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Mining Regions in England

Ellington colliery banner
Ellington colliery banner
© National Coal Mining Museum for England (Photo: National Coal Mining Museum for England)
The Great Northern Coalfield, the Northumberland and Durham north-east region, has been mined more heavily and for a longer period than any other coalfield in England. The coal mining industry developed extensively in this region during the thirteenth century and continued until recently when Ellington colliery, near Ashington in Northumberland, finally closed. Collieries along the north-east coast mined coal from beneath the sea, with Ellington and Lynemouth collieries forming the largest undersea mining complex in the world.

Coal washes out of the strata lying under the sea naturally, and can often be found washed onto the shore by the tide. The gathering of sea coal from these north-eastern beaches has been practised by local people since the Middle Ages.
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