Ironbridge and Madeley are on the south side of TelfordHistorical Background
The Lloyds (part way between Ironbridge and Coalport) is another ancient part of the Coalbrookdale mining field.

to Location map of mines down River from Ironbridge The sites of some of these early mines, down the River Severn from Ironbridge are indicated on the location map, and the numbers used below relate to those on the map.

As you follow the north bank of the River downstream the seams worked by these mines continue to dip in the downstream direction of the River.


11. Old Coppice Pit
to Location map of mines down River from Ironbridge This mine is shown as a single shaft on the 1840 lease. It was probably not producing at that time and may be the same shaft as No. 12 Water Engine Air Pit.


12. Water Engine Air Pit
to Location map of mines down River from Ironbridge There exists a full geological shaft section for a pit of this name. It seems quite probable that a new airshaft would have been needed as the Water Engine Pit increased in importance - and there is evidence that the engine was enlarged, at least once during the shaft's life. William Reynolds was keen on geological sections so perhaps this shaft was put down during his time (the 1780s/90s).

The actual shaft position is only shown on Geological Maps and the most recent map gives a depth equivalent to 292ft. deep to the Clod Coal (rather odd - see Lloyds Engine Pit for details). On their map British Geological Survey show the top as:

  •  c79m aod.
  •  New Mine Coal c14m aod.
  •  Clod Coal c10m aod.

but have recently admitted that the latter is a misprint and should read:    "minus c10m aod".

This pit was still on the Company List for 1917 but its use at that time is not known.


13. Wallets Pit
to Location map of mines down River from Ironbridge Wallets Pit from 1840's map Shown on the 1840 lease plan where it appears to have a building and a gin. Wallet is a local family name and 3 plots were under this name at the time of the 1847 Tithe Map survey.

"Wallet" was probably a chartermaster of this pit in the 17th or early 18th century, but there is little evidence on the surface that much work was done.


14. New Hill (or Dingle?)
to Location map of mines down River from Ironbridge This pit is just within the Blists Hill Museum site, near the old lower entrance and almost on the opposite side of the Coalport Road to the Madeley Wood Company's new offices (They moved here from the Lloyds c1850). The pit is the eastern - most of the pits in The Lloyds and adjoins an area known as Lees Dingle although the actual 'dingle' or valley is further up Coalport Road. This may therefore have been the Dingle Pit recorded elsewhere, but it has also been called Newell's Pit, possibly from the name of a chartermaster.

This was certainly the pit which started the great migration northeastwards - New Hill, Blists Hill, Shawfield, Hills Lane, Halesfield, and Kemberton Pits.

It was probably sunk in the mid to late 18th C. and is shown on the 1830s draft OS Map as two shafts.

Newhill Pits from 1840's map The 1847 Tithe Map appears to show two shafts with buildings and a steam winding engine with outside drum, between them.

It is described on the schedule as Plot 1302 'Pit Mounts, Shaft, Buildings' owned by Francis Darby and occupied by Madeley Wood Company. Its ownership by the Darby's is a good indication of its antiquity. The shafts are however in a slightly different position to that shown on later OS Maps which continue to follow the siting on their earliest sheet (see ....).

The shafts shown on the Tithe Map could be a later pit sunk in the 1940s as referred to by John Randall and others.

The workings had probably closed by 1860 although an old miner Fred Richards remembered the site early this century as being:

  • "a pair of open shafts 6yd from the railway track, 50 yd from the tramway arch beneath the Coalport Branch Railway"

There has since been much disturbance of cinder and slag in this area but some building remains were still visible in the 1960s (shown on Telford Development Corporation aerial surveys). It is likely that one of the side passages in the Tar Tunnel connected with this mine. An older New Hill Pit nearer Coalport is also known to have existed.


16. Cape Pit (?)
to Location map of mines down River from Ironbridge This could have been the pit with the single shaft in an isolated position on the bank jutting into the river valley (Cape is French for point or headland?).

Nothing is known of this mine other than it had a steam engine in the 1790s.


Other Pits
The locations of some recorded pits in the Lloyds area are not known for certain. As mentioned previously, Cape may have been on the headland (16 on the location map), New Dingle may be New Hill (or even Blists Hill), Pennystone could be Baughs but others have left no clues.

For example where was:

  • Cumberland Pit which had an engine in the 1790s?
  • Paddock Hill and Bedlam were probably near Madeley Wood Settlement, but may be known by other names, both were at work in the mid 1700s.


Lloyds Coppice Remains
There are many interesting structures within Lloyds Coppice, which is now open space with public rights of way. The earliest known date for the use of this name is 1702 when it was mainly woodland partly used for coppicing.

Today it contains remains of cottages, reservoirs, quarry faces, tramway routes and the ruins of Madeley Wood Hall and its outbuildings. This Hall, demolished in the 1920s was, in 1857, home to John Anstice, 'manager' and owner of the Madeley Wood Company, its mines and furnaces etc.

He employed 6 house servants, 15 estate workers on his 100 acre farm and 800 persons in the mines, brickyards and furnaces. (George Ward was mine agent, Richard Williams, furnace manager and William Bailiss had recently taken over from George Griffiths, who had been company engineer for 46 years - his tombstone can be found in Madeley Church).

Four of the 30 or so households living in the Coppice area were Browns, those family members in employment in 1851 were as follows:

  1. Joseph (age 43), carpenter (locally this also included metalwork), his older sons ages 15 and 13 were described as "engine tenders".
  2. Benjamen (44), coalminer, his oldest son 17 was a coalminer and two aged 13 and 11 were "labourers at Brick Hills". His daughter (19) worked on the "ironstone pitmount".
  3. Jane (50) was a teacher living with her niece, Mary Brown age 16, an assistant teacher.
  4. John (48) (who blew up the offices, mentioned earlier) is described as a "wood turner without hands"! Despite this he had at least 6 children and later became an innkeeper.

There were several other groupings of local families in similar employment. There are a few cellars around the ruins of Madeley Wood Hall, some partly in solid ground. Until recently there was also a partly buried 'powder magazine' behind the Company's 'new' offices near New Hill Pits. There are doubts about this however since the buildings structure contained a fair amount of ironwork! (see IGMT Report No.9, Madeley Wood Company Powder House, 1987 by R.Morriss etal.)


In addition to those mentioned in the text:

  • "Underground in the Ironbridge Gorge", I.J.Brown, I.A.Review Vol. III, No.2 Spring 1979
  • "The Lloyds", I.J.Brown, I.A.Review Vol. XIV No.1 1991
  • "Ancient Woodland in the Telford Area", Wiggins W.E., 1986
  • "The Industrial Revolution in Shropshire", Trinder B.S., 1973


Report & Sketch: Ivor Brown


Bad Air Warning Bad Air - Although these mines are now sealed bad air - mainly oxygen deficiency has been recorded in them in the past.

If you visit the area: DO NOT enter any workings or tunnels without proper precautions - people have died in tunnels in the Gorge through bad air, so BEWARE.