Historic coalmine wall discovered in Danderhall

A group of guerilla gardeners have unearthed an historic wall linked to a centuries old coalmine near Danderhall.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:20 pm
Danderhall and District Guerilla Gardeners  uncovered parts of the wall during a clean up of weeds at cottages at Edmonstone.
Danderhall and District Guerilla Gardeners uncovered parts of the wall during a clean up of weeds at cottages at Edmonstone.

The old buffer wall is believed to have been part of an old rail link between Edmonstone Colliery and the landowner’s estate.

The colliery was the scene of a disaster nearly 200 years ago when a shaft collapse trapped 13 men and women for nearly two days underground.

And the wall has attracted the attention of the Coalfield Regeneration Trust who are sending people to inspect it next week.

Members of Danderhall and District Guerilla Gardeners Group, which was set up to take over the management of public space in the community, uncovered parts of the wall during a clean up of weeds at cottages at Edmonstone.

Helen Graham, from the group, remembered playing on the wall as a child and began the work of uncovering it with her fellow volunteers.

She said: “l recalled there was a wall of some sorts that we played on and climbed onto as youngsters, with bramble bushes surrounding it.

“So, we tried to find out more about this wall and it turns out it’s a buffer wall, end of old railway track that brought coal and supplies to the old Edmonstone estate.

“It looks like it could have a hollow middle, maybe it’s a surrounding wall, but it has a ramp up to its platform and the old photos of that time show horse and carts, and farmhand with a handplough in the same field, views to Hilltown.”

The group contacted Shawfair LLP asking for help clearing the land around the wall which has been agreed, and appealed to local businesses to get involved in allowing the area of “significant mining history” to be exposed.

And the Coalfield Regeneration Trust are visiting the wall next Thursday morning with the hope that funding for the work can be found.

The Scottish Mining Website has reports of the accident at Edmonstone Colliery in 1839 when nine men and four women were trapped after the shaft collapsed.

It took 36 hours for rescuers to get to them and, despite fears the noxious air would have already killed them, they all survived.

The report from the time noted, “had the fall taken place four or five hours later, there would have been between 50 and 60 individuals in the pit, and in all probability some loss of life would have ensued.”