Geology - the layers of coal beneath Dinnington

See also:

The main main coal mining page

List of Yorks pits 1987

Poem 1925: The man who gets the coal

What now for Coal? The Reign of King Coal pt II: 2008 - ?

Or maybe the party is nearly over - Peak Coal (2025?)

There were 4 deep mining pits in the villages area that closed in the early to mid 1990s i.e. Dinnington, Kiveton, Shireoaks and Thurcroft, (and dozens of others of the Yorks and Notts coalfields - see List of pits 1987).

These figures are taken at the Dinnington Main colliery downcast shaft, sunk in 1903 (130m above sea level, Lat 53 deg 22' 25" N, Long 1 deg 13' 10" West, dip of strata 1 in 20 (from Sections of Strata of the Coal Measures of Yorkshire, Univ of Sheffield, 1950). The strata are not just coal seams of course, there were 178 different layers of rock (and some thin seams of coal) identified above the Aston Common Seam, including several thin coal seams.

Coal seams of the Yorks/East Mids coalfields, taken at Dinnington Main colliery downcast shaft.

Coal Seam


Approx depth (m)

Approx depth (m)at Kiveton

Mansfield Marine Band

Layer of shale common throughout the coalfield containing distinctive fossils. It, and other marine bands, are used to identify the seams of coal. 



Aston Common Seam

A household coal also used for coke making. Also called Meltonfield , Wath Wood , Wakefield Muck , or Clowne coal.



Fox Earth Coal

Designated Coal and Bat (inferior)



Sough Coal.

The seam was rarely worked and was often split by a dirt parting. Also called Two Foot Seam , Royston , Cat Coal , or Halfyard Seam .



Furnace Coal

This seam is called the Winter seam north of Barnsley and the Abdy seam south of the town. A household coal not mined extensively because the roof of the seam was often a shaly mudstone which made mining it difficult.

Also called Scale coal .



The Top and Low Beamshaw Seams

These seams produce a good household coal with a low sulphur content but are often split by shales and in places they are separated by 10m of dirt.

Also called Stanley Main coal.



High Hazels Seam

A good household coal, often mined. AKA Kents Thick , Mapplewell . The seam is split by a thin dirt parting known locally as Bannocking dirt.



Top Hards seam AKA the Barnsley Seam

This was the most important seam in the coal field and 50% of the coalfields' output came from this seam. .
At Thurcroft the average thickness was about 1m to the south of the pit, and 1.5m to the north.



The geology gets a little confusing here because a fault plane crosses the area at circa 600m. However, Sections of Strata also recorded Swallow Wood, Lidgett, Joan, Parkgate, and Thorncliffe coals below the fault.

Base of lower Coal Measures

350 million year old rock. Below this is Devonian rock



Note how the same seams at Kiveton are much closer to the surface - partly explained by Kiveton's shaft starting at 110m above sea level, but probably mostly due to Dinnington being in the Maltby Trough and maybe displacement due to the fault called the Rotherham-Kiveton-Manton anticline.  The coal seams are over 100m deeper at Thurcroft, presumably because the strata dip into the Maltby trough. 

In the J31 area the most important seams are the Silkstone , Parkgate , Swallow Wood , Barnsley / TopHard and High Hazels seams. In general the upper seams like High Hazels are high oxygen readily burning coals, whereas the lower seams and low oxygen coal that can be made into coke (smoke free fuel).

See also:

The main coal mining page

List of Yorks pits 1987

Poem 1925: The man who gets the coal

What now for Coal? The Reign of King Coal pt II: 2008 - ?

Or maybe the party is nearly over - Peak Coal (2025?)

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