1) In the more recent history of coal-mining the pit-hill was the mound of waste close to the pit-head, of little value perhaps but scratched over for small pieces of coal in hard times.

Sixty and seventy years ago such pit-hills were a common sight and they provided exciting play-grounds for youngsters. The Rev. Lewthwaite wrote an account of Newsome in the church magazine in the 1880s and said of the hamlet of Coalpit Hill that … a stranger might very reasonably ask why should this place be called by such an incongruous name … neither coals, coal-mines, neither banksmen nor tips may be seen now … still if we skip backwards 100 years or more these were all to be found on Coal Pit Hill. Then indeed there were no houses and coal getting was the principal thing. There was an attempt in many pits, certainly from the eighteenth century to get rid of the waste and restore the land to its former condition: 1767 2 men one horse and Cart one day removing the Hill, Tong

1777 at the end of the said term remove and carry away … all the Pitt Hills, scale, stones, wood, gravel, earth and rubbish … and make the soil and surface … as level arable and good in every respect, Southowram. In an alternative, earlier use the pit-hill was a hill or mound of coal close to the pit-head, where it would be stacked ready for sale, a valuable resource. In 1647, Adam Eyre wrote in his diary: we parted at the Coyle-pitt hills, Thurlstone: in 1672 a man was indicted at the West Riding Quarter Sessions for carrying away certain Coales from the Coale pitt hill, and in Bradford in 1702 a collier at Mr Rawson’s pitt came to the pitt hill of Mr Edward Stanhope and gave the colliers their notice. The word could retain this meaning long after it had also started to be used for the spoil-heaps: 1819 every square yard of this bed will yield five loads of coal, which on the Pitt Hill are worth 2s 6d, Birstall.

spellings coal-pit hill
dates 1647 1702 1767 1777 1819

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