Historic mine’s furnace shaft gets top award

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A PROJECT to renovate a shaft at Wakefield’s National Coal Mining Museum has won Heritage Project of the Year at the Yorkshire and Humber Construction Best Practice Awards.

The £870,000 renovation included the creation of a glass panel so visitors can look down the shaft’s 140 metres (almost 460ft).

Known as a furnace shaft, it originally had a fire lit at the bottom to draw air into the main riding shaft (the access shaft) and ventilate the pit.

Willie McGranaghan, mine manager, said the furnace shaft was a highlight for visitors.

“It’s fantastic seeing children and adults either venturing onto the cover so that they are standing directly over the 140m ‘deep’ chimney or just peering over the edge,” he said.

He said the project had been a “huge technical challenge”.