Arley Colliery Sidings
In 1901 an ambitious young mining engineer, Edward 'Teddy'
Knox, sank an exploratory shaft in the hope of finding coal. After almost a
year no coal had been discovered, at 320 yards below the surface, and it was
suggested that work halt. Knox, however, persuaded his co-financier, George
Herbert Fowler, to allow exploration to move sideways and coal was quickly
discovered. The original shafts had been sunk, it was found, into the
geological remains of a two hundred yard wide river bed passing through the
coal deposits. The pit started on the 1st January 1901, the first bricks were
delivered in March and the first coal was extracted eighteen months after the
initial exploratory activity, in 1902.
The colliery was situated in an easily mined site in the
upper coal measures of the East Warwickshire plateau. Later superceded by Daw
Mill locally it gave rise to the village of New Arley as it is today. The
houses were built on the hillside with the pithead in the valley below. At its
height in 1939-1960 over 1000 men were employed. At around this time other
collieries were developing and mining became the source of work an influence on
the culture of the area. On 30th March 1968 production ended at Arley Colliery.
After sixty-six years, first as The Arley Colliery Company Limited and then as
a part of the National Coal Board, it was considered no longer economically
viable to mine the area despite the fact that one hundred years of coal remains
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