Plans approved to help restore the headstocks at the National Coal Mining Museum

The Winding Wheel  at the National Coal Mining Museum.
The Winding Wheel at the National Coal Mining Museum.

Improvements are to be made at the National Coal Mining Museum in Overton to help preserve the rare attraction.

A planning application was submitted to make vital structural repairs to the headstocks at Caphouse Colliery on New Road.

These include the replacement of rotten timbers and replacing the roof of the heapstead, the building around the former colliery shaft.

Wakefield Council approved the plans for the Grade II-listed structures which also had the backing of Historic England.

Emma Sharpe, inspector of historic buildings and areas at Historic England, said: “The winding house, heapstead and headstock at Caphouse Colliery is a highly significant group of structures, with the headstock believed to be the last surviving timber example in Yorkshire and one of only a small number surviving nationally.

“The structures are valuable as a visual illustration of the early technology employed in coal mines.

“The structures are in need of repair in order for them to continue in this valuable educational role.”

Caphouse Colliery dates back to the late 1700s and became part of Denby Grange Colliery in the 1820s.

Like many others, the colliery shut in 1980s and the Yorkshire Mining Museum opened on the site in 1988. It became the National Coal Mining Museum in 1995. Tens of thousands of visitors visit the museum each year with many taking the trip down the old mine 140 metres below the surface.