MHG32794 - Coal-pit - Brora, Clyne, Sutherland


A coal-pit where 15 men were killed during a roof collapse in the 18th century at Brora, Clyne, Sutherland.

Type and Period (1)

  • COLLIERY (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The site was visited and recorded by J Aitken in 2000 and described as:
'Pit 2 may possibly be the location of a pit financed by William, 5th Earl of Sutherland in the first half of the 18c. It is stated that 15 men were killed in one of these pits by a roof-fall, the pit had pillar-stall-type workings.
In 1872, while the Fascally shafts were being prepared for working, Joshua Hetherington, a miner from County Durham, sank a trial shaft on the Links below 'Shean Park' near the March Stones from the Brora Lotters(Crofters), this is known from anonymous notes added to Farey's Report 1813. It is possible this relates to Pit 3&4, where clear depressions are visible and surrounding earthworks (lips) characteristic of Bell-Pits.
Th building of the new Sewerage Plant has destroyed the best clear cut Pit Depression on the Inverbrora side. The area where the Bell-Pits are located has reduced dramatically due to coastal erosion and threatens the ones nearest the sea.'
Information supplied by J Aitken, NOSAS. 01/00.
See assoc. docs. File.
J Aitken : 16/05/01.

A coal-pit is depicted on a plan by John Farey (1812). It has been documented that 15 men were killed in the pit when the roof collapsed in the 18th century. At the site a large crater is visible, overgrown. No memorial has been erected to this tragedy.
J Aikten : 27/1/04

The coal pit was recorded by CFA Archaeology Ltd during a DBA and walkover survey in October and November 2005. The site was described as:
A 15m-diameter depression marked the location of a coal-pit, marked on Farey’s 1812 plan as ‘Coal Pit where 15 Men were killed’. The pit depression was located at the base of the raised beach slope and the NW side of the pit joined the slope without any obvious break. An area of nettles marked the centre of the pit and there was substantial bracken growth around its NW side. Numerous molehills were present in and around the pit area. The pit was approximately 3m deep. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NC 9039 0337 (14m by 15m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC90SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CLYNE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (0)

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