The Candlestick, Whitehaven, Cumbria
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flipflopnick
N 54° 32.929 W 003° 35.834
30U E 461368 N 6044750
Quick Description: The Candlestick is the colloquial name for the disused ventilation chimney of Wellington Pit. Built in 1850 by Sydney Smirke. There is also a pub in town with same name.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/21/2012 6:08:07 AM
Waymark Code: WMDJKD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member dejf75
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Wellington pit overlooked the harbour. The buildings are in the shape of castle. This chimney was ventilation for the pit, which was the scene of a mining accident where over 130 lives were lost. See nearby memorial. Two shafts were sunk around 1840 to extract coal. All local pits carried a lot of methane, which is why Humphrey Davey was persuaded to try his Safety Lamp here. Up till then candles were used.

It was sunk in 1838 and finally closed in 1932. This was a very 
'fiery' pit, and the scene of numerous accidents including a major
disaster which claimed 132 lives in May 1910. The most striking
feature of this mine is its “Candlestick” chimney which is a landmark
for the area, standing on a hill top overlooking the harbour. The
chimney is actually an air vent for the workings, rather than a
conventional chimney.

The only other feature of the mine to survive is a white crenellated
building nearby, which was the entrance lodge for the pit. The
‘castle’ style construction of many of the mining remains in this
area was part of Sydney Smirke's ‘medievalisation’ of the pits in the

A plaque on the wall below the chimney commemorates all the “Men,
Women and Children” of the Whitehaven District Collieries who lost
their lives in the local pits.


There is a lightning rod at the top and the chimney is supposed to vent methane from the pit. A flash ignited the gases in 1984 which burnt for 5 hours. Source

Colliery Histories (visit link)
Geograph image (visit link)
Streetmap (visit link)
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Is your description history or fantasy: history

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Public or Private Propery: public

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