1) Short for ‘engine’, a term used for a variety of mechanical contrivances but in early coal-mining records especially one that was horse-powered, serving as a hoist or pump.
These were evidently in operation from the early part of the seventeenth century: when Sir Thomas Gascoigne reviewed his mining operations c.1640, he wrote: A Note of the Couell [coal] we have left from the Ginn towarde Barnebow whereby the same may hereafter again be gotten. He then commented on drawing water via the gin and added: the Ginn was first made by my father. But since that time I did, ano 1638 sinke the Ginn pitt deeper and added another Pumpe. Further useful details followed: I sunke the same Ginn Pitt 10 foote deeper which went with much more difficulty in respect of the greate weight of the chaine which if it be not well attended to and the hookes and rings made very round and artificially [skilfully] and of the toughest iron will often breake: As also it requireth a much greater weight of water on the wheeles, Barwick in Elmet.Examples elsewhere include: 1754 I have erected a ginn at the pit … and have employed the two nags … the horse pulls very well in the ginn, Elsecar. The gins were valuable and could be dismantled and moved from one pit to another. In 1751, the colliers at Shibden were paid 13s 0d for assisting in taking down the ginn but it was moved at a cost of Ł3 12s 0d by the carpenters and engineers. Several attributive usages are dealt with below. Gynn House and Gynn Lane in Honley are close to the site of an early pit.