Snowdown Colliery: Interesting Information to Know


Snowdown is a hamlet near the port town of Dover in Kent. Snowdown Colliery is in this hamlet. It was one of the four chief collieries of the Kent coalfield.

It is an abandoned structure now. Authority closed it in the year of 1987. There are many things to know about this mysterious place in the United Kingdom.

Snowdown Colliery In Kent
© Copyright Marathon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Many people from the area and nearby places visit this site to explore its mystery. It was the deepest Colliery in Kent County. It reached well over 3000 ft (915 meters).

The workers who worked hear affected by heatstroke and many other problems. This Colliery was one of the hottest Collieries in the United Kingdom, without any doubt.

Information About Snowdown Colliery

The Snowdown Colliery was alongside the Dover to Canterbury railway line. It is near Ackolt lies between Womenswold and Nonington.

This coal mine began its journey in the year 1907. Arthur Burr’s Frontage Syndicate was behind the creation of this coal mine.

Mrs. Weston Plumptree cut the first sod here. The first shaft at Snowdown encountered a problem. Many Kent coal shafts had experienced similar types of issues for years.

The colliery shaft hit the water at 260 feet and flooded. Twenty-two men drowned in the disaster. It was a bad start, without any doubt.

But the authority continued the operation by recovering from this disaster. It faced a few sinking problems despite this lousy start.

Snowdown became the first commercial pit in Kent in the year 1912. Workers brought the first coal to the surface this year.

They brought it from a depth of 1370 feet on 19th November 1912. Two months later, in January 1913, workers reached the Beresford seam.

It helped workers mine 800 tons per week. The Emergency Powers Bill of the year 1920 increased wages for six months.

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It helped to reduce the payment of miners, and because of this reason, the workers went on strike. This company went into receivership.

Authority closed the Snowdown Colliery because of this strike in the year 1922. But it maintained to sell it as a working mine. It remained in this condition for two years.

Pearson & Dorman Long purchased it in the year 1924. They had started a new colliery at Betteshanger. They modernized the colliery and gave it a new look.

They scrapped the old steam winding plant and installed a powerful electric one. They also purchased a 600-acre site and a Public Utility Society.

Its name is Aylesham Tenants Ltd. The company also built Aylesham village nearby to house 650 mining families. Before this, most of the Snowdown miners had lived in Dover.

Snowdown was the hottest and most humid pit in Kent and was famous by the name Dante’s Inferno by the miners.

Many people consider it the worst coal pit to work at in Britain. The majority of the Snowdown miners worked naked because clothes became too uncomfortable.

The miners could consume around 24 pints of water in an 8-hour shift. There were frequent cases of heat stroke. It means it was so difficult to work inside the colliery.

Many Snowdown miners faced death during their work. The colliery employed over 1800 men a couple of years before nationalization in 1947.

The National Coal Board continued working here until its closure in 1987. Some people are converting this area into a business and leisure park.

A local businessman named Patrick K Murfet planned the transformation of the 100-acre site. He wants to bring a business facility to sit alongside a country park.

© Copyright Chris Whippet and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It will offer facilities for events and glamping. It will be an international center for research and development of the health of the honey bee.

It is a great initiative which will help the area to become attractive to the people. Many people of various professions have praised this work of the businessman.


This coal mine is the witness of the hard work and sacrifice of the life of many miners. It is a historical place in Great Britain, without any doubt.

If anyone visits this abandoned coal mine, they will find many great things in this place. But it is good to see this place with proper caution as it is an old structure.

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