Building record MNT27853 - Bilsthorpe Colliery Village


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Grid reference Centred SK 64614 60842 (954m by 673m)
Map sheet SK66SW
District Newark
Civil Parish Bilsthorpe, Newark


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Before the arrival of the colliery Bilsthorpe was a small agricultural village with medieval origins.1
In 1925 the Stanton Ironworks Company began sinking a pit to the north of the old village on
land leased from Lord Savile of Rufford. A brickyard was started on the site providing material for the works and housing. Part of the Old Rectory opposite the church was taken over as offices by the ompany. Stanton was a highly regarded industrial concern from near Ilkeston (Derbyshire), which was established in 1855 and had one of the largest pipe foundries in the country. The company sunk its first collieries at Teversal (1868) and Silverhill (1875), which necessitated a new mining village clled Stanton Hill. A little later they were pioneering the exploitation of the concealed coalfield
to the north of Mansfield at Pleasley.2 Stanton Hill and Pleasley bare similar architectural characteristics to the interwar buildings at Bilsthorpe, though these places were considerably less isolated. More building took place at Bilsthorpe after the Second World War, and the colliery eventually closed in 1997. The colliery buildings were demolished and a business park has been developed on part of the site. Oddly, the pumphouse survived. This was formally used to
transfer colliery water to the lagoons. (1)
Housing: The layout and housing was designed by the architects A.E. Lambert and Anderson Trotter of Nottingham.3 Lambert was already well regarded for his work in Nottingham, such as the Midland Station and Albert Hall (both Grade II listed). At Bilsthorpe Lambert and Trotter designed in the arts and crafts style with brick, roughcast render and occasional classical proportions. The first housing was laid out on a diagonal grid parallel with Eakring Road towards The Crescent to the rear. The houses are generally arranged in short terraces of four units or as semi-detached blocks, as shown on the Ordnance Survey map revision of 1939. The houses are of brick, with some blocks completely or partially rendered. Front and rear gardens were provided. Archive plans suggest the houses were designed with three bedrooms with a front door leading to a small stair hall. The contractor was J. C. Short, who was advertising for bricklayers in 1925. The management structure of the colliery company was neatly underpinned by the design of the estate. The colliery manager’s house was positioned at a considerable distance from the estate but in view of the headstocks.5 This can still be seen on Deerdale Lane and is a large detached house, named ‘The Hill’. Officials and skilled workers were housed in semi-detached parlour housing on Eakring Road, nearest to the colliery entrance. Miners occupied the smaller non-parlour housing to the rear, each with 3 bedrooms and ground
floor bathrooms. Houses along Savile Road were more spacious and desirable (some with hipped roofs) and positioned closest to Eakring Road. New building took place to the north of Mickledale Road from the 1950s, with brick built houses by the local district council. More expansion to the west of the original village followed with pre-fabricated concrete houses built by the National Coal Board.
These were known as Cornish Type houses and designed by A. E. Beresford & R. Tonkin. Most of the Cornish Type 1 houses were later considered defective and have subsequently been reclad, though
some of the distinctive mansard roofs have survived. Amenities: A sports field, pavilion, village hall, and institute (since demolished) were provided by the colliery company. A miners’ welfare institute
was built to the designs of Michael Moss in Modernist style in 1958, on the site of the demolished St Luke’s Church. The design was considered noteworthy and a set of photographs of the newly completed building is held in the RIBA Architecture Image Library. Memorials and Heritage: A winding wheel has been erected at the site of the colliery, and a mining heritage museum was opened near the village hall in 2014. Other memorials include a stone carving of a large miners’ Davy
lamp, inscribed with the names of those who had been killed at the colliery was unveiled in 2011. A statue of a miner was erected outside the pit but was later moved to the Bilsthorpe Heritage
Museum. This commemorates the three miners who were killed in the disaster at Bilsthorpe Colliery in August 1993. Three mining union banners are also on display at the museum. Other Buildings:
On The Crescent the Church of St Luke was a semi-permanent structure of timber and brick which was dedicated in 1932. It was initiated by the colliery company to counter the influence of the local
rector at St Margaret’s Church who was encouraging strike activity and membership of the Nottinghamshire Miners’ Association. Its history though brief, is a neat example of how colliery companies could seek to try and depoliticise miners.8 Nevertheless it was abandoned by 1939 and was later demolished. (1)

The Stanton Arms pub on Mickledale Lane seems to be part of the
original layout and is shown on a map of 1939. This is an impressive
brick arts and crafts building, with hung tiles,* decorated chimney
stacks and roughcast render. The Crompton View School was built
by the County Council to plans approved in 1926. The building
is of brick in classical style, probably to designs by the County
Architect’s team. After the Second World War the County Council
built Bilsthorpe Library using their prefabricated modernist CLASP
system, finished with timber cladding. CLASP buildings were
designed to be resilient to movement in mining areas. The essential
component was a pin-jointed steel frame that could ride on a raft
foundation with spring loaded cross bracing

<1> Chris Matthews, 2022, Model Villages of the Nottinghamshire Coalfield (Published document). SNT5309.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Published document: Chris Matthews. 2022. Model Villages of the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. Nottinghamshire County Council.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Record last edited

May 17 2023 12:30PM

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