Jane Pit

Location : Workington
Grid Ref : NX 996278


at the junction of Annie Pit Lane and Mossbay Road.



Jane Pit is a 19th century coal mine built by Henry Curwen, lord of the manor in Workington (see Workington Hall). It contains the best surviving example of the ornate castellated style of colliery architecture that was a feature of the large landowner involvement in the Cumbrian coal industry during the nineteenth century. The site is a scheduled ancient monument.



The monument still retains a gin circle and a later steam engine house and therefore is a rare example of a coal mine that demonstrates the evolution of a horse-powered winding to steam power. The horse gin which provided an early means of raising coal up the shaft survives as a circular earthwork immediately to the south of the winding engine house. It originally had a stone-lined interior and was the location for a gin arm or pole powered by two horses that rotated a winding drum to raise coal up the shaft. This method of winding was replaced in 1843 when the owner, Henry Curwen, built the now roofless engine house to accommodate a steam-powered beam winding engine.



The drawing of Jane Pit is by L.S. Lowry, who often stayed in Cleator Moor with his friend Geoffrey Bennett. He painted several pictures of buildings in West Cumbria, including the Wath Brow Church.


Jane Pit operated until the mid-1870s. The mine closed in 1875 when pumping was discontinued after the sea broke into the mine entombing 100 miners.


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