My only previous visit to Snibston was in 2010 (here and here), I can’t recall the occasion but it was a rather nice setup, with the site of the colliery being nicely preserved with a modern museum and short heritage railway line featuring diesel and steam shunters hauling the ubiquitous BR Mk1 coach. It was a flying visit as I was visiting a couple of other places on the same day and wish I’d spent more time there as in 2015 the place closed.
At the time, my focus was on the railway aspect of it, although I did take a few photographs of the headstocks when I was there. They weren’t however of any use to my current project, so I’d been planning a revisit for a while, albeit with the knowledge that site access was no longer (legitimately) possible and therefore I’d have to jump the fence or shoot from the road.
This was the view I was worried that I’d end up with when I’d scouted it out on Google streetview to see what the view was like from the main road. I was concerned about the trees and bushes so I’d planned on taking a small stepladder to give myself some height.
Fortunately, a spot of research found that the colliery site had actually reopened in 2020 so this wasn’t needed! The museum has unfortunately been demolished, and you don’t appear to be able to (currently) get near the surface buildings, but the headstocks have been tidied up and the site is in good order. The site is now known as Snibston Colliery Park, and there is a large car park and a bit children’s playground, with the trackbed of the railway now a path.
The mine had a long history, with the site opening in 1832, and being worked until 1983 when the coal reserves were exhausted. There’s a great history of the mines here, so no point me summarising it. A film about the closure can be found here.
The tandem headstocks of No.1 Pit Top are now almost unique and date to 1941, while the No.2 Pit Top headstocks date to 1915. The tandem headstocks were difficult to photograph for the typology, but more on that in the next post.
After closure, the site was taken over by Leicestershire County Council in 1985 and the Discovery park opened in 1992. As mentioned, this closed in 2015 and the land is currently empty.