The Failed Collieries
Following the discovery of coal in Kent in 1890, there were initial predictions of at least 20 pits in Kent. Such claims for the Kent coalfield turned out to be over-ambitious and over-inflated.
Four collieries were finally established in Kent and an overview of each of them can be found on this site.
Interestingly, five other collieres were attempted but unfortunately failed to ever go into operation.
Guilford Colliery, also known as Waldershare Colliery, was started by Arthur Burr’s Foncage Syndicate in 1906. Located in an isolated rural spot, all equipment and materials had to be hauled over farm fields or down muddy tracks, an impossibility in winter.
Guilford Colliery c. 1925
Three shafts were sunk but water was discovered at 1346ft and work stopped in 1910. Guilford Colliery was sold, together with Stonehall Colliery, to a French company in 1919 who tried to use cementation to seal the shafts from water. This failed and the colliery was abandoned in 1921.
Guilford Colliery 1910
Hoppit full of miners 1910
Woodnesborough Colliery was also known as Hammill Colliery. In 1910, two shafts were commenced in 1910 Burr's Goodnestone & Woodnesborough Colliery Ltd and an extensive range of surface buildings were erected.
Surviving buildings - 2001
The Colliery was mothballed in 1914 and, apart from the wooden headgear erected over one shaft, was still complete in 1923 when it was sold to Pearson & Dorman Long. Pearson & Dorman Long kept the mineral rights and sold the colliery to the Hammill Brick Co.
Remains of Woodnesborough Colliery 2001
Now part of the Hammill brickworks site
This was commenced near West Langdon by Burr’s Intermediate Equipments Ltd in 1910. Some surface buildings were erected and boreholes drilled, however no shafts appear to have been started before it was abandoned.
Wingham Colliery 1912
Wingham Colliery was commenced in 1910 by a Burr's Wingham & Stour Valley Collieries Ltd. A wide range of surface buildings were erected and two shafts were dug, but when these shafts hit water there were not enough resources to buy and install pumps. The Colliery was mothballed until it was sold to a grain miller in 1924.
View of the Colliery 1913
Stonehall Colliery was started in 1913 by two French brothers. A range of surface buildings were erected, but in 1914 following the outbreak of the First World War, the owners returned to France and the Colliery was abandoned.
Building Stonehall Colliery Chimney 1913
The Colliery was left derelict until 1919, whereupon it was purchased by the French company that took over Guilford. The Colliery was abandoned again in 1921 and partly demolished.
Demolition of Stonehall Colliery. 1920's
Surviving building 2000