Jane Pit is a 19th century coal mine. The pit opened in 1844 and was worked for a period of around 30 years, finally closing in 1875. The remaining buildings of the engine house are a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
According to several sources, Jane Pit was first operated by a horse gin circle, which was a mechanism powered by horses to wind up coal and pump out water from the pit. It subsequently switched to steam power. It’s rare to see mines with examples of both types of workings, and Jane Pit is a great example of seeing the evolution of horse power to steam power. We will be investigating this further to see if we can find evidence of the horse gin.
We also want to find out more about the life of the miners who lived in Frostrams Cottages and Holyoak Farm nearby. The cottages were demolished sometime in the 1970s, but we know where they used to stand, so we’ll be investigating to determine what evidence was left behind from the same period that Jane Pit was being used.
We will be excavating four trenches across the site on behalf of Workington Town Council as part of the Jane Pit Project.
If you’d like to find out more about the history of Workington, return here: https://digventures.com/jane-pit/