Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2021: Coal Drops, Halifax, Grade II, Architect unknown, 1874

Halifax Coal Drops were built for the Ovenden and Halifax Junction Railway Co. and are an important part of the town’s industrial history. They comprise 15 wooden bunkers built into the hillside supported between stone piers. Trains would stop over the top and unload coal into the bunkers, and local traders would back their horse-drawn carts into the spaces beneath to load their coal for distribution.

Halifax Coal Drops were built for the Ovenden and Halifax Junction Railway Co. and are an important part of the town’s industrial history. They comprise 15 wooden bunkers built into the hillside supported between stone piers. Trains would stop over the top and unload coal into the bunkers, and local traders would back their horse-drawn carts into the spaces beneath to load their coal for distribution.

Their relatively intact internal machinery makes them a rare and large scale survivor. Now owned by Calderdale Council, the Coal Drops have been fenced off to the public for 15 years after a piece of masonry fell from the roof. They are now in a state of serious decline and without urgent attention could soon fall into irreparable ruin. A full structural survey is needed to establish the work necessary to ensure their future.


Griff Rhys Jones said: “Nowadays, we are moving away from fossil fuels, but the Halifax Coal Drops are a reminder of how long fossil fuels have been important to people’s lives and communities...”
“... A new plan for an improved footpath and cycleway, between the town centre, and the nearby Hebble Trail, going directly past the Coal Drops is a great opportunity to restore the coal drops and preserve them as a landmark, to be enjoyed by both locals and visitors...”
“...Funding for an initial structural survey is urgently needed to understand exactly what is needed to save this unique piece of industrial heritage.”


Any donations, however small, to fund the structural survey and subsequent repairs, will be gratefully received. Payment can be made online to Halifax Civic Trust, sort code 20-35-84, account no. 50442445, including reference: "Coal Drops" please. Cheques should be made payable to Halifax Civic Trust and sent to: HCT Treasurer, Marsh Meadows, 31 Marsh Lane, Southowram, Halifax, HX3 9UF.


Photo Credit: David Witcher


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