28 September 2019 (10 am to 5 pm)
29 September 2019 (10 am to 5 pm)
Devon Colliery has had a long history. It was leased to the Alloa Coal Company in 1843, but flooding, which had always been a huge problem, forced it to close in 1854. The company managed to reopen it in 1879, achieving this with new pit-head plant, including the very impressive Beam Engine House, which housed a Cornish-style beam pumping engine built by Neilson & Co in Glasgow in 1865. It could pump 2,560 gallons of water per minute out of the colliery. It took about a year to drain the pit, with several million gallons of water being pumped out every 24 hours. The steam engine was also used to drive machinery of all kinds and was in operation until 1932, when electric pumps were installed.
Devon Colliery was the largest and longest lasting colliery in Clackmannanshire. It was served by the wagon way and mineral railway lines connecting it with the neighbouring Crophill pit and with the main line to Alloa and Tillicoultry. It closed in 1960, ending at least 450 years of coalmining in the area around Sauchie Tower. The beam engine was partly dismantled. The Beam Engine House was restored by Clackmannan District Council in 1993, by which time only the massive cast-iron beam and part of the pump-rod remained. It is one of the few surviving beam engines in Scotland and the only sign that a colliery ever existed on the site. It was converted to office space and, after sporadic use, was later sold to the Scottish SPCA, which is now developing plans to use it as an educational information centre.
Building Date: 1865
Exhibition about early mining in Clackmannanshire
Displays about the work of the Scottish SPCA
Please note that there is access only to the ground floor and that access to the building is challenging for people with mobility difficulties.