The Upper Conygre Pit was a colliery to the north of the centre of Timsbury village by the corner of The Avenue and North Road, known as coal pit corner. Coal was mined from as early as 1791 and continued until 1916. The pit achieved fame on 9 July 1795 when it was reported that a wagon from the pit delivered to Mr Groom’s yard in Bath, a single piece of coal weighing 1 ton 5¾ cwt 26 lbs.
Upper Conygre was one of the many mines extracting coal from the North Somerset Coalfield. The site is underlain by the Blue Lias Formation, which is interbedded mudstone and limestone. Below that are the Coal Measures. Two shafts of a depth of 1029 feet and a diameter of 5ft 6″ were dug to reach workable coal seams.
At first most of the coal was sent for sale by road to Bath. For example W. Attfield a coal-merchant of 33 Gay Street, Bath placed an advert in the Bath Chronicle announcing to the public his sale of best Timsbury coals, every day, by weight on lowest terms. He begs timely notification to lay in winter stocks. Later when the Lower Conygre was opened (off Radford Hill) a connecting tunnel was created so that coal could be sent to a wharf on the Somersetshire Coal Canal.
A Colliery Worker’s Life in Timsbury 1839 – 1927 provides a insight into working life at this time. The population of Timsbury was intrinsically linked to Upper and Lower Conygre Pits.
During an attempt to extend the workings of Lower Conygre Pit in 1914, flooded and abandoned workings of the former Withy Mills Pit were broached. This resulted in the flooding of both Conygre pits, which led to their abandonment in 1916 and the end of coal mining in Timsbury. Many of the the mine workers then found jobs in other local pits, like at Pensford.
Afterwards the site was a cement block works known as Wheelers Yard after its owner until closure in 2004.
In 2020 building started for 26 houses and offices and the development was named as ‘Upper Conygre’ in memory of its coal mining past.
View of ‘Coal Pit Corner’ in 2019