Draycott Cross Colliery, Staffordshire

Pulling up alongside a country lane and looking out across the fields in front of us, it was hard to believe there was any underground structure in the area at all. A line of trees then revealed the Southern portal for the rail tunnel, ultimately leading to Draycott Cross colliery.

Making our way down to the overgrown tunnel portal, it became apparent that some climbing was going to have to be done. Something I’m not overly confident with! The tunnel had been completely bricked up apart from a hole about 15-20ft up, with an inevitable drop of the same height inside.

It didn’t take long to get inside and walking along the tunnel it was obvious that coal had been mined here. The brickwork was black and the torchlight from all three of us was being sucked up by the darkness.

A Brief History of Draycott Cross

Draycott Cross Colliery Southern Portal circa 1991 - Photo from Subterranea Britannica
Draycott Cross Southern Portal circa 1991 – Photo from Subterranea Britannica

Construction began in 1898 on Draycott tunnel and it opened in January 1909. During its use the tunnel was prone to collapsing and attempts were made to strengthen the tunnel using steel hoops . The section of line between the north portal of the tunnel and Cheadle was retained to serve the Colliery. The tunnel finally closed in 1922.

Around 1983 Puddleduck Colliery commenced work from adits just inside the southern portal of the old railway tunnel. A new narrow-gauge line was laid in the tunnel with mine carts hauled by cable. Draycott Cross Colliery closed in 1991 and the land was sold and the adits sealed.

Exploring Draycott Cross Colliery

We walked as far as we could along the tunnel and then decided to take an adit on the eastern side of the tunnel. Having never been in a coal mine before, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it was like an old western! Corrugated iron lines the walls and ceiling, a narrow-gauge rail (complete with cart) and a steep slope, heading directly in to a flooded chamber reminiscent of something out of Indiana Jones!

Draycott Cross Colliery was a fascinating place to explore, even if all my photos were junk and too dark!

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Comments

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  1. James says:

    Would anyone be interested to go to some of these places. Me and my friend been to a few but we would like more of a group to protect ourselves

    Email me jamestaylor9999@icloud.com

  2. Vince Whalley says:

    SJ 989 413

    1. Dean says:

      Do you know how to get in mate?

      1. Vince W says:

        I have not been down in a while. I can go and investigate. However last I heard it has been sealed off.

        1. Dean says:

          Would you mate? I could meet you? I’ve been twice with no luck.

          1. Danny says:

            Take a climbing rope lol

            1. jake says:

              You been? I went years ago and bricks had been knocked out so it was accessible. Can’t remember at all how to get there. Any help on exact location?

              1. Danny says:

                Yeah not to long ago we went we had to climb in and climb down we went all over it down the shafts etc

    2. Mr ajamal h Shah says:

      Hi,

      I would like to know the address and postcode to this draycott cross colliery?

      And I’m interested in these types of tunnels or caves.

      A. Shah

      1. Nathan cook says:

        Hello do you have any mines that we can explore please or caves.

  3. Dan says:

    Hi all

    I know this this thread is a tad old now and I know people have said the southern portal has been sealed.

    Is this still true?

    Any tips?

    1. Rowan Schaack says:

      Hi im new to exploring and do not know how to find the entrance to this colliery please could you send the location to me please! :)

    2. Hayden Gregory says:

      It was when I went around a year ago or so. I’d love to know if it’s open at the moment though.

      And to get to the mine entrance you have to park in a lay-by and walk to where the water pumping station is. Climb over the gate and walk down the drive way. Walk past the pumping station which will be on your left, climb over the fence and walk to your left there will be high stone cliffs almost on each side and after a 100 meters or so the entrance will appear.

      1. Beck says:

        Is there a postcode?

      2. Martyn says:

        Anyone have a postcode for this place?

        1. Jake says:

          Yeah, you still interested?

          1. Martyn says:

            Yes mate still interested.

          2. Iwan says:

            Hi Jake, can you please let me know postcode? I’ve been to around 30 abandoned mines and would like to cross this one off the list.

  4. John says:

    This is in Staffordshire, not Derbyshire.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      You’re quite right. I’ll get it all changed, thanks for pointing that out.

      1. Martin says:

        It’s still in Staffordshire like it was in August 2017 but great pictures

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Thanks for the reminder… Ha!

      2. martin says:

        Hi, the other end of the tunnel is at the back of Hartleys scrapyard behind New Haden Pumps. I used to play there when I was a kid mid 1960s, it was called GFM recycling at the time. I think that by now it’s probably buried.

      3. Martin says:

        There is or was an open adit at the roadside by Boundary Breakers Commonside Cheadle. You go past the entrance to the car breaker heading downhill just around the corner opposite a house and if I remember correctly it goes into the hill on the right under the breakers ground. It smelt gassy. We used to play in the entrance there as well until the bloke came out of the house one day and said we would blow ourselves up going down there and the next time we went to it he had filled the end with hedge and tree cuttings.

  5. Stacey says:

    Has anyone been recently and can tell me if it’s blocked up or not? Thanks

    1. Ryan says:

      Yes it’s still open but risky through a small concrete hole

      1. Jack says:

        There are photos of the entry point shown and it’s concreted shut, is there another entry point you’re talking about, thinking about visiting soon.

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Jack, entry to locations (especially Draycott) changes all the time on a day-by-day basis. When we visited it was supposed to be locked up tight, but it’s the chance you take! Some you win, some you lose.

      2. oliver says:

        Is there a second entrance you are talking about because me and my 2 friends went for a wander and found the sealed up entrance just wondering if there is another entrance?

        Email me – ollieesmith54@googlemail.com

  6. jamie says:

    Is there a post code for this or close to it please

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Have you tried searching Google? Seriously it’s like the 2nd result dude.

    2. Mark says:

      I have recently tried to find the entrance to this mine, but it is heavily overgrown and I ran out of daylight. It is situated just north of Draycott in the Moors, east of where Cheadle Road meets Draycott Cross Road. I have google co-ordinates 52.969614, -2.016779. I believe you would need to walk down the adjacent track south then back up north to access the entrance. If you choose to go I would like to come too, as would be a bit dangerous to go alone.

    3. Mark says:

      I found it last night (Friday 18th June 2016). I could safely say it’s been permanently sealed with concrete now. The only way in would be with TNT or a Jackhammer!

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        Thanks for the update, Mark. Did you take any photos of the sealed portal?

        1. Mark says:

          Yes I got a photo, wasn’t sure how to post it on here. I put one on 28dayslater.com if you want to view it. And a correction, I visited on the 17th June not 18th June 2016.

          http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/draycott-cross-colliery.t3739#post-1144292

          1. The Urban Explorer says:

            I did see that. Proper job, indeed! Thanks for the update.

    4. Nicola says:

      No. Please bear in mind that someone owns the land… that’s me. My husband and I really try to take precautions to keep people safe from danger as the tunnel is old and disused and it is very dangerous to get inside. Please consider us, the owners when you are trying to break in. The colliery have now covered the entrance in reinforced concrete to keep the public safe.

    5. James says:

      We travelled 2 hours only to find the entrance fully concreted off about 2 foot thick, any other ways in?

    6. John Taylor says:

      Hi Jamie, here is the town and postcode; Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 2NS,
      Regards, John Taylor

  7. michael says:

    Hi, what about the Middleton mine is this the same one or? Could anyone give me some info about the Middleton mine if it’s still accessible? Can’t get in through front gate I don’t think.

    1. Dan says:

      Middleton mine is a different place and well worth going. These Draycott mines are not very good as the roof has all collapsed so you cannot get very far.

      1. Colt Simpson says:

        Does anyone have any co-ordinates for Middleton Mine entrance?

        Thanks

  8. michael says:

    Hi does anyone know if it has been sealed?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Access changes all the time, but it was open a couple of weeks ago.

  9. Leah says:

    Hi! I am a Urban Photographer and love to explore urban locations, however a lot of the time I mostly get caught haha! Just wondering if you have a list of places that would be ideal for an urban photoshoot as I am helping a boy band out and would love to find somewhere unique and cool! Preferably around either Derbyshire or Nottingham?!
    Thanks!

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Leah, try the map on geograph.org.uk you can set a radius to search within and using keywords like ‘derelict’ or ‘abandoned’ will usually give you plenty of results.

  10. Rastapasta says:

    Hello folks, can you give me some advice on how to search the coordinates for the Draycott tunnel? I live in Derby so the site if only half an hour from me, I’m planning a dry run to check out the access, I’ll report back, just one more thing, is it on private land? Am I going to be chased by an angry farmer with a pitch fork? Thanks, Kev

  11. Jack says:

    Me and a few friends tried to visit this location some time last year, was there for about 3 hours and could not find it for the life of us!

  12. A Webster says:

    If you know how to use this, it may help you find it.
    398966E 341359N N52⁰58’10” : W2⁰1’0″ SJ989413

  13. jake says:

    In reply to people looking for places in Derbyshire to explore I’ve found loads of great places, one of the best was Middleton Mine in Matlock Derbyshire, 25 miles of caves big enough to drive large dumper trucks through with huge rooms unbelievable in size, we were there all day and didn’t even get round 5% of it I’d say, good torches are a must as there’s sheer drops down shafts out of nowhere, one of the shafts I called bottomless shaft because when you throw something down it you don’t hear it hit the bottom.

    We spent around 6 hours down there but had to turn back as the batteries on the torches where going, if you get left in the dark down there death is certain, even with lights and glow sticks to follow back we got lost for around an hour trying to find the exit, next time we go we’re camping out down there so we can explore more, I’ve got loads of pictures and videos from down the mine but not sure how to post them, I’d definitely recommend going just the size of it alone is astonishing.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Spare batteries… and spares for the spares! Ha!

    2. matt says:

      Do you have grid ref. or postcode for Matlock mine? Thanks

  14. matt says:

    Cheers. Any other good locatations in Derbyshire? I know of a few around Sheffield area.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Not off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s plenty though. Tried searching on 28dayslater.co.uk?

      1. Laura walsh says:

        Hi do you know any good locations to go in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire looking for an abandoned place to go explore today

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Try joining 28dayslater.co.uk and use the search function on there. You’ll find loads, I’m sure!

    2. Kim Wright says:

      Could you update me on some Sheffield locations?… :)

    3. roxy says:

      Hey could you tell me the locations of the ones around Sheffield as I’m close to that area and struggle to find places that are abandoned.

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        Really?! I walked through Sheffield in May this year and must have passed several potential sites!?

    4. Holly says:

      Shining Cliff Wood near Matlock has an old abandoned house and some abandoned warehouses

      1. Bananana says:

        Hi, I was told that the shining cliff wood warehouses are absolutely packed with asbestos; is this the case?

  15. matt says:

    Hi going to this ***** did you need any ropes etc. or just torches?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Best to not announce your arrival, mate. No ropes, just torches. Although ropes may have helped a bit!

  16. Trevor says:

    How do you learn about these places and where is the best place to research for mor obscure locations.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Get yourself signed up to 28dayslater.co.uk – join in, contribute. There’s some good answers to FAQ’s on there too. If you need more guidance, just drop me an e-mail.

  17. Fluffy5518 says:

    Fantastic location mate! This will definitely be added to the list! Did you take an oxygen meter with you for this explore? I’ve always steered clear of underground tunnels involving anything to do with coal for that reason! P.S The pics you’ve shown are spot on – Well done!

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Thank you.

      On this occasion, no, we didn’t take an oxygen meter as it’s a pretty well known location and there’s been no trouble there in the past. A more uncertain location and we would have though.

  18. Laura says:

    Live just down the road from this splore and would love to go. Any suggestions on exactly where it is? And if it has been accessed recently?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi Laura, how do you know it’s “just down the road” if you don’t know where it is? Haha! A little bit of map research on train lines will reveal all. I suggest looking at an OS Map of the area.

      Happy exploring!

      1. Laura says:

        Because its in Draycott. Which is just down the road from me…

        Thanks for the advice I will have to have a look. Have heard rumours that it’s been sealed and no longer accessible though, hope this is not the case.

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Access to this place changes all the time. It was “supposed” to be sealed when I visited so it’s always worth seeing with your own eyes rather than relying on rumour. Good luck.

  19. Alex says:

    Hi
    Does anybody know if it is still possible to gain access in to Draycott Cross and does anybody know of any more mine workings that can be explored in Staffordshire?

    1. Dawn says:

      Hi Alex,

      Have you had any response?

      I’m really wanting to explore this too, but would hate to have a wasted journey if it’s no longer accessible. Any info?

      Thanks Dawn

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        Dawn, Alex,

        Access to derelict sites change on a day by day basis. If I told you it was accessible now, tomorrow it might not be! I’ve travelled over 200 miles to find a site has been locked down and inaccessible. Unfortunately it goes with the territory. It’s always best to earmark a few sites in the area and have a plan A, B, C and D!

  20. James says:

    Hi, could really use some finding where this site is? Very keen to have a look and get some pictures so any help would be greatly appreciated :)

  21. Hannah says:

    Hi, we’ve been in the Draycott area a few times recently looking for this site, which we’ve had loads of trouble finding! Any further instructions to help us out?

    1. It really is exceptionally easy to find! After all, railway lines are on maps! Even the old ones.

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