Frickley Country Park

An Instagram friend sparked my interest in visiting Frickley Colliery. Apparently, his grandfather worked at the pit and seeing as it was just 30 minutes from my house I thought I would go an take a look.

So, on a brisk and cloudy day off I set in my smashing car and went for a walk. I took a camera to test and my super little Olympus U-mini. This time remembering to use the settings for close-up 🙂 as I forgot last time. Seriously for stuff like this, a good old 5mp camera that fits in your pocket is perfect. And that is the last time I will mention it, honest.

The colliery began its life in 1903 with the first seam being the No.1 Barnsley which went to a depth of 608 meters. Next was the No.2 Dunsil seam and finally the No.3 Shafton seam. This seam was first based at another colliery close by, South Elmsall. The two collieries were combined in 1967, which is a simple history garnered from the link provided. That site has much more information so navigate to that if you are interested in coal mining. Or there is Wikipedia of course, which gives details of the closing of the colliery in 1993 and of the country park opening in 2005.

You can walk the virtual depth of these seams by taking the long path in the middle of the park. Here are my photos, I virtually used one roll of film.

The mounds you see represent stromatolites that were found in the area. Stromatolites are the prehistoric fossilised remains bacteria that grew in shallow seas. You can see living ones in this video…do you think the mounds are a good representation?

While I was walking around I saw cyclists, runners, dog walkers, and ramblers. Nearly all said hello or afternoon. One bloke’s dogs got very excited by the noise of a nearby ice-cream van. He said his wife always buys them an ice-cream so they start barking demanding a treat.

I think I might visit this park again as there are 7 miles of cycle and running paths.

Now, if you want to know what the area looked like when it was an actual colliery you can watch this amazing homemade video. It is a bit long, I didn’t watch it all in one go, but skimmed through. It is a brilliant and wonderful piece of history, which if the time stamp is true, was made in 1994 just after the colliery was closed.

I also found this more professional one from a bit earlier that features the local brass band. Though it does seem to stop working after 25 minutes so be warned.

I didn’t walk the full 7 miles, but I did have a lovely afternoon. If you really want to learn about mining then I recommend visiting the National Coal Mining Museum nearby.


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