The central Chimney is first depicted on the Ordnance survey map in 1893 and is shown to have been partially enclosed within the Boiler House. By 1903 it was enclosed within a range of buildings. The 1900 photo (see above) of the site shows it to be a cylindrical tapering brick chimney. It was demolished following abandonment of the site in the 1930s and survived as a low mound with some brickwork exposed at present ground level.
The above photo shows the site of the Chimney at the start of excavations in June 2014. Soil had been banked up around the foundations to create a low mound with trees and vegetation shrouding the remaining structure.
Excavation of a trench measuring approx 7m x 7.5m revealed well preserved remains of the footings of the chimney in all but the south eastern corner of the trench suggesting that the chimney had fallen in that direction during its demolition.
The above photo from July 2014 shows the main structural element of the Chimney that survived comprised six courses of handmade bricks forming a wall 5’5″ thickness around a central 7′ diameter circular chamber. The foundation of the Chimney had been strengthened at some point with a 1.5 – 2 brick thickness wall added to it’s outer face.
Within the walls of the Chimney two relieving arches comprising three courses of brick were placed below two brick flues. One was placed at the northern point of the Chimney adjacent to the Boiler House and served flues from the boilers and the coke ovens to the north whilst the second flue was placed in the south western quadrant and probably served the Blacksmiths workshop which lay in that direction. In the above photo you can see the brick arch and in the foreground the damaged south east corner.
Preservation – September 2014
Having uncovered such an interesting structure during the dig we wanted to learn how to best preserve the Chimney foundations so we could leave them exposed for future visitors to see. Our staff and volunteers worked with Alan Gardner and Paul McGiffen to re-point some of the brickwork using traditional lime mortar. The large cavities in the photos above were lined with a geo-textile and filled with pea gravel so visitors could see a different between the soil mound and the gravel filled voids.
Mark Harrison and Ed Kramer from the Friends of Jubilee Colliery repairing the outer walls of the Chimney
The above photo shows the central chamber filled with pea gravel for safety and preservation. The Chimney can now be seen by visitors on entering the site uncovered as a monument of Jubilee’s industrial past.
Many Thanks to Chris Wild and Ian Miller of Oxford Archaeology North for providing this information which is an extract of the OAN final report. The project was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.