After almost 20 years on Historic England’s At Risk Register, Aspen Colliery Coke Ovens have been removed from the list, following a restoration project to save the historic mining site.
The coke ovens at Aspen Colliery were originally used to convert coal from the colliery into coke, which was then used as a smokeless fuel in the nearby steelworks. The 24 cokes ovens are the only surviving upstanding remnants of the former industrial site, and provide an insight into the methods and scale of cooking, and as such are an aid to understanding mining processes.
Over the years, vegetation and tree roots had begun to destabilise the brickwork, and Aspen Colliery was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 1998. Two of the banks of ovens subsequently partially collapsed, and the third was likely to follow. In their dilapidated state, they began to attract anti-social behaviour.
A partnership between owners Hyndburn Council, Growth Lancashire and Historic England was formed to tackle the site.
In 2016, Buttress was appointed to undertake a condition survey of the site, and subsequently deliver the restoration phase of the project. Vegetation covering and interfering with the structure was removed and repair and consolidation work was undertaken.
The coke ovens have now been removed from Historic England’s At-Risk Register after more than 20 years on the list, and have been preserved for future generations.