KILMERSDON COLLIERY AND INCLINE

Moving down the line of the Bristol and North Somerset Railway away from Huish Colliery we come to the Kilmersdon Incline that served Kilmersdon Colliery also known as Haydon Colliery.

Located directly above the Somerset coalfield, like much of the area there is evidence to suggest coal extraction in the area from Roman times, with documentary evidence of coal extraction at Kilmersdon starting in 1437. Kilmersdon Colliery was established from February 1875 as part of the Writhlington group of collieries. Access to coal mining beneath Kilmersdon was through a network of tunnels from an entrance at Haydon, a nearby hamlet, resulting in the colliery also being known as Haydon Pit. During its life, the maximum depth of the shaft reached close to 500 metres (1,600 ft).

Coal in the 4 feet (1.2 m) high seams was extracted by hand using the “topple down” method. Once carting boys had extracted cut coal to the main shaft, it was placed into trams for extraction to the surface, at a maximum rate of 90 trams or 85 tonnes/hour. After transfer there to standard gauge 16-tonne coal wagons, these were individually transported via one of three standard gauge rope worked inclines in the Somerset Coalfield, the last gravity-working industrial rope-incline in the United Kingdom. Constructed in 1877, the double-track incline was 160 yards (150 m) long with an overall gradient of 1 in 4. Sidings were added at the head of the incline in 1900 to allow colliery dirt to be dumped there. At the foot of the incline it junctioned in a triangular-form with the Radstock-to-Frome section of the GWR’s Bristol and North Somerset Railway. Here the northern triangular section sidings held empty wagons waiting to be taken up, whilst the southern section sidings contained loaded wagons awaiting pick-up by the GWR.

THE INCLINE

Nationalised after World War II, as part of the National Coal Board, it became the last colliery to be working the Somerset Coalfield. During its later operating years, the extracted coal was transported under contract to Portishead power station. Closed in August 1973, it structures were demolished and the shaft filled, followed by extensive landscaping. Former joint-railway structures which existed at the foot of the rope-worked incline were demolished in 2005.

The Kilmersdon head frame Wheel in the centre of Radstock

General Maintenance with some Air Suspension Problems thrown in.

With the UK lockdown still on going, its been a time of catching up with some needed maintenance and modifications to Doris.

Job one new cam belt and oil pump, this was slightly overdue and thanks to Broad Lane Land Rovers of Westbury Wilts all went well and no real problems, amazing service yet again Broad Lane are well worth a visit.

The whole idea for the Mod’s and maintenance was to prepare for a trip to Scotland in June but due to all the events of recent times and to stay safe and keep others safe that trip has been postponed, but hopefully a few day trips in Junes will still go head in the parameters of the lock-down advice.

I have had 4 X Led spotlight’s sat around the shed since last year so it was time to fit them to the roof rack. Straight forward just got to wire them in.

As you can also see i had 2 x 20 litre Jerry can holders that i was going to use on Kitty my old Defender 110 but never got around to it and they had been collecting dust in the corner of the shed. So i welded them together and they work perfectly on the roof rack on Doris.

Been toying with the idea of debadging the rear of the Disco and with all this down because of the current Global situation I got it done and i like it.

Just looks clean and nobody knows what the spec is.

And we get to the current job Air suspension compressor, been throwing up the same fault code intermittently for awhile but this has been getting more frequent as of late.

“C1a13 pressure doesn’t vent from gallery……” well this all pointed to a new compressor so i ordered a new replacement one to fit myself witch went OK, signs that the compressor had been out before became obvious a repair kit been used on it at sometime.

When the new one was all fitted , Suspension worked fine then went for a Drive “BONG” suspension fault …….dam, it looks like there are more issues on advice from Broad Lane Land Rovers i have opted to fitted a AMK compressor kit which it currently being done , watch this space.

Future mods, I really fancy a frontrunner draw system so I had better start saving my Pennies :).

Just a little update I’ve been away from here for awhile that must change.

Stay Safe Everyone and hopefully the Countryside will reopen soon.

Leeds Castle, Kent.

Leeds Castle, Kent

With Covid-19 stalking the Planet the 2020 calendar Challenge has been postpone a bit like the Football season, but i did manage to visit Leeds Castle in Kent which i was filming for the December calendar picture.

The Royal Manor was originally built in 857AD and owned by a Saxon royal family. After the Norman Conquest, work began on building the first stone castle on the site.

In 1278 the Castle became a royal palace for Edward I and his Queen, Eleanor of Castile. Major improvements were made to the castle during the reign of Edward I. The Barbican, constructed during this time, is unique in that it is made up of three parts, each having its own entrance, drawbridge, gateway and portcullis. The medieval Keep, incorporating the Great Hall, is called the Gloriette, in honour of Queen Eleanor.

In 1321, King Edward II gave the castle to his Royal Steward. When Edwards’ Queen Isabella arrived at the Castle seeking shelter however, she was refused admission and even fired upon by archers. Edward II was not amused and successfully lay siege to the castle. Six years later Edward was murdered but Queen Isabella kept the castle until she died in 1358.

The castle has been home to six medieval queens – Eleanor, Isabella, Philippa of Hainhault (wife of Edward III), Joan of Navarre, Catherine de Valois and Catherine of Aragon. Elizabeth I was imprisoned here for a time before her coronation. Leeds Castle is often referred to as the “Castle of Queens, Queen of Castles”.

The Castle’s most famous owner was King Henry VIII, who transformed the castle for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

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Somerset Coalfields “Vobster Area”

Following on from previous post Lost Industries (Fussells Ironwork’s and the Somerset coalfields), i have decided to continue this theme and get out and about to see what survives of the collieries in Somerset.

I will be following the old Bristol and Somerset Railway line as much as possible as this and the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway carried most of the Coal from the Coal fields.

Newbury colliery

The next part of the journey see us on the outskirts at Radstock

New Calendar Challenge 2020 South East

With 2020 upon us we say goodbye to 2019 and the adventures we had, this year we have a calendar of the South East with some interesting destination.

January was a trip to The Ridges Finchamstead a National Trust woodlands nestled in southern Berkshire near the borders of Hampshire and Surrey, it is one of the oldest National Trust acquisitions having been cared for for more than a 100 years.

Points of interest

Simon’s Wood showcases one of the most recognisable features in the local landscape with an avenue of impressive redwood Sequoia trees (also known as Wellingtonia trees), planted in 1863. The course of the very much earlier Roman Road from London to Silchester, believed to be second century and now nicknamed the Devil’s Highway, can still be detected in Simon’s Wood. The intriguing mound at the centre of Ambarrow Hill will drive your imagination crazy wondering what could have caused it – archaeologists have been unable to confirm various theories.