Annesley Colliery was sunk between 1865 and 1867 by the Worswick family from Leicestershire. The Top Hard seam was reached in 1867 and like all other pits in the Leen Valley, this seam was the basis for the mines operations for the next 50 years or so. The shafts were sunk to the Deep Hard seam in 1914 and the Deep Hard seem was worked until 1950 together with the Deep Soft seam. The Deep Soft seam continued until 1983. In 1924 the colliery was bought by the New Hucknall Colliery Company who invested much needed capital into the mine.
In January 1st 1947 Annesley became part of the National Coal Board, (East Midlands Division Area No 4), and in 1967 became part of the South Nottinghamshire area of the N.C.B. The pit featured in two TV documentaries in the early 1970’s, namely Panorama and World in Action.
The Tupton seam was reached in 1978 and worked until 1980 when the whole seam was closed due to geological conditions.
By 1981 coal turning up the Annesley shafts ceased with all the coal being diverted underground to the surface at Bentinck Colliery.
Annesley became part of the Annesley, Bentinck, Newstead Complex in 1985 and in the same year part of the newly formed Nottinghamshire area of British Coal. Major reconstruction took place in 1986 with all the working in the Tupton and Deep Hard seams abandoned, with all future mining operations based in the Thick Black Shale.
In 1988 the Colliery officially became the Annesley/Bentinck Mine. When Linby ceased production in March 1988 it left Annesley the last pit in the Leen Valley having produced coal for over 120 years. In January 1999, it was announced that Midlands Mining PLC was intending to close Annesley-Bentinck colliery by the end of the year, due to geological problems and adverse market conditions. The last shift was completed Friday 28th January 2000.
Annesley Colliery and its associated village was declared a Conservation Area in 1999 in acknowledgement that the village represents a near intact mining community. The associated village with its rows of terraced housing or ‘Annesley Rows’ as they are locally known were constructed between 1869 and 1873 and comprises a total of 160 ‘cottages’. The buildings reflect the urban domestic vernacular architecture of the late 19th century. The pit baths at the head of the site date from the 1930’s and possess an art deco style from the period.
Despite the colliery being within a conservation area many of the buildings have been demolished although the pit baths and one of the headstocks are still standing, albeit in a dilapidated and vandalised condition.
Plans have been submitted to Ashfield District Council by Persimmon Homes to demolish the headstock. Persimmon already have outline planning permission to build up to 200 homes on the site. The proposal has the support of the local council and residents. In January 2008 Ashfield District Council’s Planning Committee said they wanted more time to consider Persimmon Homes application to pull down the structures as part of a housing development.
Annesley and Felley Parish Council have now unanimously agreed not to oppose the demolition after an extensive public consultation. In a letter to planners, the parish council said ‘in an ideal world’ it would want the headstocks to be retained but conceded this would not be possible because it would cost around £500,000 simply to repair the structures. This decision has now been deferred following a local campaign headed by the Annesley Conservation Trust who are currently making a funding bid for a study to access the feasibility of keeping the headstock. They are working closely with other groups and the Heritage Officer of Nottinghamshire County Council in order to ascertain how the Headstock might be retained and reused and at what cost.
In June 2008 the headstock, pit baths and a number of other buildings are still standing but work is already underway at the site.
Annesley Colliery was sited on the west side of the Midland Railways Nottingham - Worksop railway line which was opened between Nottingham and Kirkby-in-Ashfield on 2nd October 1848. As the colliery developed and the nearby colliery village grew a passenger station was opened on the Midland line on 1st July 1874. There was also a private miners halt called Annesley Colliery Sidings Platform that was opined south of Annesley Station on 1st January 1882. A spur ran from the Midland Railway in a loop running under the railway into the colliery. Newstead Colliery was sited on the east side of the Midland Railway.
- History of Annesley Colliery, Terry Blythe