Brayton Domain

The village of Aspatria stands at the northern end of the West
Cumberland Coalfield and there have been mines in the area since the
16th century.
The opening of the Maryport and Carlisle Railway, in 1842, led to a
rapid expansion of the industry.
John Harris of Greysouthern began coalmining in the Aspatria District
when he sank a pit at Plumbland in 1822 in a royalty belonging to Sir
Wilfred Lawson of Brayton Hall, and in 1850 he began the Brayton
Domain Colliery.
All of these pits worked the Yard Band (4 to 5 feet of good coal) to exhaustion.
No1 was sunk in 1850 to a depth of 132 feet and No2 was sunk to a
depth of 333 feet, these pits worked for 20 years.
Further royalties were then leased from Sir Wilfred Brayton and Lord
Leconfield and No3 pit was sunk to 538 feet in 1868, later abandoned
in 1902 after working 1 square mile of Yard Band Coal.
No4 (Wellington Pit) was sunk in 1888 to a depth of 562 feet and
worked 2 square miles of Yard Band coal before abandonment in 1933.
The final Brayton Domain Pit sunk was No5 to a depth of 1032 feet in
1907 which was later abandoned in 1942.
The Brayton Domain Collieries sank these five different pits around
the town at various times but there were also mines near Mealsgate,
Baggrow and Fletchertown.  In 1902, a new mine was sunk at
Oughterside. With the last pit in the town, Brayton Domain No.5, which
at its peak employed 1,060 people closed in 1942.
The worst recorded disaster to occur at the Brayton Domain Colliers
occurred on 26th April 1915 with an explosion of firedamp which
claimed 7 lives. The explosion occurred at about 11 a.m., on the 26th
April, in a district of the Yard Band Seam of the Brayton Domain (No.
4) Colliery.
On the day of the accident the district had been inspected twice by
the deputy. Fortunately only eight men were at work — six hewers, a
putter and a shot-firer.
A 4-yard lift was being taken off a pillar, and the coal at the face
of the lift was undercut. Into this thin rib a slightly rising
shot-hole was drilled until it penetrated the roof. This was a most
likely place for gas to accumulate.
It was gathered from the only survivor that a charge of gelignite
explosive was fired in this shot-hole, and immediately there was an
explosion in the old bord which communicated with the goaf adjoining
it. All the seven men died within the next few weeks as the result of
severe burns.
The inquest into the deaths concluded “ Death was caused by burning
from the explosion”

Birney, Thomas, aged 64, died Sunday, 2 May 1915, address: 16
Harriston, Aspatria

Lightfoot, Robert, aged 20, died Wednesday, 28 April 1915, address: 36
Harriston, Aspatria

Little, Thomas Herbert, aged 29, died Monday, 3 April 1915, address: 8
Spingkell, Aspatria

Rayson, Paul, aged 25, died Monday, 3 May 1915, address: 36 Harriston, Aspatria

Rumney, Joseph, aged 51, Deputy and Shot Firer, died 5 June 1915,
address: 108 Harriston, Aspatria

Wilkinson, Henry, aged 32, died Thursday, 29 April 1915, son of James,
address: 71 Lawson Street, Aspatria

Wilkinson, James, aged 59, died Friday, 21 May 1915, father of Henry,
address: 71 Lawson Street, Aspatria

More information can be found at

brayton domain brayton domain1 brayton domain2 brayton domain3

1 thought on “Brayton Domain”

  1. excellent information we could do with a visitors centre in Aspatria to show all this information

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