Astley Green Winding Tower
53°29′43″N 2°26′48″W / 53.4952°N 2.4467°W
Astley Green Colliery Museum has the only surviving headgear on the Lancashire Coalfield. It is made from wrought iron lattice girders with rivetted plates at the joints. It has two large and one small wheel mounted at the top. It is nearly 30 metres (98 ft) high and was built by Head Wrightson of Stockton-on-Tees in 1910-11 for Astley Green Colliery. The sheaves were 20 ft. in diameter and the whole frame weighed 120 tons.
The site is protected as a Grade II Scheduled Monument. An English Heritage report puts the headgear in the AT RISK category and unless repairs and maintenance can be carried out urgently it is likely that it will be lost forever. The structure has been deemed too unsafe for access and unless sufficient funds can be obtained to repair and paint the wrought iron, the trustees feel the only alternative would be demolition. The pit closed in 1970 and in 3 years time will be the 50th anniversary of its closure. The trustees have set this as a timescale to try and preserve this iconic structure for future generations. Plans are in place to upgrade the museum to make it a centre for community activities and to provide training in various skills that are being lost.
ENGLISH HERITAGE AT RISK ENTRY
The head gear has suffered with deterioration and is now in need of significant repair and painting to avoid any further deterioration. The headgear was placed on the English Heritage at Risk register in 2010 and since then has had a further 6 years of weathering. The report indicates it is in poor condition with slow decay with no solution agreed.
List Entry Number: 1017061
ENGLISH HERITAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT
Assessment Type: Building or structure
Occupancy / Use: Occupied / in use
Priority Category: C – Slow decay; no solution agreed
Previous Priority Category: C
Owner Type: Charity (heritage)
Designation: Scheduled Monument and Listed Building Grade II
List Entry Number(s): 1017061 and 1068445
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Approaches have been made to English Heritage and the National Lottery Fund regarding grants and support for the repair and maintenance of the Head Gear and although the project meets the criteria for funding under the Heritage grant criteria, both organisations would need proof that the museum and site would have a future, and could be developed to deliver positive benefits to the community in which it operates.