Alabama Shaft Engine House Excavation 1993-1999
Swannington Heritage Trust purchased the Califat Spinney from Wyggeston Hospital in 1993. The same year the Trust welcomed Leicestershire Industrial History Society who commenced their monthly excavation of the engine house at the engine house next to the Alabama shaft.
It is believed the Alabama name came from the Confederate Sailing Ship Alabama that sunk 64 United States merchant ships across the oceans 1862-1864 and was thus a prominent feature in the news.
The dig concluded that the engine house was the site of an inverse beam pumping engine that was used to pump the water out of the coal mine.
Industrial Archaeologist Peter Neaverson led the excavation and wrote the report that was first published by Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. Some of his photographs are shown below.