Location 255
Location #255 - Kawarau Coal Mine.
Map 12



Adams Gully


Location #255 - Kawarau Coal Mine. Approx 600m south of Adams Creek Road crossing (Bannockburn-Nevis Road)

Still Standing


Underground workings may still exist however the portal has been closed off.

Construction Details

Location Type


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Interested Parties

The table below shows the groups of people that had an interest in this property, either as owners, residents, tenants or shareholders. Clicking on the 'Details' link will display a list of the individuals in the group along with any known historical information about them.

Group Date Description
1 c1889 - 1899 John Pryde Details
2 1899 - 1900 James Horn syndicate Details
3 1900 - 1914 Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company Details
4 1914 - 1917 William Richard Parcell (2) syndicate Details
5 1917 - 1920 Bannockburn Coal Company Details
6 1920 - 1927 James Alexander Gordon syndicate Details
7 1927 - 1949 John Hodson (2) Details
8 1949 - c1952 S Hewison syndicate Details
9 1955 - 1957 William James Smith Hodson Details


The table below shows any historical notes about the location.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
2884 c1887 Mine location Southern slope of Adams Gully. Approx 0.6km south of Adams Creek Road crossing on Bannockburn Nevis Road. The portal is now closed off and not visible but underground workings may still exist. The main drive was a 90m decline at a grade of 1 in 3. The tiphead / loading bank is still visible, west of the Bannockburn-Nevis Road. The location of the portal site is further west over a water race and a low rise. A survey plan produced by Mr J Hayes (inspector of mines), probably in 1902 shows the underground workings of location #255 plus that of location #386 and #504. The coal seam was approx 2m thick and the mine was dry.
2885 c1887 General note The exact history of the mine is not very clear but it appears that it was opened up by John Pryde about this time. The mine manager was John Crombie Campbell.
2886 1889 John Pryde purchased the Royal Standard Battery. In February of 1889 John Pryde purchased the Royal Standard battery at Quartzville and removed the boiler along with the 12hp steam engine to use in his Kawarau mine (#255). The inspector of mines reported that the Kawarau Colliery of John Pryde was in good condition and that the powder was kept in a magazine. (Note - because John Pryde called all of his mines the Kawarau Colliery, it is not clear which mines these comments refer to. They may be related to #386 or #183 in lower Shepherds Creek)
2887 1899 John Pryde sold his Shepherds Creek coal mines to the James Horn syndicate. In June, John Pryde sold his coal mines, #183 in lower Shepherds Creek, and #386 (which included the area later worked as #255). These mines were purchased by the James Horn syndicate.
2888 1899 The mine was purchased by the James Horn syndicate. In June, the James Horn syndicate purchased Mr Prydes three coal leases (#183, #255 and #386). This was the first move to amalgamate the coal mines in Bannockburn. It is unclear if this syndicate was a holding company for the later floated Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company or if it did any coal mining. It appears that Mr J C Campbell worked both the Adams Creek mines (#255 and #386) and employed 12 miners. At some stage the 'Kawarau Mine' #386 was connected underground to the Bannockburn Coal Pit #504, and from then on the mine was just known as the 'Kawarau Mine'
2890 1901 Formation of the Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company In April, the Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company was formed and they purchased the assets of the James Horn syndicate, which included the 'Kawarau Mines' of John Pryde (#255 and #386). Mr John Crombie Campbell continued to manage the mine, then Thomas Barklay, followed by Alexander Sinclair Gillanders, and finally W P Parcell.
2891 1906 General notes. The coal company were working three mines, the 'Excelsior' (#194), the 'Kawarau' (#255) and the Shepherds Creek no 1 (#248). They were employing 50 miners.
2892 1909 General notes. The company closed down the 'Excelsior' and concentrated on their Shepherds Creek mines. It appears that the 'Kawarau' mine may also have been closed around this time.
2893 1914 General notes. The Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company was wound up and the assets were sold at auction for £500 to a small syndicate of local miners header by William Richard Parcell (2).
2896 1917 General notes. The Bannockburn Coal Company purchased the assets of the W R Parcell syndicate, which included the 'Kawarau' mine #255. It appears that the company did not work location #255, but only worked their Shepherds Creek No 1 mine.
2898 1920 General notes. The J A Gordon syndicate purchased the assets of the Bannockburn Coal Company, which may have included the 'Kawarau' coal mine #255. It appears that the syndicate worked their Shepherds Creek lease, possibly including locations #247, #248, #249 and #250. There is no record of the syndicate working location #255.
2900 1927 Mr John Hodson (2) purchased the assets of the J A Gordon syndicate, including location #255. Mr John Hodson (2) purchased the assets of the J A Gordon syndicate, for £350, which may have included the Kawarau mine, #255. However there appears to be no record of Mr Hodson working this mine.
2902 1949 Coal leases purchased by Sid Hewison and Ted Jelly. Following the death of John Hodson (2), the Hewison syndicate (Sid Hewison and Ted Jelly) purchased the coal leases owned by him. These may have included locations #247, #248, #249 and #250. It appears that the lease on the 'Kawarau' mine #255 was not taken up by the Hewison syndicate, but this is not clear.
2903 1955 Mr Bill Hodson worked the 'Kawarau' mine #255 for around 18 months. Mr Bill Hodson worked the 'Kawarau' mine #255 for around 18 months. Working with Bill Hodson were (Snow) .... Philpot, Charles Alexander Scott (Charlie), and Charlies father William Elliot Scott (Bill). The mine was run by electricity. Charlie Scott recalls mining 8 ton of coal per day himself. The mine, unlike others in Bannockburn, was dry.
2904 1957 Mine closed down by the mines inspector. It appears that the mine was closed down by the mine inspector as it was unsafe. Jeff Connelly recalls helping Bill Hodson to remove the rails and pipes. At this time the pit props were in very poor condition and the main drive had been 'flooded' with white sand. The 'sand flood' was stopped by packing with sacks, then the remaining sand trucked out of the mine. Jeff recalls the air being very bad even with the fan running. The timbers were in very poor condition and badly stressed. He told Bill that he had a bad feeling about the mine and said he would not go very far under ground. This was a Friday afternoon. Bill was not happy and said he would get some other help. On the following Monday, Mr Hodson and two of his son in laws, Mess'rs Tredinnick and Symons went back to the mine. They found that the mine had collapsed. The large electric fan was sold to the Luggate sawmill when the mine closed.


The table below shows a list of images related to the location. Click on 'View Image' to display more details about the image, and to view the image.

Image Id Source Date Short Description
776 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 2002 Kawarau Coal Mine - location #255 - Tiphead. View Image
785 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 2002 Kawarau Coal Mine - location #255 - Shepherds Creek / Adams Creek. View Image
1157 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 18 Dec 1902 Plan of Kawarau Coal Mine - Adam's Gully View Image
1983 Mrs G Macavoy - Bannockburn 23 Aug 1895 Kawarau Coal Pit (locations #386 & #255, Adam's Gully) - Bill View Image
1984 Mrs G Macavoy - Bannockburn 31 Jul 1891 Letter from John Pryde to Arthur Drake. View Image