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Winter Hill Coal Collieries, Horwich, Lancashire.

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The south side of Winter Hill is riddled with old levels and shafts from the remains of coal mine workings. The mines worked the lowest of the coal measures - the Sandrock or Mountain seams. Mines on the hill included, Burnt Edge Colliery, Montcliffe Colliery, Wilderswood and Wildersmoor Collieries, Winter Hill Mine and many more.

The coal seams outcropped in many places and probably initially were worked by individuals for personal use and for small scale sale, before industrial commercialisation. It is known from archives the seams around Winter Hill were worked from the late 18th century onwards through to 1966 when the last mine Montcliffe closed. It is also probable they were worked in the late 17th century and possibly earlier as abundant outcrops encircle the hill. The seams were accessed via drifts and shallow windlass and ladder shafts. Around fifty shafts and 20 drifts are known to exist, the true figure may be twice as many. There is no access to underground workings and only surface features remain.

For reference, in the Lancashire coalfield a seam is termed a 'mine' whereas the coal mine itself is termed a colliery.