Arms at a distance of 36.8 chains. A tramway, 50.1-chains long, connected this pit to Bents Lane Pit (New Pit).
The 1841 tithe map shows that Robert Ashton owned the land.
1853The rate book mentions Black Mine Colliery at Beet Field for the first time, aka as Bredbury Colliery and Demesne Pit.
1853-1854Black Mine Colliery.
J & J Jowett owned and occupied this pit as well as Bents Pit (New Pit).
1853John Stott of Castleton, Rochdale, Lancashire, acquired 2,000 acres of land in Bredbury, Romiley and Compstall to enable him to become a colliery proprietor in the district.
17 May 1854John Stott legally changed his name to John Stott Milne and the family surname was henceforth, Stott Milne. Sometimes this is referred to as Stott-Milne.
5 Sep 1854By 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 1857An accident occurred at New Pit, that is, Bents Pit.
28 Dec 1858John Stott Milne was no longer a partner in Samuel Wild & Co, trading as coal merchants at Bankhouse and Holebottom, near Shaw, Lancashire.
21 April 1859John 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 Lane in Water.
1850sThe Jowett family managed Black Mine Colliery and Bents Lane Pit.
Reports by the Inspector of Mines refer to several fatal accidents in Bredbury pits, some of which were reported in local newspapers.
14 Aug 1863By this time John Stott Milne was a proprietor of Black Park Colliery, Chirk, Denbigh.
1869Reference to the Bredbury Coal Company in Bredbury.
1872The Ordnance Survey map shows Black Mine Colliery as Bredbury Colliery.
By 1872Hyde 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 1872Woodley Precinct Pit was closed, the original name being unknown.
This was situated in a field north of the precinct near the bridge over the railway.
The land was owned and occupied by William Vaudrey.
1874Reference to the Bredbury Coal Company, Lingard Lane, Bredbury.
July 1875Black Mine Colliery, Bredbury, closed.
At the time of closure, Messrs J & R Stott Milne owned this pit. All the machinery, rails and materials were removed by December 1875.
Messrs J & R Stott Milne were John and Robert, respectively, who were father and son.
1876Bents Lane Pit was closed.
15 Feb 1878John Stott Milne ceased to be a proprietor of Black Park Colliery, Chirk, Denbigh. This colliery remained open until 1949.
1879-1881Lancashire 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 Clegg Livesey and Thomas Livesey†, the former owners of Bredbury Colliery, the defendants. The documents include:
Several valuations of Bredbury Colliery.
Pleading of the case.
Evidence of Mr Stott Milne.
Some solicitors' letters.
Plan of Bredbury Colliery Tunnel.
Plaintiffs plan of Black Mine Bredbury Colliery.
This case concerned the alleged fraudulent sale of Black Mine Colliery and the documents eventually found there way into the records of the National Coal Board (NCB).

†The Liveseys were the owners of Bradford Colliery, Bradford, Manchester.
1880There is a record of the Bredbury Coal and Iron Company.
1881Bents Lane Pit was reopened.
1881 CensusRecord of a coal pit off Mill Lane, Bredbury.
The engine drivers were John Potts, aged 48 years, of Adlington, Cheshire, and his son, Daniel Potts, aged 18 years, of Bredbury.
Record of a coal pit in the vicinity of Bents Lane, Bredbury.
The engine driver was John Spencer, aged 25 years, of Bredbury.
John Leech, aged 45 years, of Ashton-under-Lyne, was an unemployed colliery engine driver living at the Rising Sun Inn on Stockport Road, Bredbury.
John Bollard, aged 37 years, of Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley, Yorkshire, was a colliery engine driver living on Stockport Road, Bredbury.
Records of coal miners living in Bredbury can also be found in the 1881 Census.
1880sBlack Mine Colliery.
The former manager's house and weigh office collapse into the shaft.
1889-1892The sinking of two shafts took place on Lingard Lane.
This new pit was known as Bredbury Colliery or Lingard Lane Collieries and it was initially operated by Messrs J & R Stott Milne.
Once this had become fully operational it was only working pit in Bredbury. It was situated on the north side of Lingard Lane, close to its junction with Ashton Road and the Horsfield Arms.
For details of the shaft sinking see below a cutting from the Manchester Times dated 27 May 1892.
25 May 1893Bents Lane Pit was 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.
1895There was a miners' strike at Bredbury Colliery about work on the Roger Mine (seam).
For details of the strike see below a cutting from the Manchester Times dated 18 January 1895.
1896Bredbury Colliery, Lingard Lane, Bredbury.
The manager was Ed 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 1898John Stott Milne and Robert Stott Milne, operating as Messrs J & R Stott Milne and trading as colliery proprietors were declared bankrupt and the receivers were called in. The company had been in financial difficulties for several years.
1899The Bredbury Colliery Company was formed 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 Rev. William Vigor Fox.
1902The proprietors of Bredbury Colliery were James Dobson & Co Ltd.
8 Apr 1907Robert Stott Milne died in Hulme, Manchester, aged 53 years. His age was recorded as 56 years but his birth was registered in Castleton Further, Rochdale, in 1854, which sets his age as 53 years.
1908Bredbury Colliery Company Ltd, Lingard Lane, Bredbury.
The manager was W McKay and there were 285 underground workers and 30 surface workers.
Jan-Mar 1909A strike occurred at Bredbury Colliery.
1912Ownership of Bredbury 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 1913John 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.
1918Bredbury Colliery Company Ltd, Lingard Lane, Bredbury.
The manager was Ed Jackson, the under manager was H Jackson and there were 183 underground workers and 29 surface workers.
Mar 1921There was a discipline incident at Bredbury Colliery.
1923Bredbury Colliery Company Ltd, Lingard Lane, Bredbury.
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.
1926The 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 Bredbury Colliery was stopped until 1929.

It is understood that Black Mine Colliery was briefly opened during the General Strike and during other strikes in the 1920s and 1930s.
1929Bredbury Colliery was sold to an unknown person with colliery interests in the north.
Jul 1930A report was published entitled 'Developments at Bredbury Colliery'.
18 Jul 1932A petition was presented for Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd to be wound up. See Gazette Notice below.
13 Sep 1932The petition to wind up Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd was heard before the County Court of Cheshire held at Stockport. See Gazette Notice below.
5 May 1936It was reported that Bredbury Colliery was officially closed for economic reasons and because of flooding.
However, it seems that this report was incorrect.
1938Bredbury Colliery Company Ltd, Lingard Lane, Bredbury.
The manager was William Graham and there were 2 underground workers and 9 surface workers.
1939-45There are eyewitness accounts during the Second World War of miners walking home from Bredbury to Denton along Stockport Road, Beat Bank, at the end of their shift.
1952 - Jun 1954National Archives, Kew, London. Ref. FV2937.
Records created or inherited by the National Coal Board and/or related bodies.
Bredbury Colliery Company Ltd, North Western Division.
9 Oct 1956The name of Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd will be struck off the register of companies at the expiration of three months from this date hereof and the company will be dissolved.
15 Feb 1957The name of Bredbury Colliery Co Ltd was struck off the register of companies and was, therefore, dissolved.
1957The shaft of Bents Lane Pit was rediscovered in the back garden of the dry-cleaner's shop on Stockport Road. It was subsequently filled in.
1961The surface remains of Bredbury Colliery were demolished using explosives.
1973Black Mine Colliery, Bredbury.
Harry Ogden, the farmer of Mill Hill Farm, rediscovered the shafts during landscaping work.
Sep 1976Two 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.
Present dayFernhill House on Lingard Lane, the former manager's house/office at Bredbury Colliery, is still extant.

Bredbury Colliery (Lingard Lane Collieries), 1910.

In 1946 the London Scottish and Midland Railway Company, owner of the former Great Central & Midland Joint Railway, proposed that the connection to Lingard Lane Colliery Sidings should be removed. The plans for this were drawn up by the Chief Engineer's Department for the Derby North District. This indicates that Bredbury Colliery was no longer producing coal by this time.

Bredbury Colliery, Final Years
Year Employees
Under Ground Above Ground
1923 & 1933 186 27
1937 10 13
1938 2 9

In the County Court of Cheshire, holden at
No. 2 of 1932

In the Matter of the BREDBURY COLLIERY COMPANY Limited, and in the Matter of the Companies Act, 1929.

NOTICE is hereby given that a petition for the winding-up of the above named Company by the County Court of Cheshire, holden at Stockport was, on the 18th day of July, 1932, presented to the said Court by Alexander Fingland Jack, of Pall Mall, in the city of Manchester; and that the said petition is directed to be heard before the Court, sitting at The Court House, Vernon Street, Stockport, on the 13th day or September, 1932; and any creditor or contributory of the said Company desirous to support or oppose the making of an Order on the said petition may appear at the time of hearing, in person or by his Solicitor or his Counsel, for that purpose; and a copy of the petition will be furnished to any creditor or contributors of the said Company requiring the same by the undersigned, on payment of the regulated charge for the same.
Dated this 12th day of August, 1932.
JAMES CHAPMAN and CO., John Dalton Street, Manchester, Solicitors for the said Petitioner.

NOTE. Any person who intends to appear on the hearing of the said petition must serve on, or send by post to, the above named, James Chapman & Co., notice in writing of his intention so to do. The notice must state the name and address of the person, or, if a firm, the name and address of the firm, and must be signed by the person or firm, or his or their Solicitor (if any), and must be served, or, if posted, must be sent by post in sufficient time to reach the above named not later than six o'clock in the afternoon of the 12th day of September, 1932.

Ref. The London Gazette, Issue 33854, Page 5239, dated 12 August 1932

Bredbury Colliery (Lingard Lane Collieries), c.1946.

This view is from the former toll house that stood at the junction of Lingard Lane and Ashton Road. An air-raid shelter stands by the side of Lingard Lane 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 and office, 1984.

Credit: J S Oliver.

For more details about Bredbury pits use the following menu:

In Memoriam & Mining Injuries
Bredbury Colliery Co's Advertisements
Roll of Bredbury Miners in 1881

Addendum - Difficulties at Bredbury Colliery
William Ollerenshaw became the manager in mid-1915, following his dismissal from Denton Colliery. On Sunday, 26 December 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.