This film is part of Free

The Last Load from Kilmersdon

The last working day at the coalface of Kilmersdon Colliery endures a quiet ending.

Non-Fiction 1973 9 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Kilmersdon Colliery in Somerset is closing its mineshafts for good after over one hundred years extracting high-grade coal. The entrance to the mine was in Haydon and so the colliery was also known as Hayden Pit. The pit was established in 1875 as part of the Writhlington group of collieries and located directly above the Somerset coalfield. There has been evidence of coal extraction in the area dating to 1437.

During its life Kilmersdon became one of the deepest mines in Britain reaching over five hundred metres or sixteen hundred feet. The mine was nationalised after World War II becoming part of the National Coal Board and had the last gravity working industrial rope incline in the UK, a double track with an incline of one hundred and sixty yards and had a junction onto a section of Great Western Railways Bristol and North Somerset Railway. The mine was closed in August 1973 and its structures were demolished and its shaft filled and the area was landscaped. Kilmersdon is still home to the estates of Lord Hylton and the Joliffe family. The village said to be the home of the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme.