The Mining Heritage of the Lincolnshire Wolds

Nettleton Mine - first cut

The landscape of the Lincolnshire Wolds has been shaped a great deal from industry. The obvious is farming but the not so obvious is ironstone mining.

It is hard to believe when looking out over the tranquil landscape of Nettleton and Claxby that it was once a very different scene, a noisy and bleak setting where up to 150 people worked to mine the ironstone of the land.

Underground ironstone mining was part of the life of Claxby Parish from 1868 to 1885. This was followed by the first cut of the Nettleton mines in 1928 which remained open up until 1968. Mining provided employment for the people who lived in the area, along with financial support and social opportunities for miners and their families. Many houses you see in the area are linked to the mining industry, shaping the communities we now see today.   

A group of heritage enthusiasts in the Nettleton and Claxby area have joined together to research this fascinating subject, with the intention of planning events and activities which will help to share what they've discovered and to promote the area.

Oral History voice recordings


David started in 1960 when he was 17 years old and worked for 2 years.
He started as a loco driver, then worked on the face, using pneumatic hammers, loading ore into 3 ton trucks. He remembers many of the men with whom he worked.


Derek described his memories of his father, Frank Favill, who was a driver at Nettleton Mine. He drove a route picking up workers from the surrounding villages and the Polish camp in his Commer lorry. He took the apprentices for their day-release studies in Scunthorpe and, when not driving, he prepared pit props and repaired  the aerial ropeway when necessary.


John worked in the mine from 1958 to 1964. He was an apprentice electrician who spent most of his time repairing the motors and the aerial ropeway. He moved from the mine to trucking chalk from Nettleton Bottom to Scunthorpe.


John was an apprentice fitter in the mine from 1960 to 1964.  His grandfather and father had also worked in the mine.  John worked in the loco workshop, then the machine shop, the blacksmith's workshop and finally, maintaining the excavators for the opencast workings at Nettleton Bottom.  All the apprentices went to college in Scunthorpe for day and evening classes.  He described the extraction of iron ore and the chalk and sand which were worked at the site.


Kenneth worked in the mine for 8 months in 1954.  He gave details of his shift 6am – 2pm 5 days a week.  He described in detail how they tested the roof for safety, extracted the iron ore, the trammers who collected the full trucks and the pay they received. Lunch break was taken underground at the point where there was electric light.


(This recording was made by Alan Dennis and this is all the information Alan was able to provide).  Les Wilkinson helped dismantle the mine when it when it closed.


Patrick was an apprentice fitter from 1964 – 1967.  He began when he was 15 years old and was not allowed to work a full day.  As soon as he could work full time he worked on the locos, going to North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe on day release.  He left in 1967 to work in Melton Ross quarry, using very similar machinery.

In Ore of Our Past

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