The first shaft reached a depth of 300 feet in October 1906. Good seams had been discovered in borings nearby in Waldershare Park (the home of the Earl of Guilford). However, work could not continue through the winter due to the poor state of Singledge Lane - the only means of transport to the main road at Whitfield.
"The Guilford Colliery, between Singledge Lane and the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, was commenced in July, 1906, with a small shaft, which was intended to be carried down quickly to test the coal measures, but when the thick seams were reached in the borings, two large shafts, 18ft. diameter, were started here, and the small shaft, 298ft. deep, was lef to collect water from the chalk for the winding engines. These works are in charge of T. W. Austen, M.E." (J.B.J. 1907)
The East Kent Railway connected the site to Eythorne in November 1912 but, despite sinking a second shaft, no coal had been found by 1918. The colliery was finally closed in the 1920s because of difficulties with transport, shortage of housing and flooding. The coal seam below Waldershare Park was eventually reached from Tilmanstone Colliery.
The photographs below show the remains of Guilford Colliery as it is today. The painting at the bottom of the page, by a local artist, gives an impression of how it would have looked when it was working after the First World War.
Just one winding shed and another unidentified building are all that remain of the colliery on the edge of Waldershare Park near Coldred. It can be seen on the 1931 OS map of East Kent alongside the road to the south of Waldershare Park, about a mile south-east of Coldred village. The photographs do not convey a true picture of the scale of the building, which sits in a hollow beside the road - there is almost as much below the bank as above it.
View of winding shed looking towards Coldred - another building in the background is now used as stabling.
Close-up view of cable-end of winding shed.
Side view of winding shed looking towards cable-end.
Another view of the winding shed showing the remains of the steel cable from the winding gear.
|Interior views of the winding shed
|The picture on the right shows what the colliery might have looked like at
dusk on a summer's evening after WW1. The pit-head gear for the two shafts can be
clearly seen on the left. The winding shed on the left of the picture is probably
the building in the pictures above.
From an original oil painting by John Abbott. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist.
This picture may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the artist. If you would like copies of any of the paintings on this site, please contact webmaster<AT>eastkent.freeuk.com with the subject "Paintings" for details.
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