Friends secure funding for reconstruction of historic winding engine house

Great News!

The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery (FOHC) are delighted to announce that we have received commitments of the funds needed to reconstruct the roof of the historically important 1846 Vertical Winding Engine House.



Detail of 1846 winding engine house

Our Purpose

The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery was formally constituted in 2014 with the aim of protecting the site. Since then through our volunteer work days, we have cleared many parts of the site, researched the history of the site, raised awareness, and prepared for the refurbishment works.

Vital Support

Allocation of funds has been secured from the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP), The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) and Subterranea Britannica (SUBBRIT)




This tremendous support means that when reconstruction work is complete:

  • This important building will be made safe and weatherproof, enabling volunteers to work safely inside it and visitors to access it
  • The two winding engines contained in the building will be protected from the elements and work on their conservation and restoration can commence
  • The FoHC can start planning for wider public access to this building



Winding engine house viewed from Wath Road

Heritage in Danger

This stone built vertical winding engine house, constructed around 1845 is understood to be the only example from the UK coal industry in its original location. Its survival is unusual given the previous approach to demolishing end of life colliery buildings and structures.


1880s advertising billhead view of Hemingfield Colliery from the canal basin, showing winding house, left of centre

Since the site was last regularly occupied (c1985) the roof, as with the other site structures, has deteriorated and some alarming gaps have become evident over the past 18 months which have prompted efforts to fund reconstruction of the roof.


(Aerial shot of headgears and winding engine house in centre, courtesy James Marshall)


Conservation: Plan of Works

With the funding now in place, it is hoped work can begin straightaway, and will comprise:

  • Removal of all existing slates and the retention of as many as possible for reuse
  • Removal of all roofing battens
  • Removal of the rafters and most of the timberwork from the L shaped wing
  • Replacement of all timber removed with new treated timber
  • Reinstatement of the coping stones and ridge tiles and repointing the wall tops
  • Re-roofing the whole building with reclaimed welsh slate to the same size and standard as the existing (and of course reusing the recovered slates)
  • Installing guttering, downpipes and related materials to replace original items

All of this work is expected to take around 12 weeks and will be completed to “heritage” specifications to match as closely as possible, the original building materials.


1920/1 period photograph after coal winding ended in May 1920 showing winding engine house (George Beedan Collection)


Steve Grudgings, Chair of the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery, said:

“ As a group of dedicated volunteers we’re delighted that we’re now in a position where we can carry out significant building work that will protect the building and help us move forward with the next phase of the work. The support of the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Association for Industrial Archaeology and Subterranea Britannica are all very welcome and are vital in helping secure the future of the site.”

More about our supporters

Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP)

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) is a five-year scheme, running until June 2019 focusing on the historic buildings and landscapes of the Dearne Valley, working with the local communities to protect, preserve and enhance the area. The DVLP is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund with a grant of almost £1.8m. More information can be found at

The DVLP office is based at Elsecar Heritage Centre. The lead partner of the DVLP is Barnsley Council with a partnership that includes Rotherham and Doncaster Councils, the RSPB, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Garganey Trust and Groundwork South Yorkshire.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of almost £1.8m to Barnsley MBC for the project The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership: Revealing the Hidden Dearne Valley. The five-year project addresses the conservation, management, protection and promotion of the built and industrial heritage, environment and biodiversity of the Dearne Valley.

Association for Industrial Archaeology( AIA)

The AIA is the national organisation for people who share an interest in Britain’s industrial past. It brings together groups and individuals with an interest and expertise in identifying, recording, preserving and presenting the remains of the industrial past. The AIA works with other groups to protect Britain’s heritage and represent Britain on The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). Please see website for further details:

Subterranea Britannica (Sub Brit)

Subterranea Britannica is a UK-based society for all those interested in underground structures and space. Founded in 1974, the society (often known simply as Sub Brit) seeks to advance education and science for public benefit by the study, understanding, recording and (where practical) the preservation and protection of man-made and man-used underground structures, objects and spaces. This covers all manner of underground sites, from Neolithic flint mines to nuclear bunkers. See website for further details:

See also:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.