Coal seams under Thurcroft

See also: The main main coal mining page

There were 4 deep mining pits in the villages area that closed in the early to mid 1990s i.e. Dinnington, Kiveton, Shireoaks and Thurcroft, (and dozens of others of the Yorks and Notts coalfields – see List of pits 1987).These figures are taken at the Thurcroft Main colliery downcast shaft, sunk in 1909-1912 (116m above sea level, Lat 53 deg 24′ 4″ N, Long 1 deg 14′ 56″ West, dip of strata 1 in 20 (from Sections of Strata of the Coal Measures of Yorkshire, Univ of Sheffield, 1950). The strata are not just coal seams of course, there were 129 different layers of rock identified above the shafton seam, including 5 other thin coal seams.

Coal seams of the Yorks/East Mids coalfields, taken at Thurcroft Main colliery downcast shaft.

Coal SeamDescriptionApprox depth (m)Approx depth (m)at Kiveton
Shafton SeamIndustrial & Brick Making Coal. Also known as the Billingley, Heringthorpe , or Nostell Seam30045
Swinton Pottery SeamA poor quality coal, used for brick making. Also called Wheatworth or C astleford 4 foot coal , or Batesons Bed .55080
Aston Common SeamA household coal also used for coke making. Also called Meltonfield Wath Wood Wakefield Muck , or Clowne coal.575190
Fox Earth CoalDesignated Coal and Bat (inferior)600218
Sough Coal.The seam was rarely worked and was often split by a dirt parting. Also called Two Foot Seam Royston Cat Coal , or Halfyard Seam .615231
Furnace CoalThis seam is called the Winter seam north of Barnsley and the Abdy seam south of the town. A household coal not mined extensively because the roof of the seam was often a shaly mudstone which made mining it difficult.Also called Scale coal .630241
The Top and Low Beamshaw SeamsThese seams produce a good household coal with a low sulphur content but are often split by shales and in places they are separated by 10m of dirt.Also called Stanley Main coal.650257
High Hazels SeamA good household coal, often mined. AKA Kents Thick Mapplewell . The seam is split by a thin dirt parting known locally as Bannocking dirt.665284
Top Hards seam AKA the Barnsley SeamThis was the most important seam in the coal field and 50% of the coalfields’ output came from this seam. .
At Thurcroft the average thickness was about 1m to the south of the pit, and 1.5m to the north.
The geology gets a little confusing here because a fault plane crosses the area at circa 600m. However, Sections of Strata also recorded Swallow Wood, Lidgett, Joan, Parkgate, and Thorncliffe coals below the fault.
Base of lower Coal Measures350 million year old rock. Below this is Devonian rock836

Note how the same seams at Kiveton are much closer to the surface – partly explained by Kiveton’s shaft starting at 110m above sea level, but probably mostly due to Thurcroft being in the Maltby Trough and maybe displacement due to the fault called the Rotherham-Kiveton-Manton anticline.  

In the J31 area the most important seams are the Silkstone Parkgate Swallow Wood Barnsley TopHard and High Hazels seams. In general the upper seams like High Hazels are high oxygen readily burning coals, whereas the lower seams and low oxygen coal that can be made into coke (smoke free fuel).

See also:

The main coal mining page

List of Yorks pits 1987

Poem 1925: The man who gets the coal

What now for Coal? The Reign of King Coal pt II: 2008 – ?

Or maybe the party is nearly over – Peak Coal (2025?)