Records of N C Thorncliffe Collieries Ltd, coal masters, Thorncliffe, South Yorkshire, England

Scope and Content

Papers including:

  • Valuations and estimates for the nationalisation of NC Thorncliffe Collieries Ltd 1947
  • Papers and correspondance concerning valuation and compensation for Thorncliffe Coal Distillation Ltd 1952-1953

Administrative / Biographical History

Newton Chambers & Co, coal masters and iron founders, was formed as a partnership between George Newton (1761-1825) and Thomas Chambers (1771-1814) in 1792 with the establishment of the Phoenix Foundry in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Lands were acquired in 1793  at Thorncliffe, near Sheffield and 2 furnaces had been completed by 1796 and collieries acquired near by to smelt ironstone. By 1801, the company was established as smelters and ironfounders. Smelters were reorganised to concentrate on gas production and from 1825 to 1850, the supply of gas works equipment constituted the main business. A large manufacturing in tank construction and fabrication in steel and cast iron grew out of this development. Business operations were extended and modernised from 1869 and coal output was boosted to 1 million tons per year. The company was incorporated as a limited liability company as Newton Chambers & Co Ltd in 1881  at about which time the cabonisation and distillation of coal was being pioneered. Chemical works were established which produced 'Izal' disinfectants, insecticides, antiseptic soaps and cleaning fluids. The company had branches all over England, including London, Sheffield, Hull, Manchester, Rotherham and Liverpool by 1923. The family was still represented on the board of directors until the 1940s.

In 1945  , the company became N C Thorncliffe Collieries Ltd . By this time, the company was operating 4 collieries at Rockingham, Thorncliffe, Smithy Wood and Grange with a combined output of 1 million tons of coal per year. The company's collieries were nationalised in 1947  as part of the National Coal Board under the terms of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 but N C Thorncliffe continued as heavy, light and mobile engineers and chemical manufacturers. By 1977, the company had 19 subsidiary companies and 3200 employees.

Source: Lesley Richmond & Bridget Stockford,Company Archives(Glasgow, 1986)


This material is arranged into series. Within series, the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Permanent loan: Deloitte & Touche, chartered accountants : Glasgow

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom.

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)1546)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

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Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

Held by Deloitte & Touche, chartered accountants


None expected

Related Material

GB 199 Records of Thorncliffe Coal Distillation Ltd 1881-1964 (Sheffield Archives)

GB 199 TR, NCB 609-875, MD 3586 Records of Newton Chambers & Co Ltd 1776-1957 (Sheffield Archives)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page


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Additional Information

This material is original

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Geographical Names