Woolley Colliery opened in 1869 and was one of the major coal mines in the South Yorkshire Coalfield. It had three shafts and accessed three seams - known as Thorncliffe, Fenton and Lidget. The village of Woolley Colliery was built for miners to the east of the pit.
The output of the mine was mostly used for power generation and coke production, with the output being trasported by rail. Along with most other coal mines, Woolley was nationalised in 1947. Record production was reached 20 years later - in 1969 over 1,000,000 tons of coal were produced by the workforce of 1,900.
The mine is well know for being the workplace of Arthur Scargill, who started work there in 1953. Despite this, the miners at Woolley were far from militant.
In the early 1980s, a new drift entrance was excavated for coal extraction. This was part of a linking of several mines in the Barnsley area, collectively known as ‘Denby Drift’. The miners struck for a year between 1984 and 1985 in the national miners' strike. The mine closed in 1987 and the buildings were demolished in the earky 1990s.
Today the site has been redeveloped as housing, known as Woolley Grange.