The Nook and Great Wyrley Collieries Ltd 1871 - 1925
Great Wyrley Colliery Company Ltd 1971 – 1949
“The Plant” Great Wyrley Colliery SJ 986068
“The Nook”, No 2 SJ 974065
Plus others, see map.
This is actually a group of minor pits which I have grouped together under the main operator for convenience.
This concern originated with a William Gilpin who in the late 1790s moved his edged tool manufacturers from Wedges Mills to Churchbridge on the A5 Watling Street. He operated four shafts in the vicinity and also ran the Hatherton Colliery which was worked until 1870.
This is a familiar pattern of colliery’s being owned and operated by iron founders.
About 1806 Gilpin opened more shafts just north of Lanywood lane which later became Great Wyrley New Plant Colliery, know locally as “The Plant”. In 1871 it became Great Wyrley Colliery Company Ltd and more shafts had been sunk. In 1874 the company purchased the Nook Colliery from the Wyrley Cannock Colliery Company and called it their No 2 Plant.
The company continued until 1925 when affected by the great depression and other issue sit went into voluntary liquidation. In 1926 The Nook and Wyrley Collieries Ltd was formed by a Charles Screen of Oldbury, the main sites were the original “Plant” near Landywood Lane and “The Nook” north of Gilpins Basin on the Wyrley And Essington Canal and close to where it meets Dunduck (Dundalk) Lane.
In the same region as The Nook were other collieries, some independent, Dry Bread, Bulls Meadow, Sling, and Spring Meadow, the latter operating until 1967.
The site of “The Plant” is now a grassy area behind a housing estate just west of the railway, nothing to be seen of the former colliery. The area of The Nook is more interesting. William Gilpin had extended the Wyrley and Essington Canal to Dunduck Lane and built a basin which served the pits in the area of The Nook, he was also responsible for a mineral tramway. Although now derelict the canal and its mineral line, now a walking and cycle route makes for a pleasant walk with remains of the canal discernible, as are the mounds in woodland to the west being all that is left of Dry Bread Colliery.
Nothing else remains, with a lot of ground either being grassland or built over.