Arley Wood coal mine is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

Steve B

Today we went on a mission to find old coal mine workings in the Arley Wood area of Blackrod, we found the remains of two workings and a drainage sough for another old mine and the Leed's Liverpool canal.

The old stream ran down a valley at this location over 200 years ago, about half a mile upstream coal was washed, then the Leed's Liverpool canal was built over it , they built a stone and brick tunnel to carry the stream then filled in on top to construct the canal over it in 1795.

This is the exit around 80ft below the canal

and the view from inside around 70ft+ inside

There are some very interesting looking mineral deposits hanging down

And looking up at around 45 degrees you can see the overflow for the canal at the top

looking further along the tunnel the construction changes from stone block to brick, around 300 yds further the roof is buckling and is NOT safe so we didn't go there

A view of the valley wall's, you can see at top sandstone and below this is shale, the coal is not much further down under the shale.

and here is where the fun begins, you can see the red discoloration caused by the minerals in the old mine workings, spring water is always coming out here and was always a problem in mining days


and the reason for the fence, a very deep brick lined mine shaft, some of these went down 137ft

but no fence around this one, it's full of debris but you could easily get your leg stuck


another drainage sough further down stream

and looking down it, as you walk up the hill behind there are scary looking brown rings of mud which are old mine shafts, you would be very foolish to walk on these for obvious reasons

Last edited by a moderator:

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Very interesting Steve!

The tunnel for the stream is great. It reminds me of shortcuts taken around our neck of the woods to meet the local need. At some point someone must have decided it would be easier to complete the tunnel with brick, or, is it possible they started with brick construction and transitioned to stone?

The sign that reads "The Coal Authority apologizes for any inconvenience cause by these works" sounds very PC. ;) At least they didn't resort to bulldozers to "make it safe" like they do here.

It's cool that your little guys got to go on this adventure. :cool: Ya'll be careful and watch out for those ventilation shafts.

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Forgot to ask, are there any remnants of structures from the mines? I take it from the depth you quoted (137') that these were slope mines or verticle shafts. There should have been hoisting equipment, shops, boilers houses, pumps, etc. Are they all gone?

Also, who mined Arley Wood and where did the product end up? Is any of that known? I'm wondering also about the area rail system.

Sorry for all the questions. Our trips tend to yield more questions than answers. :eek:
Last edited by a moderator:

Steve B

There are no remains left of any structures at all, there would have been a simple A frame type structure and a small steam powered winch, but they also used "horse" power. The coal from this mine would be taken upto the canal and also to the adjasent railway from Adlington to Standish for connections to Wigan.

53°35'32.35"N 2°37'0.22"W

This is a map of the rail network as of early 1900

The line just south on the approach to Boars head had an 86ft high wrought iron viaduct of seven spans, it and all the stonework are long gone
BOTTOM PICTURE The Canal at Red Rock crossed the railway via an aquaduct which is still standing, see bottom picture

and today


and just down the line is the old Red Rock station, now a house

Steve B

And this is my Granddad down Ellerbeck pit in 1962, all these pit's were very close together, in this picture a new piece of equipment is being demonstrated

And this is the type of pit head gear which would be found down Arley wood and all the other small pit's around in the early victorian era

grove den

naturally natural trees
Steve AND Grandeman Great pictures and comments/stories you post overhere in this forum!! Very, very intresting!!
Here in my country( = my neighbourhood!) nothing remains/ is left from those "black gold" decades during 1930 till 1970..only some small buildings...


Steve B

Jos the scrap men were everywhere, even if it was nailed down it went to the melting pot, the only thing i found made of metal was an old rail chair on a rotten sleeper / tie

Steve B

Just found out that the orange stuff was also mined here as a side line to coal, it's Ochre and was / is used to make paint and to colour paper and card, i'm going back with a bucket for some, it'll be mixed with plaster when dry which should give a nice Ochre colour,,, hopefully, if you don't try these things out you never learn.
There is a big pile of the right behind were Robert's stoodstuff ;)

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.