Notts churches celebrate mining heritage

A special launch to celebrate the Nottinghamshire churches that played a pivotal role in the lives of 19th & 20th century coal mining communities took place last week.

 The county has seventeen remaining churches which were originally founded specifically to cater for the expanding mining communities, and the launch event focused on two key locations in Bestwood: St Mark’s church and the Winding Engine House, on Wednesday 24th of July.

 West Nottinghamshire once boasted a long line of coal mines which, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, transformed the villages and countryside of north-west Nottingham, Sherwood Forest, and the Dukeries, into one of the greatest coalfields in Britain.

 Amidst this major expansion of industry new settlements arose and once-tiny villages grew to support the miners and their families. This development brought the need for new churches to cater for their spiritual needs and witnessed the foundation of a large number of such buildings.

 Church History Project co-ordinator, Heather Sirrel, said: “it is a chance for people to discover some of Nottinghamshire’s less well-known churches, ones that don’t immediately spring to mind when you think of ‘history’ or ‘heritage’ but ones that have an important story to tell.”

 St Mark’s venue included talks about the history and how faith and the church helped life for a miner, with a Q & A session and a buffet lunch in the church, which was followed by a short walk to Dynamo House in Bestwood Country Park and The Winding House talks and tour took place from 1.30 – 3pm

A new leaflet produced by the Church History Project, also celebrates the heritage and spirit of the industry. More info at www.nottsopenchurches.org.uk/miningflyer.pdf