The Coal Mine at Gorse Hall

The mine was situated on the hillside between Quarry Street and Hob Hill, off High St. Stalybridge, owned by a Mr Wooley (known as Parson’s pit) or nicknamed “the rabbit holes”.

The coal from the pit had a private tramway which ran downhill, through a tunnel under the coach road and directly to the boiler house door to fire the steam boilers at Leech’s mill.

An enquiry into the “Employment of Children” was carried out in 1841 and some of the evidence collected locally from employees at Mr. Wooley’s pit was included in statistics.  Children were actually employed in this pit and their ages varied between nine to fourteen.  No one would admit to children of any younger age being employed there.

Children could learn to read and write at Sunday school for free.
If working they had to pay tuppence, earning one shilling and sixpence, up to three shillings and sixpence according to age.

Breakfast would be bread and butter and coffee with no milk as it was expensive.  Cheese with a slice of bread was their sustenance for 12 hours in the pit.