1866 saw England’s worst ever mining disaster at the Oaks Colliery, Barnsley.
At 1:20pm, on Wednesday 12th December 1866, an explosion rocked the town of Stairfoot, Barnsley. The explosion was so loud that it could be heard up to 3 miles away.
Smoke and dust clouds billowed out of the shafts and soot covered the ground at Cudworth, 5 miles away. The explosion had broken the cage. Around 361 men and boys were killed by the explosion. It is estimated that around 20 survivors were pulled from the bottom of the shaft by rescuers and were immediately taken to the surface. Sadly, only 6 survived due to severe burns. To learn how this disaster affected the victims and land, open the pdf below, provided by our wonderful heritage partner The National Coal Mining Museum for England:
For more information on our wonderful heritage partner, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, follow the link below: