1) The profitable working of a coal-pit depended on how well it was drained and ventilated, and various methods of allowing fresh air to circulate in the workings were tried. These usually involved driving special heads, additional shafts or holing existing walls but the records are seldom very explicit.
In 1702, an agreement restricted the lessees to one shaft att one time save onely what shall be necessary for vent or Levell, Thornton
1760 for forcing vent in upper end, Tong
1792 air and vent pits to remain open for the more commodious future working of the colliery, Lepton
1804 to use the old shaft at Hall Houses as a vent shaft for the High Sunderland mines. The term vent gate was used at Soil Hill in 1815, in this case a horizontal ‘gate’ or way.