Register of ancient monuments

Reference number 1017655

Ventilation Chimney And Furnace House
Shibden Hall Road


The Park Farm ventilation chimney and furnace house lie 1.75km south west of the village of Northowram, on ground which slopes steeply to the east. The monument includes all the standing and ruined buildings, earthworks and buried remains of the chimney and furnace house.

The chimney and furnace house originally formed part of a ventilation system dating to the 1820s or 1830s, which served the Stocks and Shibden Hall collieries. The furnace drew stale air from the shaft, with the chimney providing updraft to encourage circulation. By the 1860s most collieries used underground furnaces for ventilation, and the survival of this ground level system offers the opportunity to study the earlier technology in detail. The chimney stands complete to a height of 9m, and is a local landmark. It is built of sandstone in ornate style with crenellated top, mock arrow-loops, and fine detailing. The furnace house survives as a small brick building immediately east of the chimney. Cinder heaps are visible in the vicinity, particularly to the north of the furnace building.

Modern field walls and track surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.


Coal has been mined in England since Roman times, and between 8,000 and 10,000 coal industry sites of all dates up to the collieries of post-war nationalisation are estimated to survive in England. Three hundred and four coal industry sites, representing approximately 3% of the estimated national archaeological resource for the industry have been identified as being of national importance. This selection, compiled and assessed through a comprehensive survey of the coal industry, is designed to represent the industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity. The term 'nucleated' is used to describe coal mines that developed as a result of increased capital investment in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are a prominent type of field monument produced by coal mining and typically consist of a range of features grouped around the shafts of a mine. The simplest examples contain merely a shaft or adit with associated spoil heap. Later examples are characterised by developed pit head arrangements that may include remains of engine houses for pumping and/or winding from shafts, boiler houses, fan houses for ventilating mine workings, offices, workshops, pithead baths, and transport systems such as railways and canals. A number of later nucleated mines also retain the remains of screens where the coal was sized and graded. Coke ovens are frequently found on or near colliery sites. Coal occurs in significant deposits throughout large parts of England and this has given rise to a variety of coalfields extending from the north of England to the Kent coast. Each region has its own history of exploitation, and characteristic sites range from the small, compact collieries of north Somerset to the large, intensive units of the north east. A sample of the better preserved sites, illustrating the regional, chronological and technological range of nucleated coal mines, together with rare individual component features are considered to merit protection.

Park Farm colliery chimney is a rare survival of an early and ornate colliery ventilation chimney: only nine such chimneys are known to survive nationally and of these, this chimney is one of only three pre-dating 1850. Its survival in conjunction with the shaft-top furnace building and contemporary cinder heaps offers a particularly rare assemblages of features. The earthworks and buried remains will provide technological information on a period of mining history for which such data is especially scarce.

The monument therefore provides an important opportunity to study the technology available to the coal mining industry of the early 19th century.

Last Updated: 07/10/2004