excavations main image



tools at the Califat colliery dig site
The building we have been working on is believed to have been the site of a small winding engine and boiler. In 2006, digging revealed an uneven brick laid floor without substantial engine foundations. Pictures from 2006 and 2007 can be seen below. More recent pictures can be seen by clicking the link at the foot of the page.
Califat colliery dig site in 2006


Califat colliery dig site


Califat colliery dig site, brick floor


Califat colliery, LIHS diggers in Victorian labourer's dress, sepia photograph

CLICK HERE for pictures from 2009

CLICK HERE to see the engine house revealed

CLICK HERE for pictures from November 2011

CLICK HERE for pictures from December 2011

CLICK HERE for pictures from 2014

CLICK HERE to download a detailed history of the site by the late Peter Neaverson.

Califat Colliery, Swannington

Since 2006 , LIHS have been excavating a building at the site of the Califat Colliery at Swannington. Califat is a 19th century colliery which in 1863 was the scene of a flooding disaster in which three miners, including a 16 year old boy, lost their lives.
Digs usually take place on the second Tuesday of the month from 9.30am. Contact David Lyne for further details. Volunteers welcome!
For current dig reports please see the following PDF's
Califat Dig June 2016
Califat Dig February 2017
Califat Dig March 2017
Califat Dig July 2017
Califat Dig September 2017
Califat Dig October 2017
Califat Dig October 2018
Califat Dig May - July 2018
Califat Dig September 2018
Califat Dig November 2018
Califat Dig December 2018
Califat Dig January 2019
In preparation for conservation work on the Haystack boiler, Stuart Warburton has produced a Historic Significance Statement report. Please see below.
Haystack boiler report
A film about Califat Colliery and our excavation was made by LIHS in October 2009. CLICK HERE to see it.

Califat colliery excavation, first dig site

Above and below, the first site, excavated in 2001

Califat colliery first excavation site, engine blocks

The following pictures are from the work carried out in 2006 and 2007. More recent pictures can be seen by clicking the link at the foot of the page.
Califat colliery, work carried out on the dig site
Califat colliery excavation, brick floor
Below and right: On one day in 2007, members decided to dress in period costume as Victorian labourers.
Califat colliery excavation site, LIHS diggers in Victorian labourer's dress