Records of coalmining in Denton and Haughton can be traced to the early 1700s and there are indications that it went much further back than this. One early record can be found in the Parish Registers of Denton Chapel (St Lawrence's Church) for 1743.
'Buried. John Bretland of Whernith, who was killed in ye Colepit in Haughton.'
There were numerous shallow pits throughout the townships of Denton and Haughton but the names, and even the whereabouts, of some of these are now lost. The sites of some of these can be found on old Ordnance Survey maps, where they are marked as 'Old Coal Shaft' or 'Old Air Shaft' but without names. The following is a list of some known coal mines (aka pits) together with available details.
Burton Nook Pit, Denton: There is some evidence that this was an 18th century pit in the hamlet of Burton Nook and the nearby Top Pit was probably contemporary with it. If it existed, then its location in the hamlet of Burton Nook is unknown. Ellis Pit (later Denton Colliery) was also referred to as Burton Nook Pit.
Top Pit, Denton: This pit was situated on the south side of Stockport Road, almost opposite the site of the later Ellis Pit. It was recorded on the 26 April 1849 that the Big and Roger Mines (seams) being worked at Top Pit were exhausted and this was said to be the date of its closure. However, the shaft remained in use as the headgear was still extant in the 1920s.
Adjoining Top Pit there was another shaft that was sometimes referred to as Air Pit and it is likely that this was used for ventilation purposes.
Ellis Pit, afterwards Denton Colliery, Denton: This pit was sunk in 1841 at Burton Nook on the north side of Stockport Road by John Fletcher, uncle of Jacob Fletcher Fletcher.
Great Wood Pit, Denton: This pit was situated about 525 yards south of Stockport Road between the top of Hardy Wood and Cemetery Road. After Ellis Pit/Denton Colliery, it was the second most important.
Hard Mine Pit, Denton: This pit was a short distance to the north of Hardy Wood, close to Great Wood Pit. As its name suggests, it was the Hard Mine (seam) that was being worked.
Horse Hole Pit, Denton: This pit was at the top of Hardy Wood, close to Great Wood Pit, and it was recorded that its shaft was being sunk in May 1846. It obtained its name from the entrance to the shaft, known as a 'horse hole, where horses were netted and lowered down the shaft to work underground. Hard Mine was worked in this pit.
Unidentified Coal Pit, Denton: There is slight evidence that there might have been a third pit in close proximity to Great Wood Pit but its location and identity are unknown.
Hulme's Pit, Denton: This pit was situated by Hulme's Lane at the foot of Beat Bank by the river Tame. It dates from c.1730 but at an unknown date it was taken over by the Fletcher family/Denton Colliery Co Ltd who eventually used it as both a coal mine and a pumping station.
It is likely that there were ancient and unrecorded drift mines in this vicinity that had been driven into the side of Beat Bank at points where natural outcrops of coal occurred.
Unidentified Drift Mine, Denton: This was situated by Hulme's Lane between Hulme's Pit and Stockport Road.
Donkey Pit, Denton: In Hulme's Wood close to Hulme's Pit and could be synonymous with it. It is believed that it got its name from a horse gin used for winding purposes.
Unidentified Coal Pits, Denton: These adjoined Hulme's Pit and it is likely that they were earlier bell pits that were superceded by Hulme's Pit.
Unidentified Old Coal Pit, Denton: Further along Hulme's Lane, by the river Tame, there was an 'Old Coal Pit' roughly opposite Arden Mill.
Arden Colliery, Lower Haughton: Situated near Arden Bridge over the river Tame.
Bayley Pool Pit, Denton: This pit was situated in Reddish Vale between the southern end of Horse Close Wood and a loop in the river Tame known as Bayley Pool.
Dark Lane Pit, Haughton Green: Situated on the east side of Dark Lane, now called Mill Lane.
Hardfield Pit, Haughton Green: Situated on the east side of Dark Lane, now called Mill Lane.
Broomstair Colliery, Haughton: Situated on the south side of Hyde Road, close to Broomstair Bridge over the river Tame.
An early reference to this pit is to be found in Wheeler's Manchester Chronicle for the 14 January 1809:
Nathan Hyde, son of John Hyde, was born in Denton on the 12 March 1762.
Another reference is for an unnamed coal pit shown at the location of Broomstair Colliery on the 1848 Ordnance Survey map.
From 1859 until c.1878 Broomstair Colliery was operated by Messrs Silas Leigh and John Bradbury who also operated Clayton Colliery in Manchester. They were followed by the Hyde and Haughton Coal Company from c.1878 until 1889. By 1889 Broomstair Colliery and the nearby Hyde Colliery (aka Hyde Lane Pit) were both operated by the Hyde and Haughton Coal Company (aka the Hyde and Broomstair Coal Company) and the proprietors at this time were the brothers Joseph Watson Sidebotham MP (1857-1925) and James Nasmyth Sidebotham (1864-1904), of Bowdon, Cheshire, who were local landowners. From 1889 until the ultimate closure and abandonment in 1898 it was operated by the Dukinfield Coal and Cannel Company.
Some Broomstair Colliery employees were found work at the nearby Hyde Colliery and one of these, Thomas Shaw aged 35 years, was killed in the Hyde Colliery Explosion that occurred seventeen days later on the 18 January 1889.
In spite of the above report, Broomstair Colliery did not close. Following the flooding it was was sold to the Dukinfield Coal and Cannel Company, which was the new name of the Dukinfield Coal Company. Later, the name of this company was changed again to Dukinfield Collieries Ltd.
In 1896 there were 298 underground workers and 65 surface workers. The Manager was Richard Clay and the Under Manager was James Gee. The Great and Roger Mines were being worked
Jet Amber Pit, Haughton: Situated in Jet Amber Fields in the vicinity of Farmers Fold on the north side of Hyde Road. This pit worked the Old and New Jet Amber Mines.
Unidentified Pit, Haughton: Situated in the vicinity of Quebec Street on the east side of Ashton Road, between Greswell Street and Tame Street.
Unidentified Pit, Haughton: Situated in the vicinity of Pit Street on the east side of Stockport Road. The Jolly Hatters stands on the corner of Pit Street and Stockport Road.
Albert Pit, Haughton: Off Tib Street, behind the Masons Arms Public House at Three Lane Ends. It was owned by the Denton Colliery Co Ltd. It is understood that this pit closed in 1886.
Parsonage Pit, Haughton: Situated between Tib Street and Vaudrey Lane, it was about 250 feet from the north-west corner of the Old St Lawrence's Rectory, at the bottom of Vaudrey Lane. It was owned by the Denton Colliery Co Ltd. It is understood that this pit closed in 1886.
Sycamore Pit, Haughton: This pit was said to have stood on the corner of Tib Street and its name might be synonymous with Roger Mine Pit. It was in close proximity to Albert Pit and Parsonage Pit. There was a Sycamore Inn off Tib Street that stood at the back of St Lawrence’s cricket ground on land between Tib Street and Whittles Farm. The cricket ground is at Sycamore Park, Clayton Street.
Victoria Colliery, Haughton Green: This colliery was owned by Thomas Shaw & Sons but its location is uncertain. In 1873 it was purchased by the Denton Colliery Co Ltd
Unidentified Pit, Haughton Green: Behind the Wesleyan Chapel (Haughton Green Methodist Church) on Two Trees Lane.
Nibble and Clink Pit, Haughton Green: Sometimes known as Nibble/Nibland Pit, it was situated on the north side of Haughton Green Road behind the Bay Horse Public House opposite the entrance to Gibraltar Lane. It is understood that the pub was named after a favourite pit pony.
It is believed that a Newcomen type atmospheric steam engine was installed here and the pit got its name from the noise made by the flat winding rope used.
King Pit, Haughton Green: Adjoining Betty's Park (later Tommy Dodd).
Clinker Pit, Haughton Green: Situated on Worth's Lane opposite St Mary's Church. The last record of mining activity at this pit was in 1882.
No doubt this pit received its name from the type of ash produced when its coal was burnt. Clinker consists of a hard mass of ash and partially fused coal.
Unidentified Pit, Haughton Green: Situated about 275 yards east south east of Haughton Terrace on Meadow Lane. This pit closed sometime in the second half of the 19th century and was not marked as an 'Old Shaft' on Ordnance Survey maps at the turn of the 20th century. Access to it from Haughton Green Road was by way of a lane where Church Avenue and Rivermead Road now stand.
Haughton Colliery, Haughton Green: Situated at Glass House Fold on the south side of Mill Lane in the angle formed by the lane and the river Tame. This colliery was owned by Thomas Shaw & Sons.
Dans Wood Drift Mine, Haughton Green: Situated at Glass House Fold in the valley side.
Wilton Pit, Denton: Existence and location uncertain.
Angel Pit, Haughton: Hearsay evidence only. If it existed, then it was probably located near the Angel Inn on Hyde Road.
Unidentified Air Shaft, Denton: On the west side of Seymour Street, north of Holland Street. The shaft was around 167 yards deep and it was near the Pentecostal Church. The National Coal Board filled and capped this shaft in 1965.
Unidentified Pit, Haughton: On the south side of Hyde Road, opposite St Anne's Road. This pit was close to Broomstair Colliery.
Unidentified Pit, Haughton Green: About 330 yards almost due south of Glass House Fold, alongside the river Tame.
Unidentified Air Shaft, Haughton: About 235 yards north east of St Anne's Church. This air shaft may have been associated with Broomstair Colliery.
Notes: In 1821, Robert Lowe was a coal proprietor in Haughton and Joseph Dickinson, in his List of Mines for 1854, states that Thomas Shaw and Messrs Leigh and Bradbury were coal proprietors in Haughton.
The following coal mines were also recorded as being owned by the Denton Colliery Co Ltd. Reference: Collieries of the United Kingdom at Work in 1880.
Albert Pit, Westhoughton, Lancashire.
Parsonage Pit, Bolton, Lancashire.