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Swannington Califat Spinney Swannington Califat Spinney Swannington Califat Spinney

Califat Spinney Update July 2017

Swannington Heritage Trust works closely with LIHS and several of the diggers are members of the two organisations. The monthly dig reports are available for download below:

July 2017 July 2017 July 2017 July 2017

July 2017 July 2017 July 2017 July 2017


Califat Spinney Update July 2016

Our partners, Leicestershire Industrial History Society, commenced the excavation of the 1850's/1860's coal mine engine and boiler house complex in June 2006. They start at 9.30 on the second Tuesday of the month, excavate until 1pm then go to the Robin Hood for lunch.


Califat Spinney Update June 2013


Many thanks to the Swannington Heritage Trust benefactor who financed the work of the builders at the Califat during May. The crumbling walls of the engine house have been stabilised and rebuilt to show the outline of the building plus the two large brick plinths in the middle. The builders reused the original bricks which it is believed were made in the Gorse Field using clay from the field.

Each of the plinths is 6ft (1.83m) high and supported an engine, the four holes on each plinth were for the holding down bolts which kept the engine in place. The bolts were secured at the bottom of the plinth. During June a gravel topped membrane was laid to suppress the weeds. LIHS continue to excavate the tunnels as they research the original layout.

Califat Spinney Engine House Califat Spinney Engine House

Califat Spinney Engine House.
 
Califat Spinney Engine House.

Califat Spinney

The Coleorton No. 2 Colliery, also known as the Califat, opened in 1855 and closed in 1873. The saddest part of its history was the 1863 disaster in which 3 miners lost their lives.

The Califat is now a woodland nature reserve and our volunteers maintain the hedges and paths, look after the trees and encourage the planting of indigenous woodland plants such as bluebells.

Califat mine excavation

Excavation at Califat during the 1990's.
 
The excavations have proved popular with visitors of all ages.

Click to read more about:-

Califat Mining Disaster 1863


Haystack Boiler


Califat Mining Disaster 1863

In the autumn of 1863 the community of the district around the village of Swannington was suddenly alerted to a mine disaster in its midst. Water, held up in the abandoned workings of Limby Colliery, broke into the Califat mine and rapidly inundated the underground workings.

The residents were fearful for the lives of the miners and, despite valiant efforts of recovery, it was found that six men and 26 horses were feared lost. During the following day rescuers found Frank Doman, Joseph Marsden and Thomas Bird, junior, all alive but sadly the body of Harry Clements, aged 16, was found drowned. The bodies of Thomas Bird and Jeremiah Rose, a carpenter, were found later, both having suffocated. Rose was in a sitting position with Bird's head resting on his lap.

The Trust would like to contact descendants of the victims. If you are a descendent and wish to make contact phone Denis Baker on 01530-222330 or e-mail:
denis.baker@which.net.

The gravestone of Harry Clements, one of the victims of the disaster can be found in St. Georges churchyard.
 
A morning card produced in rememberance of Jeremiah Rose who perished in the Califat disaster.

Haystack Boiler

A Newcomen haystack-type boiler excavated from the Califat evidences the considerable trouble taken to drain the mines.


Digging out the boiler, 1969 from left to right: David Bramley, Gary Baker, Ian Baker and John Bramley.

The boiler was found in 1969 and excavated by Leicestershire Industrial History Society.A Newcomen haystack-type boiler excavated from the Califat evidences the considerable trouble taken to drain the mines. The boiler was found in 1969 and excavated by Leicestershire Industrial History Society.

Califat Haystack Boiler

The haystack boilder excavated from the spinney is soon to be returned to its original site having spent a number of years as an exhibit at neasrby Snibston Discovery Park.

Haystack Boiler Swannington Haystack Boiler Swannington

Volunteers constructing a base for the boiler.
 
The boiler delivered to Califat Spinney, Feb 29th 2012.

Haystack Boiler Swannington Haystack Boiler Swannington

The haystack boiler on its brick plinth with the engine mounting blocks in the foreground.
 
The haystack boiler is mounted on a ring of bricks identical to how it was originally found.

 

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