Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine


Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane


South Yorkshire England

Webmaster John Doxey

Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.

Additional content Mick Carver


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The Shaft is Sunk

Dalton Mining Co

Early Years

1913 Accident







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The 1920's

War Memorial of 1923


Travelling to work

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1947 Accident


The Blacking Mill

1966 Disaster

The Silverwood Disaster song


Mine improvements 1970

Journey to the Face


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One Million Tonnes

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Stuart Tomlins Collection

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Stuart Tomlins Collection 3

Sunset on Silverwood

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The Dalton Main Colliery Years

Photo courtesy Mick Carver



  Aldwarke has had a long history dating back centuries regarding Coal, indeed the whole area of South Yorkshire has long been known for a place where fine coal can be found.

Here are a couple of records pertaining to Aldwarke, the first was a dispute over the right of way dated 30th October 1628 For 26.6s. and to settle disputes, for the landowner of Gresbrooke regarding his tenants right of way over the grounds and over the river Dunne at Aldwarke ford, on both sides of river; and to any person fetching coals from pits.
 The second is for a sum of  100 dated 23 June 1582 for 25 score dozen of charkcole to be cut in Rounde woodde near Aldwarke Manor house and in Hileclif Springe wood next to woods of Frances Leake, esq., within a 4 year period.


In 1896
 Roundwood Colliery was owned by Roundwood Colliery Co. the manager was Jas. Fell  undermanager was T. W. Austin  with 433  men underground and 77  men on the surface




Early photo of Silverwood by W. Lusty kindly donated by present owner Bruce Wilson

John Brown and Co., Limited.


In 1880 John Brown and Co., Limited owned

Aldwarke Main, Rotherham, apparently Aldwarke No. 1 Shaft was sunk to the Barnsley Seam in 1867 and extended to the Parkgate Seam c. 1877. The No. 2 Shaft was sunk to the Silkstone Seam in 1884.
Carhouse, Rotherham,
Roundwood, Rotherham, was listed as being owned by Cooper, Sellars and Co. in 1880

In 1892 there was a Conveyance from John Brown & Co. Ltd., of the Barnsley seam under Forge Close, Swinton, (1a. 2r. 6p.) for 370.10s.Od.

Then in 1894 a Lease from John Brown & Co. Ltd., of the Barnsley Bed under land at Swinton, for a term of 40 years, for a consideration of 470 and a rent of a peppercorn.


John Brown & Co. in 1896 owned the following mines


Name of Mine Situation Owner and Postal Address Manager Under-Manager Workers Minerals Worked 1896
Aldwarke Main at "Parkgate" manager  G. Hartley  undermanager W. Mosby  with 1,040 men underground and 443 on the surface
Aldwarke Main, "Swallow Wood"  Rotherham manager G. H. Barraclough with  524 men underground and 152 on the surface.
Car House, "Barnsley seam"  Rotherham manager W. Machin undermanager M. H. Smith
Car House, "Swallow Wood seam "  manager W. Machin  undermanager W. Barker with  321men underground and  141  on the surface
Rotherham Main  Rotherham  Manager  Isaac Ford with  736 underground and  150 men on the surface.


At this time there were also two other families living at Carr House, which was huge and owned by the Mining Company. In 1871 it had become the home of the Rhodes Family and was divided into four dwellings after the turn of the 20th Century. It is known that Lt. Col. Harry Rhodes, was born in 1876, he was a mining engineer, and Principal of the firm of C. E. Rhodes & Sons; Consulting Mining Engineer for John Brown & Company Ltd., and other large companies. [  source obituary of John Brown.]


The Midland Railway, in the old West Riding of the County of York,  on 28th November 1898 conducted an ordnance survey re- Parkgate and Roundwood widening;

In 1877-1908 agreements for the sinking of pit shafts between John Brown & Co. Ltd. and several contractors were made.


The Dalton Main Collieries Limited became a public company which which appeared on the London Stock Exchange in December 1899. The company was originally known as "The Roundwood and Dalton Colliery Co.", becoming Dalton Main Collieries Limited in December 1899. The reason John Brown set up this company was  to purchase Roundwood Colliery,  and also purchase land at Silverwood, between Thrybergh and Ravenfield, and sink a new deep colliery there. By the time production was in full swing at Silverwood in 1909 John Brown were sole proprietors of the Dalton Main Co.

The resulting railway built by the Dalton Main Co. became known as John Browns private railway.  Roundwood Colliery, situated in the Don Valley, between the lines of the Midland Railway, north of Parkgate and Rawmarsh and the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, north of Parkgate & Aldwarke was established in the 1860's and had connections to both railways and to staithes alongside the river.

In 1898 a new company was formed to take over Roundwood Colliery and to develop a new colliery at Silverwood, near Thrybergh. These collieries and the boat staithes were to be linked by a railway. The company was originally known as "The Roundwood and Dalton Colliery Co.", becoming Dalton Main Collieries Limited in December 1899.

The railway companies serving Roundwood were approached to build a line to Silverwood but both declined and so it was built privately as "The Roundwood and Dalton Colliery Railway". The line was opened in 1901 and its main engineering work was a girder bridge crossing the River Don which was built by Newton, Chambers & Company. The line was known for its gradients, the main section being between 1 in 44 and 1 in 56.

The line became part of the Rotherham, Maltby and Laughton Railway which, in turn, became the major part of the Great Central and Midland Railways Joint Committee in South Yorkshire.
Source Wikipedia

Reports: Volume 2
Great Britain. Royal Commission on Coal Supplies 1903
Have you been a colliery manager for 30 years ?  Yes. 4923. At the present time are you the general manager and consulting engineer for Messrs. John Brown and Co., consulting engineer for the Dalton Main Collieries, the Kiveton Park ...


In 1906 seven Evans pumps were in operation to remove water at Dalton Main Colliery


In 1908 John Brown & Co. Ltd.

Aldwarke, Rotherham
 Aldwarke Main, Swallow Wood Parkgate EW Thirkell Wm. Pritchard1063 262
 Warren House Jos. Newman Wm. Brown 1550 537
 Car House  Chas. Bailey
John Brown & Co. Ltd., Canklow, Rotherham
 Rotherham Main, Barnsley GH Barraclough Jonathan Cooper1022 240
Rotherham Main, Parkgate AS Bratley CWS Fincken 844 287
Rotherham Main Silkstone 60 13
Bullcroft Main Colliery Co. Ltd., Carcroft, Doncaster GB Brown  Albert Aldberry 66 107


Whilst we find Dalton Main Collieries Ltd., Parkgate, Rotherham now listed as owning
Roundwood Parkgate and Silverwood Rotherham Which tells us that Silverwood had gained its name by 1908


In 1918 Dalton Main Collieries Ltd., Parkgate, Rotherham were listed as owning
 Roundwood Parkgate under G Wilshaw and H Gent with 562 men underground and 54 surface workers
Moving forward to 1923 listed under the York and North Midland Division
Roundwood  had 842 men underground and  51surface workers whereas   Silverwood  had 2,841 men below ground and 708 surface workers


Papers by command: Volume 12
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons 1919
Should I be right in saying that in any of these collieries, including Dalton Main and John Brown, you could not buy a 1 share for less than 40s. ? I would not give 40s. for one in Dalton Main. 20.840. There are none to sell, I see?


J Brown and Co. Ltd., Roundwood, Rotherham, Yorks. 1945
 Aldwarke Main Rawmarsh R Lees F Statham 1100 246
Rotherham Main A Winstanley S Roberts 261 121


Pre 1920

F. Parker Rhodes was the company chairman, Directors included Sir Chas and Lady Ellis, Sir William Ellis and F. J. Dundas. The General manager's of Silverwood and Roundwood was Mr. A. Blenkinsop. Mr. H. Wright was the Collieries  sales agent, Mr. F. H. Frost was the collieries secretary, Mr. W. H. Ball was manger of Silverwood and Mr. G. Wilshaw was the manager of Roundwood.

Rhodes, Frederick Parker Member of Executive Council of Mining Association of Great Britain; Chairman of Dalton Main Collieries Ltd., etc. Was a member of Royal Commission which reported on the subject of Mining royalties in 1893, and for over 30 years was Secretary of South Yorkshire Coal Owners Association and managed their affairs.
[Source: 1923 Colliery Year Book and Coal Trades Directory]

In the years 1899 -1904 Estate accounts of the Fullertons  report and valuation on mineral estate and agreements re collieries with Denaby Main, Dalton Main.

1903 a Collier earned 45/ a week  at Roundwood Colliery

In 1914 there was a Minimum Wages Case between Isaac Churm v Dalton Main Collieries Ltd. breach of the Coal Mines Minimum Act 1912


Mr J. Marriot, Mr Geo Swift and Mr Simpson worked at Roundwood Colliery around 1915


Garden cities and town planning
George J. H. Northcroft, Ewart G. Culpin, William Loftus Hare 1925
Further housing estates of the Council were visited at Dalton and Thurcroft, and a detailed inspection was made of the houses constructed by the Dalton Main Collieries, Ltd., at Dalton. This estate, known as the Sunnyside Estate, .


In 1940 Joseph Clark, had been the Chief Mechanical Engineer for the Dalton Main Collieries Ltd., Silverwood, near Rotherham. since November, 1910. [ Source: Colliery Year Book 1940 ]

In the 1930's Dalton Main Colliery ) was owned by John Brown along with Aldwarke and Rotherham Main ( at Canklow )

An Interview was held on June 9th 1942 between representatives of Messrs. John Brown and Co. Ltd and the Mines Department


Economic organization of the British coal industry
Andrew Martin Neuman  1934
1 The Rotherham and District Collieries Association, Ltd., represents the following companies : (1) John Brown and Co., Ltd. (Aldwarke and Rotherham Main Collieries) ; (2) the Dalton Main Collieries, Ltd. (Silverwood Colliery) .


The Electrical review: Volume 137
Mr. T. Muirhead, who has been chief electrical engineer at the Glapwell Colliery of the Sheep- bridge Coal & Iron Co., Ltd., for the past eight years, has been appointed chief electrical and mechanical engineer to the Dalton Main ...


Fairplay international shipping journal: Volume 185  1955
Since the close of the year, the directors state, the coal compensation claims of the Company and Dalton Main Collieries, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary now in the course of voluntary liquidation


Though Silverwood has now vanished with just about every other mine Roundwood  ironically is still producing coal as a Opencast site in production as at the 31st March 2005, owned by Shires Developments Ltd. So the name  Rounde woodde mentioned in 1582 as a source of coal, is still today a source of coal and still known as Roundwood Colliery Rotherham.

For a listing of men who worked at Roundwood before commencing at Silverwood click here


John Law writes:-
 "Jack Kemps father  was working solely on his own at Roundwood  as watchman and was the last employee at Roundwood . Dad [ Ralph Law ]seems to think he was around 70 years old when Roundwood closed.

The photo below is a fantastic glimpse of Silverwood mine and the pit top layout. Used with the plan below it we have a very informative perspective.
Some of the coal wagons have Dalton Main wrote on the side.

The plans below are early records from the Dalton Main Colliery Co. and are of Silverwood Pit.
This first one shows the layout of the colliery and gives us a great deal of information regarding the production of bye products at Silverwood.
The second plan shows the depths of the shafts at Roundwood and Silverwood



The Pit Top at Silverwood

Photo kindly submitted by Brian Eyre


Don't know what year, but I can't see pit head baths on it. They should be on the right, the building on the right are the offices and the Last one was the Fitters, and the road was immediately behind them. The nearest shaft is the east pit, whilst on the left is the coking plant . This last part had changed when I started. Brian Eyre






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