Newcastle Coal Mining & Government Mines – 1796- 1820s
By Dr Ann Hardy – April 2014
University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party
There is confusion about the early coal mines of Newcastle and although the Australian Agricultural Company mines are well documented there is little research on the government coal mines (particularly the coal shafts) that were worked from the early 1800s up until the late 1820s on ‘the Hill’. The Hill refers to the area we know today as King Edward Park and the James Fletcher Hospital. The following article pulls together sources associated with these early years to gain a better understanding of Australia’s first working coal mines. Government coal mines were primarily located at two separate mining precincts; the first precinct was the Coal River Precinct and second, the Newcastle Government Domain. To the south of the Government Domain was another Government coal in an area we know today as King Edward Park Reserve.