Cinderloo May Day walk

The Cinderloo Riots of 1821 were a series of protests by colliers and iron workers in the Coalbrookdale coal field, who were struggling with low wages and poor working conditions. 

The protests culminated in a violent clash with the authorities, leaving several dead and many more injured. Tom Palin was subsequently hung for the part that he played

This guided walk will take you through some of the key locations associated with the Cinderloo riots and the locations of mines and factories that existed before Telford New Town was created 

The Cinderloo riots of 1821 were a pivotal moment in the history of Telford, and this guided walk will take you on a 5-mile journey through the key locations associated with this historic event.

  1. We begin at the Miners’ Memorial, which was unveiled in 2023 as a tribute to the miners and their families who worked in the Coalbrookdale coal field. 
Miners Memorial in Telford Town Park created by Malcolm Peel and the Granville Boys
  1. From here, we follow the footpath known as Dark Lane, which winds through Hollinswood and was the site of the worst disaster in the Coalbrookdale coal field. It’s said that the road was named Dark Lane because it was surfaced with waste furnace cinders, creating an eerie and foreboding atmosphere.
Map showing Dark Lane as it was
  1. As we walk through Hollinswood, we’ll pass over the Dark Lane bridge on to  Stafford Park, which was once home to four shafts of the Stafford Colliery. Originally two separate mines, they were combined in 1914 to create one large mine that operated until its closure in 1939.
Stafford Park named after the Stafford Colliery
  1. Our journey takes us to Priorslee, which is a combination of the Latin word for “monk” or “priest” and the Anglo-Saxon word for “clearing in a wood.” Here, we’ll see the row of cottages that were the subject of Barrie Trinder’s book, and we’ll learn more about the history of the area.
Bench marks help identify locations recorded as part of the ordinance survey mapping the area
  1. As we continue along the route, we’ll come across Pains Lane, which was once part of the original Roman road running from Holyhead to Dover. We’ll also see the Slag Bear, a large lump of slag left over from the iron-making furnaces at Prior Lee.
Large piece of slag reminding us of areas past
  1. One of the highlights of the walk is the Tom Palin Bridge, which joins South Telford to the north and follows the path of Hollinswood Road. 
Tom Palin bridge passing over railway line at Central Park
  1. We’ll also pass by Tom Palin’s house, where he lived before being arrested for his role in the Cinderloo riot. He was eventually hanged on 6th April 1821 outside the Dana Prison in Shrewsbury.
Bench located on Silkin Way close to where Tom’s cottage would have been
  1. Another key location on the walk is Coal Pit Bonk, which was once referred to as Coal Pit bank because of the extensive mine workings and pit waste that was deposited there. It’s also where a number of families were arrested as part of the riots in February 1821.
Looking back towards Queenswood school on Ketely Bank in 1965 from the pools and pits at Old Park
  1. We’ll visit the site behind the Fish Counter at Sainsbury’s, where the riot act was read and the Cinderloo riot is thought to have started. We’ll also see Forge Retail Park , which was once a bustling industrial complex producing the most iron in England.
Andrew Howe’s painting of the riot act which was read before Yeomanry opened fire at this location
  1. As we continue our journey through Old Park, we’ll pass by shallow coal pits, small rows of cottages, and narrow lanes where many families gathered in protest. 
Old Park as it is now
  1. The Cinderloo Way, which was recently built and named in honor of the events that took place nearly 200 years ago, stands on what was once Forge Row and now provides social housing.
Recently named Cinderloo Way pays tribute to the historic event
  1. Our journey concludes with a visit to the Malinslee Pit Mound, which overlooks the town centre and was once the site of Malinslee Colliery and Malinslee House, the residence of the Botfield family. 
Spout pit mound provides reminder of role pit mounds still play in shaping the character of the area
  1. Finally, we’ll see Issah’s Stone, a tribute to Issah Jones and a reminder of the geological processes that made the area unique and provided the minerals on which the industrial revolution was built.
Issah’s stone providing reminder of areas rich geological history

Summary of the 5mile route

The route contrasts the current landscape with that which preceeded it

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