STOP PRESS! Demolition Approved for Annesley Colliery Headstocks & Bath House
Only the Headstocks and Bath House have stood at Annesley Colliery in North West Nottinghamshire since 2004, when the previous owner's illegally demolished (it is within a specifically designated Conservation Area) 16 buildings.
The main and most dominant survivor is the striking and spectacular headstocks. A symbol of Nottingham’s proud mining heritage, the headstocks stand defiant against the skyline north, a fitting monument to all those who spent their lives working down the mines. Built to house winding gear and mechanisms for lift equipment, the structure was dictated by its function. Raw and geometric, it is a vision in great white latticed steel, emblazoned with a giant red A. Its removal will be the removal of a fundamental layer of Nottinghamshire’s history and an integral part of the district’s heritage.
The colliery, active from 1867 until 2000, was one of the oldest pits in the country, certainly in Nottinghamshire. In its heyday there were 30 working collieries, today only a few collieries remain open in the county. Closures were instigated by the privatisation of the coal industry in 1994 and post regeneration programmes have seen flattening and landscaping rather than the protection of these structures. Despite several attempts to list Annesley Colliery, efforts have been to no avail, and unlike those at Bestwood or Clipstone, it has never been listed.
The designation of a Conservation Area in 1999, of which the headstocks are an integral part, was supposed to signal the significance of the site and its need for protection. The allocation recognised the site’s architectural and historical interest, and its formative impact on the local area, but the destruction in 2004 illustrates just how vulnerable unlisted buildings continue to be despite Conservation Area status.
It is likely that Persimmon Homes will now push on with their development to build 191 new homes on the site. The headstocks themselves will be replaced by a green space - their obliteration will be totally needless.
We first featured the case in the May 2006 Newsletter. It was featured as a building of the month during 2008 when we sought to find a new owner or source of funding to retain and secure the structure.
The Annesley Conservation Trust (ACT) has been working extremely hard to gather funding and a suitable plan to ensure the retention of the headstocks and the 1930s Art Deco Bath House. This announcement will be a major blow to them and the local community who they represent.