Cortonwood was a colliery near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. The colliery's proposed closure was a tipping point in the 1984-85 miner's strike. Today the site is a shopping and leisure centre.

Cortonwood Retail Park
Cortonwood is located in South Yorkshire
Location within South Yorkshire
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBarnsley
Postcode districtS73
Dialling code01226
PoliceSouth Yorkshire
FireSouth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°30′32″N 1°23′06″W / 53.509°N 1.385°W / 53.509; -1.385Coordinates: 53°30′32″N 1°23′06″W / 53.509°N 1.385°W / 53.509; -1.385


Cortonwood colliery was sunk in 1873, a year after the formation of the Brampton Colliery Company, which took its name from the local parish of Brampton Bierlow, near Rotherham. By March 1875, two shafts had been dug to a depth of 285 yards (261 m) to work the Barnsley Seam which was at a depth of 218 yards (199 m). The shafts were two of the deepest in the South Yorkshire Coalfield at that time.[1] In 1908, the depths of the shafts were increased to 506 yards (463 m) to access the Parkgate Seam which was located at 481 yards (440 m) down.[2] From 1927 onwards, the Swallow Wood and Silkstone Seam's were being mined and the Parkgate and Barnsley Seams were worked out. During the 1970s, Cortonwood was producing only Coke for steel plants.[3]

In March 1984, when the price of coking coal had fallen dramatically,[4] the National Coal Board announced that the mine was due to close, due to the large stocks of coking coal that the colliery produced.[5] The proposed closure of Cortonwood became the "final straw" in a series of closures which brought about the long-running UK miners' strike (1984–1985).[6] The colliery officially closed on 25 October 1985 with full clearance of the stocks and buildings by the end of 1986.[5]

The site has now been converted into a shopping and leisure area. It features big names such as B&Q,[7] Matalan, Next, Boots, Morrisons, McDonald's, Argos, Pizza Hut, Asda Living, Sports Direct, SCS, Halfords, Smyths Toys, Pets at Home, TK Maxx and many factories and office buildings. Cortonwood now falls within the Hoober ward of Rotherham Metropolitan Council.[8] It is accessed via the Dearne Valley Parkway (A6195 road).[9]

Work has begun to extend the park in May 2016. The expansion will see the arrival of retailers such as River Island, H&M, New Look, Outfit, Poundland, JD Sports, M&S, Wilko and Frankie and Benny's and create up to 300 jobs for the local area.[10]

Heritage railway futureEdit

The Elsecar Heritage Railway are planning to extend to a proposed new railway station at Cortonwood in the future as finances allow[11] with certification from local councils and the Office of Road and Rail granting level crossing approved status being confirmed in February 2017.[12]


Cortonwood F. C. represented the village in the FA Cup during the 1930s.


  1. ^ Hill 2001, p. 106.
  2. ^ Hill 2001, p. 107.
  3. ^ Hill 2001, pp. 107–108.
  4. ^ Winterton, Jonathan; Winterton, Ruth (1989). Coal, crisis, and conflict : the 1984–85 miners' strike in Yorkshire (1 ed.). Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-7190-2548-6.
  5. ^ a b "Cortonwood Colliery – Northern Mine Research Society". Northern Mine Research Society. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  6. ^ Shannon, Paul (2006). Rail freight since 1968 : coal. Great Addington, Kettering: Silver Link. p. 10. ISBN 1-85794-263-9.
  7. ^ "New jobs at Cortonwood". South Yorkshire Times. 8 January 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Online Planning – Full Details". Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  9. ^ "278" (Map). Sheffield & Barnsley. 1:25,000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey. 2015. ISBN 9780319244753.
  10. ^ "Ten national firms sign up to £36m Rotherham shopping park". Sheffield Star. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Elsecar coalfield heritage railway poised to expand". BBC News. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Extension to Cortonwood achieves major milestone". Retrieved 8 May 2017.


  • Hill, Alan (2001). The South Yorkshire Coalfield; a History and Development. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-1747-9.

External linksEdit

The mineEdit

The retail developmentEdit