Started in 1865, Annesley and Bentinck mines near Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire were originally separate concerns producing household, gas and steam coal.
When the mines were amalgamated, Annesley with its two headframes became the main access for men and materials and coal came to surface via an incline drift at Bentinck which had the largest coal preparation plant in Europe. Coal was taken to power stations by merry-go-round railway trains operated first by British Rail and later by English Welsh and Scottish Railways.
Bentinck retained its railway connection after the line to Annesley was dismantled and the nearby Erewash river provided water for the washery. Pithead buildings at Annesley survived from many different periods and included an attractive lattice headframe and a prominent "A" on the upcast.
In January 1999, it was announced that Midlands Mining PLC was intending to close Annesley-Bentinck colliery by the end of the year, due to geological problems and adverse market conditions.
Midland's other mine at Silverdale had closed in the previous year. This tour goes inside most of the buildings at Annesley including the upcast winder, and at Bentinck includes the washery and rail loading bunker. Annesley-Bentinck was the country's oldest working underground coal mine.
The images on this page are taken from the video.