Restoration and refurbishment works on rebuilding and repairing the 200-year-old coke ovens at the former Aspen Colliery site was completed in early 2017 by Rosslee Construction
Aspen Colliery History
This history behind the coke ovens which are known locally as the “fairy caves” is that the coke ovens converted the coal from the adjacent Aspen Colliery into coke for the steelworks as a smokeless fuel. The canal opened in 1810 which brought the coke ovens into use, there was three rows each with nine ovens, they were not used after 1930, and in 1977 they were scheduled as an ancient monument, however no work had been done to preserve the site and they continued to deteriorate and sadly vandalised. The Coke Ovens are located on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at the Church and Oswaldtwistle border, the canal was used to transport the coke to steelworks. The ovens themselves are of brick, encased with masonry. The bank nearest the basin was in the best state of preservation.
Some 40 years after the site was declared an Ancient Monument the Coke Ovens were given some TLC and restored to their former glory by Accrington Contractors Rosslee Construction.
A set of interpretation boards are to be installed at the site enabling visitors to find out more about the ovens’ history.