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VOBSTER BREACH COLLIERY

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The monument includes the ruins, earthworks and other remains of Vobster Breach colliery. The opening of the Newbury Railway in circa 1857 acted as a stimulus to local mine owners in the mid 19th century and led to the development of Vobster Breach or 'Vobster New Pit' during the early 1860s. Increased competition for existing markets and a downturn in the coking trade during the following decades led to economic difficulties at Vobster Breach, and mining had ceased by 1884. Most of the mine buildings are grouped around the shaft in the central part of the site. Although the headgear has been dismantled, four stone mounting blocks mark its position. One the coal had been raised to the surface it was conveyed to the screens for grading. There is no surface evidence to indicate the form of the screens, but their foundations are believed to survive as buried features. To the south of the shaft are the foundations of a structure which is thought to have contained workshops. To the west of the shaft are the ruins of the stone built winding engine house which is believed to have housed a single cylinder horizontal steam engine. The engine base is thought to survive as a buried feature within the building. A brick nuilt chimney stands beyond the north west corner of the winding house. The colliery spoil head occupies an area of approximately 0.65 hectares in the northern part of the site. In the south eastern part of the site are the standing and earthwork remains of two banks of coking ovens. The narrow guage tramway which connected Vobster Breach to the Newbury Railway approached the mine from the east. The trackbed of one of the tramways that served the coking ovens and pithead buildings is visible running east-west along the southern side of the spoil heap towards the pit head buildings. Scheduled.

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