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The Staveley Coal and Iron Company.

Since 1786 Ward and Barrow had, had a blast furnace in the area of Staveley which for centuries had supported the making of iron. Barrow's works were by 1806 producing 596 tons of pig iron per annum. The works continued to prosper and by the 1840's George Hodgekinson Barrow was the proprietor of extensive foundries and collieries at Staveley and in the surrounding area. Barrow was a man of ambitious ideas and in the 1840's he came up with a plan to construct two large furnaces, extend the Chesterfield canal with the Norbriggs arm across the road and sink collieries along its banks. A large steam pumping engine was to be constructed of eighty horse power to drain the shallow wet mines.

After his death George Hodgekinson Barrow was succeeded by his son Richard who by 1862 was the owner of the largest collieries in Derbyshire capable of producing 800,000 tons of coal from the five shafts. One of which raised 1,100 tons of coal in a single twenty four hour period. Robert Barrow used the iron from his three foundries to produce castings of every description and in 1862 he produced the 4,000 tons of girders needed for the great exhibition centre without any problems in three months such was the size of the companies resources.

In 1863 Richard Barrow sold the firm to a joint stock company, the Staveley coal and iron company, the total capital subscribed was £600,000 which was raised in a few days. Richard Barrow of Ringwood Hall was one of the largest shareholders and was to act as chairman. One precondition of turning the company into a joint stock company was that Charles Markham was to become the managing director for a period of at least five years from the formation. At this time the company employed 3,000 workers, the collieries raised some 1,000,000 tons of coal per annum and the foundries and furnaces produced 20,000 tons of castings.

Charles Markham made the company expand rapidly and by 1878 the company had paid up capital of £1,326,000 owning outright and in partnerships several collieries, iron works and housing ventures around the country. His sons and grand sons were to continue the traditions of Charles Markham into the twentieth century.

On December 13th. 1960 the government of the day sold the Staveley Iron and Chemical company and its subsidiaries for £6,000,000, the sale included the Sheepbridge company which was taken over by the Staveley company in 1955, and three smaller iron companies.

Old Hollingwood Colliery.

13th August 1864.

On Thursday an inquest was held on the body of Jonathon Wagstaffe who was killed the previous day at Old Hollingwood colliery belonging to the Staveley Coal & Iron Company.

16th June 1869.

A collier was severely injured in the Old Hollingwood colliery on Sunday night by the premature explosion of a shot that he was preparing to fire. He was struck by a quantity of stone, which fractured his right arm and knocked his left hip out and severely cut his right shoulder and head.

13th August 1870.

A boy named Thomas Purdy aged thirteen of Brimington and engaged as a pony driver at the Old Hollingwood colliery was coming down part of the road in the colliery on when he had his light extinguished and he ran before his pony with its laden train of wagons. He was overtaken by it and knocked down and the first wagon passed over his right leg breaking both bones. He was promptly attended to by Dr. Hale of Barrow Hill and conveyed home.

Derbyshire Times. 29th. April 1865.

'The Staveley Coal and Iron Company stands at the head of all the limited companies of recent formation. The company have just declared a dividend at the rate of 25 percent per annum. It is said by eminent mineral men that though the valuation of these extensive works amount to £600,000 they have almost been given away at that price.'

Staveley Company Ltd.

19th December 1863.

The Staveley Works so long known as Mr. Barrows has been purchased by a Joint Stock Company and is to be known as the Staveley Collieries and Ironworks Company Ltd. Advancing age has made M. Barrow desire to be relieved from a considerable proportion of the care and anxiety inseparable from the sole proprietorship of a large concern and he has consequently affected the sale. The total capital required of £600,000 was subscribed in two or three days without any prospectus or circular being issued.

2nd April 1864.

Easter Monday will be a red letter in the history of Staveley, the occasion being the opening of the new dining hall that has been built entirely at the expense of Mr. Barrow for providing the means for getting a dinner on the most moderate scale. The building, which is neat and unfussed, has cost Mr. Barrow a large sum of money and it reflects the highest credit on that gentleman’s liberality. The occasion was also intended to celebrate the rescue of twelve men and boys from the Spitalwell Ironstone mine. There were 250 persons present.

5th May 1877.

Walter Homer of Chesterfield, George Wilson of Bolsover and James Hudson of Brimington, sinkers were charged with following and intimidating William Spencer secretary to the Staveley Silkstone Colliery Company on thee 14th inst. The complainant stated that the Company were sinking a new pit in Speedwell Terrace Staveley. The contract for the sinking had been let to a man named Thorley and the defendants were employed as his workmen. Thorley had been paid weekly by the company for the amount of work done. On the day named on the summons Thorley had left the district and did not draw the money due to him from the company and has not been heard of since.

The secretary of the Company said he had in hand £20 due to Thorley but the wages owing to the men amounted to over £34. Acting on the instructions of his employers he declined to pay the men who were servants of Thorley the results being that on leaving the offices about twenty men including the defendants followed him using abusive language and threatening to do him violence unless he paid them. Superintendent Carlin happened to come up at the time and on his advice he paid the men half of what was owing as far as the money in hand would go. Wilson swore at him, Hudson went up to his door and would not let him close it. The Bench admitted the case was a hard one but there was no reason why they should have treated the complainant who was merely a servant in the manner they had. Wilson who appeared to be one of the ringleaders was fined £2 plus costs or six weeks imprisonment, the other two were fined £1 each plus costs or one month imprisonment.

12th November 1887.

Quite a gloom was cast over Staveley and district on Wednesday when it became known That Mr. Joseph Humble of The Cottage Staveley and Manager of the Staveley Coal and Iron Company’s collieries had died about 11.45 p.m. on Tuesday night. Mr. Humble attended to his duties on Monday but towards evening he complained of feeling unwell and shortly afterwards he was compelled to take to his bed. His illness gradually assumed more severe proportions until it developed into a more dangerous attack of pleurisy and inflammation of the lungs and not withstanding the efforts of Dr. Court of Staveley and Dr. Booth of Chesterfield who did all that was possible for the deceased gentleman their efforts proved of no avail.

Mr Humble who was about 45 years of age had been in charge of the whole of the Staveley collieries for nearly eleven years and was highly respected on all sides and much sympathy is felt for the bereaved family. Before Mr. Humble came into the district he had been in charge of a number of collieries at Pemberton near Wigan.

In 1877 soon after entering upon his duties at Staveley Mr. Humble became connected with the Chesterfield Institute of Engineers in whose affairs he took a keen interest.

26th March 1900.

Staveley House Coals.

The Staveley Coal and Iron Company will open their new coal depots at both the Midland and L.D. & E.C. Railway Stations on the 1st June for the sale of coals of every description.

Prices at the depots for cash:

Markham Best Cobbles 16/6d per ton,

Markham Second Cobbles 15/6d per ton,

Ireland Best House 16/6d per ton,
Ireland Best Washed Nuts 14/6d per ton,
Markham Best Brights 17/6d per ton
Barlborough Best Brights 17/6d per ton,
Seymour Best Brights 17/- per ton.

Also Best Silkstone House Coals from Hartington and Bonds Main Collieries,
Steam Coals from Warsop Main, Barlborough, Seymour and Markham Collieries,
The above prices do not include cartage, customers may send their own carts or if preferred can have the coal delivered to their houses.

Staveley Silkstone Colliery.

15th July 1896.

Samuel Taylor Manager at the Silkstone pit at the Staveley Colliery was charged at Chesterfield County Police Court by H. M. Inspector of Mines for neglecting to comply with the general rule of the Coal Mines Act by not causing an adequate amount of ventilation to be constantly produced to dilute and render harmless the noxious gases. The case was dismissed.

Derbyshire Times 31st. January 1863.

Two colliers William Hobson and Samual Cupit were charged with breach of colliery rules at Mr. Barrows works at Staveley. Mr. Joseph Hardy stated that on Friday last the defendants passed him and he warned them not to go that way as there was a fire board up. They both had naked lights and were going in the direction of Seymour colliery. The two pits had underground connections. Each sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment with hard labour.

The Local Staveley Company Collieries.

Albert 1854.
Arkwright 1938.
Bonds Main 1895-1898.
Calow Main 1899.
Calow Old Furnace 1851.
Campbell 1853.
Dowell Number Two 1921-24.
Farewell and Dowell double shafting done in 1863).
Handley Wood 1830.
Hollingwood 1843.
Hollingwood Common 1800.
Hopewell 1843.
Ireland 1874.
Markham No.1. 1880.
Markham No.2. 1886.
New Hollingwood/ Hartington Silkstone 1855.
Old Hollingwood 1848.
Ramcroft 1916-1929.
Saint Johns 1878.
Seymour 1858.
Speedwell 1841.
Springwell 1853.
Victoria 1847.
Warsop Main 1893.
Westwood 1854.

The Ward and Barrow. Barrow and Staveley companies also took over several other local collieries as leases ran out. They also owned many more than listed.
Staveley Lowerground Colliery Engine Shaft SK 47/57 430746


Derbyshire Courier. 11th July 1903.

Twenty- three feet of Unspragged Coal.

A Staveley collier named James Lygo was summoned at Chesterfield County Police Court on Saturday by William Bumpstead Manager of the St. John’s Colliery Staveley for a breach of special rule 72 by allowing overhanging coal in his stall to remain unspragged. Deputies Johnson and Watson stated that on visiting Lygo’s stall they found eighteen feet of overhanging coal four feet deep unspragged. The rule states that spraggs should be set not more than six feet apart. Lygo admitted the truth of the deputies statements but his defence was that a great portion of the coal was resting on a “Bunkie” there was no necessity to spragg it. The Bench imposed a fine of 10/- and costs.

Dowell Colliery.

19th August 1876.

On Saturday morning a boy named Stephenson aged 14 jumped on the last wagon going up the incline in the Dowell pit. When the other wagons passed by he was thrown off probably by a jerk when the wagons entered the junction. Immediately afterwards the down train struck the youth and sent him into a bolthole. In consequence of the serious fractures to one of his thighs and other wounds he was sent to the Chesterfield Hospital, on the way, however, he expired. The pit belongs to the Staveley Coal & Iron Company.

1st October 1921.

Sinking operations began this week at the new Dowell colliery at Staveley, for which the Staveley Coal & Iron Company has made preparations for some months. Engine houses have already been erected and these are all on modern lines and electrically equipped. All the machinery has been installed and the pit will be worked on up to date methods. It will find employment for a considerable number of men although it will be some months before they can start work. The seam to be worked is the Blackshale. The pit is quite near to the Devonshire Works and the coke ovens and chemical by products plant.

St. John's colliery. Staveley. 
Owner the Staveley Silkstone Colliery Company (Evans, Wigfield, and Co.), Staveley, Chesterfield. Manager Samuel Turner. Under Manager E. Moxon. 189 men underground. 34 men on the surface. Coal, Hard & Gas. Seam worked the Yard or Lower Saint John Seam. List of Mines worked under the Coal Mines Regulation Act, in Derbyshire, during the Year 1896.

St. Johns at SK 433739 was a shaft and a drift.  SK 429741 and was two shafts to left of cemetery and shown as old shafts, the map shows both collieries. (1890's).

Dowell Colliery.

19th August 1876.

On Saturday morning a boy named Stephenson aged 14 jumped on the last wagon going up the incline in the Dowell pit. When the other wagons passed by he was thrown off probably by a jerk when the wagons entered the junction. Immediately afterwards the down train struck the youth and sent him into a bolthole. In consequence of the serious fractures to one of his thighs and other wounds he was sent to the Chesterfield Hospital, on the way, however, he expired. The pit belongs to the Staveley Coal & Iron Company.

1st October 1921.

Sinking operations began this week at the new Dowell colliery at Staveley, for which the Staveley Coal & Iron Company has made preparations for some months. Engine houses have already been erected and these are all on modern lines and electrically equipped. All the machinery has been installed and the pit will be worked on up to date methods. It will find employment for a considerable number of men although it will be some months before they can start work. The seam to be worked is the Blackshale. The pit is quite near to the Devonshire Works and the coke ovens and chemical by products plant.

Ireland Colliery.

2nd November 1889.

On Saturday at Chesterfield County Police Court, George Wallis under viewer, Henry Jones lamp cleaner and George Cutts a fitter all employed at the Ireland Colliery belonging to the Staveley Company were summoned for having contravened the special rules of the colliery. Wallis was charged by allowing a naked light to be used in the mine on the 4th October. Jones it appeared had broken the special 59th rule by not properly putting together a lamp after having cleaned it. Cutts was summoned for using a naked light in the pit. Wallis and Jones pleaded guilty and Cutts not guilty. It was a serious offence and each of the defendants would be fined £1 and costs of
£1 – 8 –6d each for Wallis and Jones and £1 – 9 – 6d for Cutts or in default fourteen days imprisonment.

Markham Colliery.

28th October 1893.

The following statement has been forwarded for publication by the Staveley Coal and Iron Company that they will reopen their Markham No.1 pit next Monday 30th October at what is understood to be a living wage as follows: stall men 7/- per day, loaders 5/- per day. No stoppages from the above rates except house rent and club. A load of coal will be allowed to each householder once a month. The Company will provide tools. Signed Joseph Humble, Cert: Manager.

7th April 1939.

Five hundred men began work on the development section on the south side of Markham No.1 pit of the Staveley Coal and Iron Company on Tuesday. The development will also require a further one hundred men for whom work can be found immediately. The Blackshale seam on the east where 79 men lost their lives in the disaster last May has been drawn off and closed.

20th May 1854.

Springwell Colliery.

On Saturday evening, last a supper was given at The Crown Inn Staveley by Mr. R. Barrow to the men employed at the Springwell Colliery on the occasion of those pits being successfully completed for work. The company to the number of about thirty including the chief of the agents sat down to a supper which was ample and served up in Mrs. Swift’s usual good style. The greatest harmony prevailed during the evening and some very excellent songs were sung and the usual loyal and other toasts were given. The Staveley Band was also in attendance and enlivened the intervals with several select and well executed musical pieces. The meeting broke up before 12 o’clock having spent a very agreeable evening.

28th November 1863.

Springwell Colliery.

Mr. Barrow the proprietor of this colliery has given notice that from Monday “ he will during the winter months advance wages to the coal hewers on condition that the work is not neglected on Mondays/Tuesdays. Those who do so are to participate in the advance, it is understood the rise will be 1d, 2d, 3d per ton according to the part of the pit where the coal is got.”

12th November 1870.

Springwell Colliery.

On Saturday last two immense boilers weighing upwards of 13 tons each were conveyed from the Staveley Works by the aid of 12 powerful horses to that Company’s works at Springwell., where they will employed in making steam for a fan in connection with the colliery at that place. This fan is supposed to be the largest in the world.

Staveley Company Ltd. 

19th December 1863.

The Staveley Works so long known as Mr. Barrows has been purchased by a Joint Stock Company and is to be known as the Staveley Collieries and Ironworks Company Ltd. Advancing age has made M. Barrow desire to be relieved from a considerable proportion of the care and anxiety inseparable from the sole proprietorship of a large concern and he has consequently affected the sale. The total capital required of £600,000 was subscribed in two or three days without any prospectus or circular being issued.

2nd April 1864.

Easter Monday will be a red letter in the history of Staveley, the occasion being the opening of the new dining hall that has been built entirely at the expense of Mr. Barrow for providing the means for getting a dinner on the most moderate scale. The building, which is neat and unfussed, has cost Mr. Barrow a large sum of money and it reflects the highest credit on that gentleman’s liberality. The occasion was also intended to celebrate the rescue of twelve men and boys from the Spitalwell Ironstone mine. There were 250 persons present.

5th May 1877.

Walter Homer of Chesterfield, George Wilson of Bolsover and James Hudson of Brimington, sinkers were charged with following and intimidating William Spencer secretary to the Staveley Silkstone Colliery Company on thee 14th inst. The complainant stated that the Company were sinking a new pit in Speedwell Terrace Staveley. The contract for the sinking had been let to a man named Thorley and the defendants were employed as his workmen. Thorley had been paid weekly by the company for the amount of work done. On the day named on the summons Thorley had left the district and did not draw the money due to him from the company and has not been heard of since.
The secretary of the Company said he had in hand £20 due to Thorley but the wages owing to the men amounted to over £34. Acting on the instructions of his employers he declined to pay the men who were servants of Thorley the results being that on leaving the offices about twenty men including the defendants followed him using abusive language and threatening to do him violence unless he paid them. Superintendent Carlin happened to come up at the time and on his advice he paid the men half of what was owing as far as the money in hand would go. Wilson swore at him, Hudson went up to his door and would not let him close it. The Bench admitted the case was a hard one but there was no reason why they should have treated the complainant who was merely a servant in the manner they had. Wilson who appeared to be one of the ringleaders was fined £2 plus costs or six weeks imprisonment, the other two were fined £1 each plus costs or one month imprisonment.

Staveley Company Ltd. 

12th November 1887.

Quite a gloom was cast over Staveley and district on Wednesday when it became known That Mr. Joseph Humble of The Cottage Staveley and Manager of the Staveley Coal and Iron Company’s collieries had died about 11.45 p.m. on Tuesday night. Mr. Humble attended to his duties on Monday but towards evening he complained of feeling unwell and shortly afterwards he was compelled to take to his bed. His illness gradually assumed more severe proportions until it developed into a more dangerous attack of pleurisy and inflammation of the lungs and not withstanding the efforts of Dr. Court of Staveley and Dr. Booth of Chesterfield who did all that was possible for the deceased gentleman their efforts proved of no avail.
Mr Humble who was about 45 years of age had been in charge of the whole of the Staveley collieries for nearly eleven years and was highly respected on all sides and much sympathy is felt for the bereaved family. Before Mr. Humble came into the district he had been in charge of a number of collieries at Pemberton near Wigan.
In 1877 soon after entering upon his duties at Staveley Mr. Humble became connected with the Chesterfield Institute of Engineers in whose affairs he took a keen interest.













Richard Barrow's last resting place in Staveley Church.


Looking Down Barrow’s Staveley Lowerground Colliery Engine Shaft 
SK 47/57 430746



 
Collieries with notes on housing.

 
Albert 1854.
 
*Arkwright 1938. Village built previously.
 
Bonds Main 1895-1898. Village built at Bonds & Arkwright Town.
 
Calow Main 1899. Terrace row built at Calow Green, village built at Arkwright Town in 1897 for Calow Main, Bonds Main & the Railway company. Houses for officials and office buildings constructed on Bole Hill Calow. (Terraces on Dark Lane Calow may possibly have been built by them too).

Calow Old Furnace 1851.
 
Campbell 1853.
 
Dowell Number Two 1921-24.
 
Farewell and Dowell double shafting done in 1863).
 
Handley Wood 1830.
 
Hollingwood 1843.
 
Hollingwood Common 1800.
 
Hopewell 1843.
 
Ireland 1874. Poolsbrook village built to house the Staveley colliery and works, workers.

Markham No.1. 1880. Terrace rows and houses built to house the officials and management. Duckmanton estate built later for Markham men and others.

Markham No.2. 1886.
 
New Hollingwood/ Hartington Silkstone 1855. Housing built on site but later demolished.

Old Hollingwood 1848.
 
*Ramcroft 1916-1929. A few cottages as a terrace row built near to the site, now the Twin Oaks Motel which made all the cottages into one.

Saint Johns 1878. Speedwell village.

Seymour 1858. Village built on site. Most housing demolished in 1932 as ‘sub standard’ but some of the better buildings left in the mid 1950’s.
 
Speedwell 1841. Colliery and village built. Superseded by Ireland colliery. 1874. Also housed St. Johns colliers. Later demolished.
 
Springwell 1853.

Victoria 1847.

Warsop Main 1893. Colliery and colliery village built at Church Warsop.

Westwood 1854.

*Ramcroft & Arkwright sunk as collieries under their own company names but the directors of these companies were the same as the Staveley company with others. Usually family members. Also Markham Works at Chesterfield.

Barrow Hill was built by Richard Barrow in 1856 to house the iron workers and miners from the company’s original works, prior to it becoming a company. Later housing was built for the Devonshire Works further along towards Staveley.

The Staveley company was responsible for the building of Hollingwood, Poolsbrook, Duckmanton, Church Warsop and Netherthorpe.
 
Markham Works also had houses built for the workers and local miners (coal & ironstone) at Chesterfield. This may not have been built by the company but would in any case be part of the original Broad Oaks Works which Markham purchased.

 
Further Reading:
 
A Business History by S.D. Chapman. Stanton & Staveley. ISBN 0 85941 172 9.
 
A Study in Industrial & Social History. The Derbyshire Miners. J.E. Williams. (George Allen & Unwin).
 
 
 
 
neil@oldminer.co.uk
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