Cortonwood Colliery was sunk in 1873, a year after the formation of the Brampton Colliery Company, which took its name from the local parish of Brampton Bierlow, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.
In March 1984, the National Coal Board announced that the mine was due to close, this becoming the "final straw" which brought about the long running UK miners' strike .
Problems relating to access to the site occur mainly at weekends. It is likely that there will be traffic jams trying to enter the area on a Saturday or Sunday due to the poor design of the entrance road. This problem is taking time to resolve as the feeder roads come under the governance of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and the trading estate itself is under Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
Heritage railway future
The Elsecar Steam Railway are planning to extend to a proposed new railway station at Cortonwood in the future as finances allow.