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Munday Hill Number 1 Pit Heath and Reach

Munday Hill Number 1 Pit June 2008
Munday Hill Number 1 Pit June 2008

Munday Hill Number 1 Pit lies on the south side of Eastern Way and the west side of Mile Tree Road. It is owned and operated by local firm George Garside (Sand) Limited, now Garsides Sands, part of the Holcim Group. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 ordered every piece of land and building in the country to be assessed to determine the rates to be paid upon it. The valuer visiting Munday Hill Number 1 Pit [DV1/C254/45] noted that it had been worked with another pit on the northern side of Eastern Way, on the east side of Joseph Arnold's Double Arches Pit. The location of both of Garside's pits is shown on the map below, coloured in blue.

 Munday Hill Number 1 pit and disused pit in 1927
Munday Hill Number 1 pit and disused pit in 1927

The pit comprised 5.840 acres and contained weather boarded and corrugated iron sheds. The valuer noted: "Saw foreman 22/8/27, Pit started 1925 (March). Average untopping 16½ feet, some as much as 20 feet. 9 men working. Does not know output and getting shallower. Lot of muck. Does not pay to work. Sand has to be washed. Pits other (north) side of road not been worked for 2 years. Not worth it. Trucks drawn by horses out of pit to Light Railway".

Clearly the pit north of the road, behind Poplars, had closed in 1925 when Munday Hill Number 1 was opened. Untopping means removing the soil, or overburden, which lay above the layers of sand. The overburden here was quite thick, at up to twenty feet.