head

1) A word used in mining for a passage or gallery driven into the coal, called a heading in some regions.

1486 in dryffyng any depe hed, Cortworth

1728 for driving a head to the new pit 12s 0d, Horsforth

1777 and shall drive the Heads … of a proper and sufficient width, Southowram. These were usually the first ‘exploratory’ galleries and the width was less than in the working boards: a ‘headway’ was said in The Compleat Collier to be not ‘so wide as the other works or boards’. By an extension of that meaning a ‘head’ could also be the end of a drift or gallery, a solid or apparently solid wall of coal. It is important to say ‘apparently’ because in districts where the coal was being exploited by more than one group of miners, the ‘head’ might be only a very short distance from the workings in a neighbouring pit. That point is illustrated in the testimony of a collier named John Cordingley who was working for Mr Edward Stanhope in Bradford in 1702. He was getting coals in the pitt, he said, when one John Booth of Bowling, collier, struck a head through into the place where he … was working under the ground. Other workers came through the hole and confronted Cordingley, telling him to get his cloaths gathered up and be gone.

dates 1486 1702 1728 1777

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2) The ‘heads’ of a bridge were the two ends of the construction, otherwise called the landstalls or landstays.

In 1485-6, Lady’s Bridge in Sheffield had ij heedys with sure butments at eyther ende: in 1615, when Kirkstall Bridge was rebuilt, the surveyors allowed Ł20 For tymber for bothe heads in the wods unfelled and Ł80 For Bringinge up of the towe heads. In 1601, Apperley Bridge was to be of stone, erected of two Landstalles or heads and of one piller and two archies .

dates 1485-1486 1601 1615

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0