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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

The Moorwood Coal Works in 1773


A

minute examination {235} of the numerous papers recording the then ordinary proceedings of the Free Miners' Court, supplies the accompanying dates to the following coal-works:--

1706. "Stay and Drink," under Serridge; "Dark Pitt," in Coverham.

1718. "Hopewell," at Park End; "Speedwell," Ruerdean Hill.

1720. "Sally Pitt," Coleford.

1721. "Broad Moore Grout;" "The Holly Pitt."

1722. "New Charity;" "The 9 Wells;" "Stand Fast;" "The Dry Tump."

1723. "Go on and Prosper;" "Monmouth Hill Work."

1724. "The Old Colliery," near Coleford.

1725. "Shute Castle Pitt;" "The Oiling Quab," in Bromley.

1726. "The Staple Pitt;" "Short Standing."

1735. "Gentlemen Colliers," or "Harbourne Oake."

1736. "The Little Suff," Serridge.

1737. "Major Wade's Suff," near Aywood; "The Broomy Knowle;" "Pluck Penny," Nail Bridge; "Dowler's Chambers."

1739. "Bushes Pitt," at Berry Hill; "The Society."

1740. "Church way," or "Turn brook."

1741. "Cartway Pitt;" "Harrow Hill Pitt."

style="text-align: justify;">1743. "Mendall," at Yorkley; "True Blue," Ruerdean; "Littleworth;" "the Windmill," near Ruerdean.

1744. "Rain Proof."

1745. "Church Hill," Coal Work, Park End.

1747. "The Golden Pippin;" "Little Scare Pitt."

1749. "Long looked for," near Yorkley.

1753. "Prosper."

1755. "The bold Defiance;" "The Ginn."

1757. "Now found out;" "Standfast."

1758. "Pigg Pitt."

Several of the above names closely resemble those by which many of the existing coal-works are designated; as for instance--"Strip-and-at-it," "Winners," "Spero," "Prosper," "Never Fear," &c. One other interesting fact preserved in these records is that the coal seams were called then as now by the names of "Upper" and "Lower Rocky," the "Lower" and "Upper High Delf," the "Starkey Delf," and the "Lowery Delf."

The Appendix to the Fourth Report of the Dean Forest Commissioners relative to the mines, incidentally mentions the old coalwork called "the Oiling Gin" as originally galed in 1766, and transferred by agreement, dated 15th April, 1776, to a company, in consideration of 2,100 pounds, at whose cost the first "fire-engine," constructed, probably, on Watt's principle, patented in the previous year, is understood to have been put up in this neighbourhood. It also specifies the "Brown's Green Colliery" near Lydbrook, opened in 1772; the "Moorwood Coal Works" in 1773; "Arthur's Folly" in 1774, begun in the "Thirty Acres," and brought up into "Little Cross Hill;" and also the undertaking called "The Gentlemen Colliers."


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