The above image taken from the 1900 photo of Jubilee Colliery shows the Boiler House between the Main Chimney on the right and the battery of Coke Ovens on the left. The image is somewhat obscured by steam but we can make out 5 windows on the Boiler House. The Engine House by the upcast shaft can also be seen to the top left of the picture and the Joiners shop and Coal Crushing plant can be seen to the right of the picture. The Boiler House occupied the central part of the Colliery site and appears to have supplied power to the northern part of the complex and hot water for use throughout the site. The Boiler House appears to be a two-storey stone built structure with windows to each of the five bays in the Western long wall.
Today only the foundations of the building remain. After the site closed in 1932 most of the structures were demolished.
This photograph was taken in spring 2014 before Archaeological excavations started. As you can see from the photo the area was covered with a low mound of soil, brambles, nettles and small trees. We started excavations here to find out what remained and whether we could see from the foundations what the lay out might have been inside the Boiler House.
This photo shows the site of the Boiler House during excavation in 2014. You can make out the ‘site of Boiler House’ sign from the ‘before’ photo to the right of the picture. A trench was dug approx 10 m x 10 m and revealed well preserved remains comprising several floor surfaces of handmade mould-thrown bricks. Looking at the excavated floor in this photo you can see where bricks were stained red by exposure to heat from the boilers. The central part of the trench is two or three brick courses higher than the surrounding floor and represents the 3ft wide base of a flue which ran from the coke ovens to the north to the Chimney immediately to the south.
After the 2014 dig staff and volunteers from Groundwork worked with Alan Gardner and Paul McGiffen to repair and preserve some of the uncovered structures. The above photo shows some steps built between the Boiler House and Chimney to improve public access. The base of the flue which ran through the Boiler House was fixed with traditional lime mortar and left uncovered as a visual clue for visitors to see the connection between the remaining structures on the site. To hear more about the Preservation works on site please follow this link to watch a short film click here.
Many Thanks to Chris Wild and Ian Miller of Oxford Archaeology North for the above write up which is an extract taken from the final report. The project was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.