The monument located on Clipsley Lane of the old archway from Haydock Cottage Hospital is perhaps one of the only remnants of Haydock’s history as a coal mining village, but much of the village’s residential housing stock originates from, or is now built upon, the legacy of Haydock’s Mining Heritage.
Situated on one of the richest shallow seams of coal in the country, and with its close proximity to the port of Liverpool and the Cheshire Salt Industries, Haydock’s major landowners – the Legh family quickly capitalised on the opportunity to mine for the mineral that fuelled the industrial revolution.
London businessman Richard Evans took control of Haydock Collieries in 1847 and in the coming years, pits were sunk in numerous locations around the village. Haydock Foundary was developed to provide machinery for the industry and mining spoils and railway infrastructure dominated the landscape.
Workers moved to Haydock from around Lancashire and North Wales and miners cottages were built along the main road through Haydock with railway stations, tramways, schools, hotels and public houses built to serve the growing population.
The Richard Evans Company became publicly owned in 1889 and eventually became part of the National Coal Board with a mining presence continuing in Haydock until the closure of the last pit 1971.
Haydock Cottage Hospital was built in 1886 with one of the foundation stones laid by a member of Richard Evans family. The hospital served and was funded by Haydock’s mine workers until the formation of the NHS and the hospital was closed in 1975. Following a number of private commercial uses, the hospital was demolished and converted into a private residential development in 2017 with the developer kindly donating the Monument to the people of Haydock. To further illustrate its legacy, the location of the Monument on Clipsley Lane is on the site of a former railway line just yards from the platform at Haydock Station that was located at the former site of Haydock Medical Centre on Station Road.
The mining legacy can still be seen with the rows of Victorian terraced houses that still makes up the backbone of the village from West End Road, through Clipsley Lane, Church Road and onto Penny Lane.
Most of these properties are now over 120 years old, but they will continue to provide homes for the people of Haydock for many years to come!