Rudland North Riding of Yorkshire

James Green was born at Moor House, Rudland Rigg, ca 1853. There is a Rudland Rigg (ridge road) and Rudland Moor where for generations the Greens were coal miners. The green-covered tailings make small mounds and they liberally dot this whole area. Donkeys and pack trains use to take the coal to various places and return laden with potash. Rudland Rigg road runs north and south, beginning just north of Gillamoor and separating west Bransdale and east Farndale.

 

From the KIRKBYMOORSIDE TIMES - Number 3 May 2003

The demand for coal in the early 1800s could not have been met by using the poor quality coal that was available locally at Rudland, and also at Piethorn, (north of Carleton) and at Hamer House, which lies on the moor tops between Egton and Rosedale Abbey. Mining these coal seams started early in the 1730s. Men and women, and no doubt children, mined coal from over one hundred bell-pits set out in a grid over a wide area east and west of Rudland Rigg. Many people who lived in the community at Rudland were employed in the industry. The parish burials register for 1790 records the death of a miner due to a fall of stone.

The coal seams were probably very shallow and lay beneath approximately 12 feet (4 metres) of shale and rocky overburden. A central shaft was sunk into the coal seam, and from this shaft a chamber of coal was excavated and hauled to the surface by a pony or manually-operated winch. Wooden props would be used to support the roof for a limited distance from the central shaft but then, as the cavity became extended and the danger of a roof fall increased, the pit would be abandoned and left to collapse or subside under the weight of the overlying rock and shale. The last miner, a man called Green, obtained coal to fire a steam threshing machine during the General Strike in the 1920s. It is said that coal was also obtained from the pits during the miners? strike of 1926 and was sold locally when better coal was unavailable. An alternative source of coal was Pickering, because of its had rail connections with Whitby and Malton from 1838.