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Timeline

1756


Spa water discovered in Moira

The first reference to spa water was in a vicars diary that was found in a field. He describes seeing people drinking water which spurted from a large natural spring. As they drank they walked in a large circle to let the healing waters flow through their body.

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Spa water discovered in Moira

The first reference to Spa Water, found in the Ashby Woulds in 1757 and was recorded by a vicars as a diary entry. The water was found in a field situated between Donisthorpe lane, Moira and Acresford, appearing as a large circle similar to a fairy ring. The circle had a radius of 15 yards. One morning he saw people drinking water which spurted from a large natural spring. As they drank they walked around in a circle to let the healing waters flow through their bodies.

Later, around 1804, whilst digging for coal in one of the Moira pits, what seemed to be a large amount of water was seen springing from the strata underground. This particular water was found to be saline and therefore had healing qualities.

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1756


1774


Woodville's wooden tollgate burnt down

It was reported in the Derby Telegraph that the wooden tollgate where ‘Box Junction’ lays today was ‘totally burnt to the ground by villains’.

Measham Ware/ Mason & Cash Co Teapot with inscription 'Mrs Boffey Wooden Box 1887'.

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Woodville's wooden tollgate burnt down

It was reported in the Derby Telegraph that the wooden tollgate where ‘Box Junction’ lays today was ‘totally burnt to the ground by villains’. Woodville still remains known as Wooden Box (or just ‘Box’) locally. The name Box can be found in use around the area today such as on the large imposing Box House, the cricket club and numerous businesses.

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1787


Oakthorpe Deep Shaft Sunk

Joseph Wilkes sank the first deep shaft at Oakthorpe. Previous to that shallow mining had taken place since the 1600’s and possibly before.

 

 

1796


Ashby Canal built

The canal was built from the Moira end, and opened progressively, to take maximum advantage of transporting coal.

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Ashby Canal built

The canal was built from the Moira end, and opened progressively, to take maximum advantage of transporting coal. There would have been little return trade. The canal was built to Market Bosworth by 1798 and opened throughout 1804.

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1796


Railway decisions made

The decision to consider submitting railways was made, resulting from the Outram report.

1796


Coal exploration carried out at Sweethill Oak

Exploratory bores for coal were carried out at Sweethill Oak by the Earl of Moira but these were unsuccessful being on the east side of what is known as the Boothorpe Fault.

1800


Enclosure of the Woulds

Most land that was originally divided up in the Ashby Would Enclosure Plan which belonged to the Earl of Moira. After the Enclosure of the Woulds extraction of coal, ironstone and clay commenced.

1800


1802


Railway from Ticknall and Cloudhill to the Ashby Canal built

The railway from Ticknall and Cloudhill to the Ashby Canal was built by Benjamin Outram as a cost saving measure.

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Railway from Ticknall and Cloudhill to the Ashby Canal built

The railway from Ticknall and Cloudhill to the Ashby Canal was built by Benjamin Outram as a cost saving measure to replace the canal and its many locks originally proposed by the engineer Robert Whitworth. It used the then standard L section plate rails. Lime was carried from Ticknall to the Ashby Canal at Willesley Basin, next to Thought It Pit in Oakthorpe.

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1804


Moira double pit opened, also known as Spinney pit

1804


Ashby Canal opened

Ashby Canal opened throughout. It ran from Wadlands Wharf, Spring Cottage, and Overseal to the Coventry Canal at Marston Jabbet near Bedworth.

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Ashby Canal opened

Ashby Canal opened throughout. It ran from Wadlands Wharf, Spring Cottage, and Overseal to the Coventry Canal at Marston Jabbet near Bedworth. It was built primarily to transport coal from the local coalfields. Although enjoying some success it never really fulfilled the expectation of the promoters or shareholders.

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1804


Construction started on the Moira Blast Furnace

The original name was Warren Hill Furnace as indicated on an old map that pre-dates the OS era.

 

 

1805


Moira Spa opened

It was decided by the Marquis of Hastings, the owner of the land and mineral rights, to try to exploit this asset and according to a report by Edward Mammet, the Marquis’s Agent, they tried to extract Alkali and common salt, but failed.

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Moira Spa opened

It was decided by the Marquis of Hastings, the owner of the land and mineral rights, to try to exploit this asset and according to a report by Edward Mammet, the Marquis’s Agent, they tried to extract Alkali and common salt, but failed.

They decided it might be desirable to apply the water for medicinal purposes. They apparently erected a bath on a small scale for the local people in the surrounding area to use as an experiment. The baths were popular and word had obviously spread for this to be a viable scheme. At this time Marquis was in considerable debt so he must have been either foolhardy or sure the plan would succeed.

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1811


Stone Rows built

These homes were distinctive because they did not have front doors. Entrance to the houses was through a passage about halfway along the row and were built for the pit workers.

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Stone Rows built

These homes were distinctive because they did not have front doors. Entrance to the houses was through a passage about halfway along the row and were built for the pit workers. Several other housing developments were provided across the area including Overseal and Bath Yard.

 

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1811


Furnace explosion leads to its closure

1813


Bath Pit sunk

1813


Earl of Moira

1815


Moira Furnace operated as a foundry

1816


Moira pit sunk

1816


Moira Baths and Warren House Hotel opened

Receipt from Moira Baths

1816


Marquis Pit sunk

Early photograph of Marquis pit before alterations
Photo of Marquis Colliery general view of pit top

1820


Granville Colliery sunk

Black and white photo of Granville Colliery

1821


George Hallam Ashby Woulds Pot Works

1821


Rawdon Pit sunk

Early photograph of a train of 25 Moira Wagons at Rawdon Colliery Sidings
Image of Rawdon Lamp room with rows of miners lamps

1827


Swadlincote railway line opened

The line used the modern edge rails, but this made it incompatible with the earlier Outram plateways.

1839


Newfield Colliery started production

1841


Plans lodged with Parliament for an Ashby Canal connection from Wadlands Wharf to Burton, but it was not pursued.

1844


The Moira Furnace and foundry finally ceased production and was abandoned

1846


Ashby Canal taken over by the Midland Railway

1849


Leicester to Burton Railway including Moira Railway opened

1850


Moira Furnace began to be used for residential purposes

By 1861 there were 9 families including 65 individuals.

1851


Reservoir Colliery was sunk, also known as Cut End Pit

Black and white photograph of the main picking belt at Reservoir Colliery sorting the coal
Early photograph of the atmospheric engine at Reservoir Colliery

1854


Bath Pit closed

1864


T G Green pottery

Whilst on his honeymoon in Scarborough, Thomas Goodwin Green met Henry Wileman and as a result of that meeting became the manager of what was then known as Bath Pottery, the name was changed to T G Green and Co Ltd following the death of Henry Wileman.

1868


Ashby Woulds

112,000 tons of coal for the earthenware industry

1870


Measham Ware

Traditionally associated with the canals and narrow boats, was produced until around 1914.

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Measham Ware

Traditionally associated with the canals and narrow boats Measham Ware was produced until around 1914. It was not actually produced in Measham, but in nearby villages: primarily Church Gresley. Measham Ware is thought to have acquired its name as it was primarily sold by Mrs Anne Bonas, from her shop on High Street, Measham.

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1871


5 families living in the Furnace

1871


Donisthorpe Pit was sunk

Photo of Donisthorpe Colliery downcast pit and screens
Photo of Donisthorpe Colliery Screens

1873


Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway opened, from Overseal to Nuneaton

1883


Bretby Art Pottery

Bretby Art Pottery (Tooth & Co). A once thriving art pottery company opened by Henry Tooth in 1883 and later purchased by Frederick Parker a Manager of nearby T.G.Green pottery.

Black and white photograph of the exterior of Bretby art pottery building.

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Bretby Art Pottery

Bretby Art Pottery (Tooth & Co). A once thriving art pottery company opened by Henry Tooth in 1883 and later purchased by Frederick Parker a Manager of nearby T.G.Green pottery. Bretby pottery closed in 1998 but the original Art Nouveau showroom still exists and is owned by The Heritage Trust for renovation. Sadly the 3 bottle kilns have been lost and there is now a modern housing estate surrounding the site.

 

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1893


Miners strike, riots in Moira

1897


Robinson & Dowlers was established in Overseal

1900s

1907


Accident at Rawdon Pit

On 18th November there was an accident at Rawdon Pit involving the cage that carried miners down the shaft resulting in the loss of 1 miner’s life and injuries to 15 others.

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Accident at Rawdon Pit

Leicestershire, 18th November, 1907. Report number Cd. 3979. 1 dead & 15 Injured.

‘Rawdon Colliery, Moira, Leicestershire, where on the 18th of November, through the racing of the winding engine, a cage containing sixteen men was over-run and dashed into the sump of the pit, injuring all the occupants, one of whom later succumbed to his injuries.

The Rawdon Colliery over-winding accident was due to the engineman, Smith, probably in a moment of mental aberration, over-running his engine and so causing the overwind.’

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1911


The Red House opened

Moira and Donisthorpe Institute known as The Red House opened 29th July.

1916


Ashby Woulds and Overseal bombed by Zeppelin

The Zeppelin was aiming to bomb the Pipe works by following the railway line and missed its intended target.

1922


Earthenware jam jars

On August 16th a partnership between Paul Mead Webster and Charles Barrett formed to engage in the manufacture of earthenware jam jars.

1923


Moira Pottery Company started trading

On April 17th Moira Pottery Company commenced trading operations.

Black and white photo of a pot being measured

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Moira Pottery Company started trading

The first two customers were Reading Co-operative Society where Paul Webster’s father was the manager who placed the first order for 500 2lb stoneware jars. Then in August that year Hartley’s Limited placed an order for 288,000 7lb jars. Locally Moira Pottery unsurprisingly became known as ‘Jampot’

Black and white photo of a pot being measured

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1927


Moira Pottery fire

On October 30th a major fire broke out at Moira Pottery and production ceased for 4 months.

1929


Maurice Lea Memorial park

The site of where Maurice Lea Memorial park now stands was once a deep clay extraction hole and coal picking area.

Men picking coal off the ground on the site of what is now Maurice Lea Memorial park.

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Maurice Lea Memorial park

The site of where this park now stands was once a deep clay extraction hole and coal picking area. In 1929 the park was opened by Mr Herbert Lea who had financed the memorial to his son Lieutenant Maurice Bertram Lea who had been killed in action during WWI. The park has been awarded Green Flag status every year since 2014.

Men picking coal off the ground on the site of what is now Maurice Lea Memorial park.

Men picking coal off the ground on the site of what is now Maurice Lea Memorial park.           Image source Magic Attic.

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1930


Sanitary Ware

Moira Pottery ventured into sanitary ware but abandoned it due to too many difficulties.

1932


Ashby Canal bursts bank at Moira

1942


Donisthorpe was bombed

1944


1946


Nationalisation of the mines

1957


Ashby Canal abandoned from Donisthorpe to llott Wharf

1964


Moira Railway station closed

1965


Withdrawal of passenger trains

1967


Granville Pit closes

1968


Church Gresley Pit closes

1984


Miners Strike

1986


Budge bought Moira Pottery

Black and white aerial photograph of Moira Pottery

1989


New Moira Pottery factory built

1989


Rawdon Pit closed

Photo of last coal train at Rawdon Pit
Photo of Rawdon Colliery being destroyed

1990


Donisthorpe Pit closed

Black and white photograph underground at Donisthorpe Pit, showing the shunts and tracks
Black and white photograph showing the surface of Donisthorpe Colliery

1990


National Forest first tree planted at Moira

1992


Moira Pottery closed for buisness

1993


Moira Pottery building demolished

1995


Albert Village lake opened

1995


National Forest Company formed

2000


Ashby Canal re-watered from Bath Yard Basin to Donisthorpe

2001


First lock built on the Ashby Canal at Shortheath Road, Moira

2007


T G Green & Co Ltd closes

2007


Moira Pottery Company dissolved

1800
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2000
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