Chatterley Whitfield Colliery (Image: PentlandPirate).
In a country famous for its landmark industrial ruins, perhaps none are quite so haunting or neglected as Britain’s abandoned mines, collieries and quarries.
Remnants of a lost industrial age, they still dot the landscape of England, Scotland and Wales – reminders of a time when coal was king, and metal ores were mined in vast quantities.
Not only are their ruins strangely elegiac, the stories behind them are often just as melancholy too.
The story of Chatterley Whitfield is one of a once-proud colliery ground down to dust.
Officially opened in 1863, at its height it was producing one million tons of saleable coal a year – the first colliery in the United Kingdom to hit such a staggering number.
As one of the largest mines in the region, it employed thousands; its gigantic chimney becoming a local icon.
Today Chatterley Whitfield stands empty; a strangely-pristine reminder of its bygone glory days.
Closed in 1977 after it was decided the seam could be mined easier from nearby Wolstanton Colliery, it had a brief half-life as a mining museum.
It couldn’t last. By 1993, the place was in ruins.
Abandoned to the elements, it seemed a few short winters away from complete collapse.