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Author Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
heneker

Joined: 28/05/2009

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 28/05/2009 12:43:03
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We live at a house named Whitings because it was where the hearthstone mined from under Colley Hill was processed. We are keen to know exactly when the factory premises was erected. An ordnance survey map dated 1897 doesn't show the building but we are fairly sure it was up by 1906.

Any information that anyone can give would be very much appreciated.

Michael and Julia Heneker
IP: 78.32.181.142
carnkie

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Joined: 07/09/2007
Location: camborne, cornwall

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 28/05/2009 12:55:39
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Peter Burgess will be your man for this when he pops in. I assume you have looked at his entry on here.
[web link]

Welcome to the site by the way.

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 79.74.228.201
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 28/05/2009 12:57:31
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Hi there

I know the Whitings house. In fact, it wasn't the hearthstone that was processed there, but the chalk from a small pit higher up the hill. This was turned into whiting. The hearthstone was processed immediately outside the mine entrance which was at the foot of the hill. Both were operations conducted by George Taylor who seems to have started his business in around 1900 and incorporated it a few years later - as you say, around 1906 or thereabouts.

Blatant plug here - I can sell you my book "Surrey's Ancient Stone Mines" which will give you more details of the hearthstone mine and where the factory was. If you are interested, PM me. If your PM hasn't been activated just pester the site admin!


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Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 28/05/2009 12:59:05 by Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 28/05/2009 13:01:01
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You can see the whiting pit on the side of the hill in this photo:



(click image to open full size image in new window)

and the hearthstone factory is clearly visible at the bottom of the hill. The whiting plant was out of the photo to the south (left).


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Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 28/05/2009 13:02:23 by Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 28/05/2009 13:37:26
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The extensive bibliography compiled by Paul Sowan includes the following three entries:

Taylor, George 1909 Well sunk at Clears Shaw .. for Mr. G. Taylor 1909 .. made and communicated by Messrs. Isler & Co. - the well (presumably at first intended to supply the whiting works which by then existed) penetrates drift, Gault Clay, and tapped water from the Folkestone Sand - total depth 260 feet - subsequently taken over by the East Surrey Water Company. Details from William Whitaker and Hugh Robert Mill, 1912, The water supply of Surrey (qv)

Reigate Mines Ltd 2007 SEE: Sowan, Paul W. 2007 The Reigate Mines Ltd’s whiting works at Colley Hill and The Clears, Reigate (TQ 241514 and 243520.) Bull. Holmesdale Natural History Club 88, 13 – 16.


I hope to visit the HNHC soon and will try to remember to look up the second one for you.


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Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 28/05/2009 14:27:58 by Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 02/06/2009 22:27:55
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I popped into the HNHC this evening. They couldn't find their bulletin archive file! But one person promised to post their personal copy of issue 88 to me, so maybe I'll have some more info soon.


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Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 05/06/2009 13:04:50
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I am sure Paul Sowan will not object to me quoting (and abridging) significant parts of his article here:

Early in the 20th century there was, briefly, a small-scale whiting works at the west end of The Clears, taking Chalk as raw material from two small pits on Colley Hill. Whitings Cottage (The Whitings) stands as a reminder of this vanished local industry, which appears to have run alongside the somewhat more flourishing hearthstone mine and works operated by George Taylor and later by his son William Frederick Taylor.

George Taylor had a well sunk nearby at Clears Shaw by Messrs. Isler and Company in 1909 which, at 260 feet, tapped water from the Folkestone Sands. Kelly’s 1911 Surrey Directory lists Reigate Mines Ltd of The Clears, as owners of a chalk quarry, with one Walter Faro as manager.

About halfway up the steeply sloping side of Colley Hill are two pits, a smaller one immediately above a larger one. Below the lower pit is a substantial spoil tip with a narrow flat top suggesting it may at some time have been equipped with a short narrow gauge railway track. The pits and spoil tip are shewn on the 1874 and 1897 OS six-inch maps as well established before there was a whiting manufactory below at The Clears.

Local oral history evidences the use of a simple mechanised hoist on an inclined plane to take chalk to the bottom of the hill… I was told by Albert William Joy one of the hearthstone miners that the incline plane was, despite instructions to the contrary, used by some of the hearthstone miners to get up or down Colley Hill.

The whiting works are not shown on the 1897 map, only Clears Farm existing at this location at the date of the survey (1894-95). The works was also known in 1908 as a ‘whitening factory’, the local fire brigade attending a conflagration there on 18 June that year. … the factory … contained furnaces used for drying the whitening. One such furnace overheated, and set fire to creosoted timbers forming part of the structure of the building. The iron sheet roof fell in, but the four brick walls were left standing. A large gas engine and a putty mill were saved. The engine presumably was to drive the necessary grinding mills, as the chalk had to be ‘perfectly white, low density, and of great fineness’. The works would have had large tanks in which ground chalk and water could be mixed, only the smallest and lightest chalk being taken off by elutriation for the whiting.

A trade label issued by ‘Taylor Brothers’ advertises their distemper, which, it was claimed, ‘makes distempering a pleasure … only hot water required … entirely free from any smell …’

The pits and spoil tips appear to have been created in connection with earlier lime-burning operations.

One account tells how the conversion of the whiting works to private housing commenced in 1946. … Mr. King (a builder) filled one or more tanks at the works with ‘bomb rubble’ during World War II.


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Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 05/06/2009 13:11:00
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Here is a closer view of the two pits. No inclined plane visible though.

[web link]

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heneker

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 18/06/2009 13:20:23
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Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion. I think we have had a breakthrough. I have discovered a conveyance dated 1st October 1904 when the late Mr.George Taylor purchased a large amount of land in the area (about 97 acres) stretching from the base of Colley Hill to the railway line from a Mr. William Henry Nash. There was no building on the Whitings site then, just Clears Farm plus another building of some sort up Colley Lane towards the hill. We have been told that Clears Cottages were built in 1905 and so the conclusion we have reached is that George Taylor bought the land in late 1904 and almost immediately erected both the Whitings works and the cottages to house the workers. There is an element of uncertainty but that is the most likely position.

Michael Heneker
IP: 78.32.181.142
Tommie Farrington

Joined: 31/07/2009

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 14:53:31
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I've been researching my family tree for ages now and have found that my Farrington family owned and worked the Reigate Limepits -the census tells me they lived at the Pits...would this have been The Whitings ? i have a great old photo of them leaning on their shovels.

IP: 92.15.60.88
Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 15:40:20
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Hi Tommie

MY guess is that this was the limeworks at Reigate Hill, not Colley Hill. The Whitings Pits were very small, and would have employed very few people. I have a list somewhere of names of people from the 1911 census who most likely were at the limeworks. I'll see if Farringtons are featured. The limeworks at Reigate Hill was a significant feature and employed quite a few men, I suspect.



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Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 15:51:24
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Hello again, Tommie.

I am the voluntary archivist at Reigate Grammar School, and we have the Admissions Registers for the school back to 1862.

My index (which is all I can see at the moment) contains the following Farringtons (with their years of admission to the school).

Farrington, Arthur - 1898
Farrington, Benjamin - 1884
Farrington, Benjamin William - 1927
Farrington, Ernest - 1890
Farrington, Ernest William - 1912
Farrington, Frederick John - 1883
Farrington,William Price - 1895

The registers contain details of father's name, occupation, address, and sometimes added notes about the boys' further careers etc.

I'll stop off on the way home and pick up the relevant registers for you.

Watch this space!


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Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 31/07/2009 16:07:22 by Peter Burgess
Tommie Farrington

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 15:55:22
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Peter

Wow ,thank you so much......this is very BIG news for me -

I won't move a muscle Smile

Kind regards
Tommie
IP: 195.93.21.33
Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 16:03:04
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Even more that is relevant :

The school magazine of Nov 1916 reports the death of Pte. Farrington (that was William Price) on active service in France. Sorry, no more details in the Pilgrim Mag, but his name is on the 1914-19 Roll of Honour board in the school, and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's website tells us that he was actually Cpl. W.P. Farrington, of Reigate Hill, Born 1882, of the 140th Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Died 16th Sept 1916 aged 34 CWGC Casualty 751304. His name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial.

See his record here:

[web link]

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Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 31/07/2009 16:12:06 by Peter Burgess
Tommie Farrington

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 16:18:04
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Thats quite correct - I have him listed - in fact my son has just finished a school history project on him - but I'm delighted to hear he was mentioned in the magazine. William price farringtons father Frederick Price Farrington was Alderman of Reigate 1889-1911 (ish)

Thank you again -

IP: 195.93.21.33
Peter Burgess

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 31/07/2009 19:07:00
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In which case there is a chance he may have been one of the school governors. I'll need to check that another day.

It seems that all of the Farringtons I mentioned were related, and I have detailed admission records for Ernest William and Benjamin William. I also have a 1918 photo of Ernest William who seems to have been captain of the school soccer team. If you email me at peter.burgess [at} wcms.org.uk , I will send you all the details and a scan of the photo. Nothing to do with mines, so it's probably best to take this forward by email.

Peter



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IP: 92.2.210.128
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 04/08/2009 09:53:25
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[web link]

A new image has been added to the bottom of this page, from the last few years of the mine's operations.


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IP: 81.144.191.248
Geoff Lovell

Joined: 29/11/2009

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 30/11/2009 00:00:32
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My great grandfather was Albert Joy and lived at the clears,
many of my family worked in the mines one was a blaster and died of gangrene due a to bad explosion.
Alice Joy was my grandmother and also lived at the clears and married Tom Lovell my grandfather born in Walthamstow but living in Catford SE London.
I live in Crawley, Sussex.
Almost full circle.
Weald to London, London to Weald.
Both my grandparents are buried at Redstone cemetary which I visited recently although I did not know where they are buried and nobody about, perhaps one day.
IP: 86.132.248.75
Graigfawr

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 30/11/2009 20:11:16
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The governmental 'List of Quarries' may be of assistance. It was published annually from its inception c.1897 until c.1910, then biennially until c.1920, then trennially until c1939, with one further editionj in c1948. (Apologies for vagueness, but am writing without data to hand). The List of Quarries is organised by county, and gives quarry name, owner's name, mineral worked, numbers employed in and outside the quarry. All quarries more than 20 feet deep were included - there are large numbers of part-time quarries operated by farmers and the like that testify to the compleness of the Lists. Extraction sites less than 20 feet deep fell under the Inspectors of Factories rather than the Insepctors of Mines and Quarries and were not listed. Sets of the List of Quarries are scarce: try the major copyright libaries or the BGS library - i have purchased various years for single counties from them for the cost of xeroxing and they were most helpful.

An excellent source of information on partnerships and limited companies is the online archive of the 'London Gazette'. This includes all limited company registrations and dissolutions / liquidations / striking off the register of companies, and includes enormous numbers of notices of dissolutions of, or changes to compositions of partnerships, with many small scale very local partnerships placing such niotices. The search menu is very good and permits full text searches. The usual caveat concerning OCR failings apply of course.

Gneral trade directories can be invaluable for tracing small businesses. Shaw & Tipper's comprehensive bibliography of UK directories 1856-1950 is the best starting point to establish what exists for a given county, area, or town.
IP: 78.145.159.245
bonfireboy

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Colley Hill Hearthstone Other Rock Mine
Posted: 21/10/2017 10:32:58
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Has anyone any idea of the gauge of the railway/plateway? IP: 2.24.80.236
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