If the cap fits…

On Sunday I rode up Coppice Lane in Brownhills for the first time in a few weeks, and noticed that contractors for The Coal Authority – the body charged with monitoring and remediating historic mineworkings – had been hard at work capping the two shafts left over from the West Coppice Colliery, near the old level Crossing. 

The land, which has been cleared of scrub and tress for access, is now smoothed over and re-seeded, and small guard fences have been erected around the shaft caps, which have been buried.


What I assume was a ventilation shaft for the short-lived West Coppice Colliery, as photographed in 2011.

I previously featured one of the shafts in my 2011 post ‘Common ground’, and then analysed the mapping record further in a subsequent post.

I noted the shaft had been fenced off some time ago, and it now seems they’ve capped it, and another adjacent one I hadn’t spotted. I wish I’d known this was going on, I’d have loved to have had a chat to the contractors.

If anyone knows anything about this, please do comment here or drop me a line on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

1:2500 scale Ordnance Survey plan of Brownhills Common. Note the West Coppice Colliery at the foot of the map.

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4 Responses to If the cap fits…

  1. Shaft spotter says:

    I noticed the Coppice colliery No1 shaft on Chester road north was visible a few weeks ago in the undergrowth you can see the circular brickwork of the shaft going down a couple of feet must have been like that since it closed in the 1890s.

  2. shirley says:

    I’ve not got any information on this site but was wondering if you – or any of your contributors – know anything of, or have pictures, showing the old Leigh colliery and Dry Bread pit in Walsall Wood. My mother, now 98, has talked to me about these two sites – just behind where Barons Court Hotel is/ or used to be – and at one time had photographs showing them but has mislaid them. It would be great to be able to show her something vindicating her memory of them. Mum grew up in High Heath and has lived in the area all her life, she often talks of the Moss Pits as well – an area just off Fordbrook in Pelsall – which I seem to remember reading about on your site some time ago.

  3. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Brian Rolllins book, Coal Mining in the north east section of Walsall Met Boroughm published 2006, page 42;-
    “Monies were made available by Government Grant Aid in the early 1980s specifically to treat the shafts (in Brownhills Common)and make them safe….this area comes under the jurisdiction of Walsall Met Borough Council and it is understood that they did not apply for any of the money.Consequently these shafts were not treated accordingly to this specification and that is how they remain to this day. ” (2006)

    • Hi David

      If you do a bit more research, you’ll find out there’s a very good reason for that… I respect Brian greatly but he’s not quite given the full picture there.


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