Zeche HR, Germany

Zeche HR, Germany

Zeche HR was a mine in Germany with an amazing bathhouse full of baskets, and features a huge hammerhead winding tower. There's also an elephant!

Visited May 2019  Germany Rhineland, Germany Disused, Abandoned

The mine was opened in 1901 when the first shaft was sunk, and a second shaft added in 1923 in order to meet the ever increasing demand for coal in this region of Germany. Like many mines and steelworks of the time, the site was built and operated by the De Wendel family. The Germans took ownership of the mine during the world wars, the French owners being opponents in both. Much expansion including the enlargement of the power house took place during the Second World War under the direction of the Third Reich, a time when coal was in high demand. Ownership was returned to the De Wendels after both wars, and was eventually sold to RAG, Germany’s largest mining company.

Zeche HR - the original headstock and newer winding tower
Zeche HR – the original headstock and newer winding tower

Further construction took place around the site during the 1950s, including the addition of  the hammerhead winding tower, the most recognisable feature of the mine.

At its peak, the mine was producing 9,000 tons of coal per day and was merged with the underground workings of several other collieries. However requirements for coal were dropping, the ageing mine was becoming inefficient, and uneconomical. This combined with environmental factors was responsible for the closure of the colliery in 2010.

The Hammerhead Winding Tower

The steel-framed and brick-clad winding tower was constructed in 1955, replacing the original headframe above the no. 1 shaft, which was previously used only for man-access. The tower allowed the shaft to be used for production as well, increasing the mines output.

Zeche HR - The hammerhead winding tower
Zeche HR – The hammerhead winding tower
Zeche HR - Overview of the winders at the top of the tower
Zeche HR – Overview of the winders at the top of the tower
Zeche HR - The huge winding wheels
Zeche HR – The huge winding wheels
Zeche HR - Note the huge braking mechanism on the right
Zeche HR – Note the huge braking mechanism on the right
Zeche HR - View behind the winders
Zeche HR – View behind the winders
Zeche HR - Inside one of the operator cabins
Zeche HR – Inside one of the operator cabins
Zeche HR - Operator controls in the cabin
Zeche HR – Operator controls in the cabin

Administration Building

The admin building was were workers would get paid their wages and visitors such as business people could be met. The entrance features a large hall, as was common in German mining facilities.

Zeche HR - Exterior of the admin building
Zeche HR – Exterior of the admin building
Zeche HR - The entrance hall of the admin block
Zeche HR – The entrance hall of the admin block
Zeche HR - The entrance hall viewed from upper level
Zeche HR – The entrance hall viewed from upper level
Zeche HR - Lobby and staircase in the admin block
Zeche HR – Lobby and staircase in the admin block
Zeche HR - Upstairs was slightly less nicely decorated
Zeche HR – Upstairs was slightly less nicely decorated
Zeche HR - Stained glass windows on the staircase
Zeche HR – Stained glass windows on the staircase
Zeche HR - Corridor with windows where wages would be collected
Zeche HR – Corridor with windows where wages would be collected
Zeche HR - The other side where the wages clerks would sit
Zeche HR – The other side where the wages clerks would sit
Zeche HR - Admin managers desk
Zeche HR – Admin managers desk

The Bathhouse – Baskets and Showers

The bathhouse was where the miners would get changed before and after their shift, could have a shower, and store their belongings while they were down the mine. The baskets allowed a secure way of doing this, as their clothes and personal affects could be placed into them, and then hoisted up the ceiling, out of reach, then the chain hoist secured with a lock.

Zeche HR - The basket room in the bathhouse
Zeche HR – The basket room in the bathhouse
Zeche HR - Looking the opposite way down the basket room
Zeche HR – Looking the opposite way down the basket room
Zeche HR - Baskets and changing benches
Zeche HR – Baskets and changing benches
Zeche HR - View through the sea of baskets
Zeche HR – View through the sea of baskets
Zeche HR - Looking up at some of the suspended baskets
Zeche HR – Looking up at some of the suspended baskets
Zeche HR - The lower floor was dedicated to showering facilities
Zeche HR – The lower floor was dedicated to showering facilities
Zeche HR - An interestingly painted elephant was stood in a basket room
Zeche HR – An interestingly painted elephant was stood in a basket room
Zeche HR - A small locker area to one side
Zeche HR – A small locker area to one side
Zeche HR - There were also some smaller, more private basket rooms
Zeche HR – There were also some smaller, more private basket rooms
Zeche HR - A nicely tiled corridor with a clock linked the basket rooms
Zeche HR – A nicely tiled corridor with a clock linked the basket rooms

Lamp Room

The lamp room was where miners lamps were stored and recharged between shifts. The lamps have been removed, but the charging racks remain.

Zeche HR - View down the lamp room
Zeche HR – View down the lamp room
Zeche HR - Lamp recharging racks
Zeche HR – Lamp recharging racks
Zeche HR - Rack power supply transformer
Zeche HR – Rack power supply transformer

Power House

The mine had an unusually large power station, which in its time would have been capable of producing much more electricity than the mine required. The excess electricity was fed into the public grid. Most of the generating equipment has since been removed.

Zeche HR - View down the power house main hall
Zeche HR – View down the power house main hall
Zeche HR - A few bits of newer equipment remain
Zeche HR – A few bits of newer equipment remain
Zeche HR - Modern gas-fired boilers
Zeche HR – Modern gas-fired boilers
Zeche HR - Power house control room
Zeche HR – Power house control room
Zeche HR - Power house control room
Zeche HR – Power house control room
Zeche HR - Power house control room
Zeche HR – Power house control room
Zeche HR - Switch room behind the control room
Zeche HR – Switch room behind the control room
Zeche HR - Equipment remains in the newer extension
Zeche HR – Equipment remains in the newer extension
Zeche HR - AEG generating equipment
Zeche HR – AEG generating equipment
Zeche HR - AEG generating equipment
Zeche HR – AEG generating equipment
Zeche HR - Pumps and other equipment
Zeche HR – Pumps and other equipment
Zeche HR - Valves and control panels
Zeche HR – Valves and control panels
Zeche HR - The power station's cooling tower
Zeche HR – The power station’s cooling tower
Author: Andy Kay | Facebook | Flickr | Instagram

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