Coal Mining

It could be argued that coal mining is Coventry’s oldest continuous industry, though the difficulty is one of definition of geographical area. Mining has gone on in the Coventry district at least since the middle ages, but it is only as the geographical boundaries of the city have grown in the last sixty years that they have come within the city’s borders. It seems that such a fate has been like the kiss of death as one by one they have closed and with the recent closure of Coventry Colliery, Keresley there are none left. A large area beneath Coventry contains a broad coal seam. Permission to extract coal was given as early as the sixteenth century at Hawkesbury, Walsgrave and Wyken, but comprehensive extraction was far more common in the area north of Hawkesbury towards Nuneaton where the coal seam was at or near the surface. Despite the difficulties of accessing the coal, mining has had a more or less continuous history in the Coventry area since the late sixteenth century.  A number of more modern pits were opened up through this well explored northern and eastern area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as developments at new locations in Binley and Keresley