I grew up in a mining area and like so many others the mines that my father and grandfather worked in were closed down in the eighties and nineties. For me this made visiting a still intact and historically significant mine such as Annesley an absolute must, especially given that the whole thing could be torn down any minute, my historical information on this mine comes from Subterranea Britannica whose article dates the mine back to 1865, running all the way up to the year 2000.
Despite the fact that the whole area of Annesley has been designated a Conservation Area many of the buildings on the site have been demolished and there is a great fear among the locals (proud of their heritage) that the rest will go too, along with the iconic headstocks that still stand. Besides the headstocks only two other buildings have been spared the bulldozers, one I believe housed the canteen and the other seems to have some exterior winch-like equipment but I have not managed to determine it’s original usage. An article in local newspaper The Chad says that demolition was given the green light in January 2009.
Surrounded by a mound of dirt and piles of extremely large tyres, the only building left easily accessible is the headstocks still white with the giant red “A” on the side (although it shares it’s space with some graffiti now). Once you’ve made your way past the completely ineffective (bent out of shape) fence you’re into the main chamber, there’s a few bits of hanging metal and cables around but it seems safe enough. The area inside is relatively small and you can’t see a great deal looking up to the roof but there is a ladder, for safety reasons I didn’t do the climb myself but others have in the past and have lived to tell the tale – take care whatever you decide. There’s a lot of metalwork inside, along with a giant rusted doorway and several rusted pieces of switchgear left over from the mine’s operational days.
The other buildings weren’t easily accessible and I was in a hurry so I didn’t try too hard to get in either of them, the winch building does have a window entrance that might be OK and the larger building with the clock seems to be fenced off but there may be a way in round the side or front (it is accessible from the main road).
I’m not quite sure if this causes a TimeCop-esque Urbex paradox but I did come across a few bricks on the site made by the London Brick Company, previously based at one of my recent explores at Stewartby Brickworks – I guess the world is full of coincidences!